Barely 20, this Puneite has shown how commitment and dedication can pay off..
Sheer passion drives Onkar Zagade, the founder of Indian Saga, a professionally established sports event management firm.
His love for cricket turned him into an entrepreneur when he was just 17. A professionally trained cricketer, Onkar has transmuted his cricketing setbacks to success and has achieved a milestone that is often a challenge for people twice his age..
“I was very passionate about cricket since my childhood. I started playing the game from fifth standard and since then, there was no looking back. I have participated in various tournaments at the state and district levels,” says Onkar.
“When I was 16, I got an opportunity to travel to Bristol, England, and showcase my cricketing skills at an international platform.
I was the youngest captain to represent a cricket team with team mates older than me during the Jayashree Cricket T20 tournament.
“It was at this tournament that many saw my talent and potential. I was even offered a contract to play by the Bristol West-Indies Club but fate had something else in store for me,” he added.
Where age is just a number for many, for Onkar it became an obstacle in furthering his cricketing ambitions and realising his immense talent.
“The age limit to qualify for the club was 18 and I was under age. This shook me. Even after scoring two centuries and a half century and giving a tremendous performance, I came back with a broken heart. I had the skills but lost out thanks to my age.
“I took me months to overcome this pain. But since the show must go on, I was back on the ground. It was after a casual discussion with my friends Akshay Rajput and Mitali Pendse, I came up with the idea of turning our passion into an enterprise that we called Indian Saga.
“At the inception, we used to supply leather balls to cricketing clubs within the city..
It started with a box of cricket balls and now we at Indian Saga, supply around 15,000 balls to cricket clubs and for tournaments in the vicinity.
“It all started three years ago when I used to frequent Meerut to source the finest cricketing balls and merchandise. I also travelled to Delhi to bring in the AJ brand cricket ball and was the first supplier of these balls in the city,” he adds.
India Saga now has successfully organised and managed various cricket, football, tennis etc tournaments too.
“Under the banner of Indian Saga, we now not only provide sports equipment, but also organise various sports events and tournaments for corporate and clubs in Pune. We compete in this market without any store or advertising.
Unlike earlier, we are now approached by sponsors who see potential in our company.
“We were also approached by many recognised event management companies who wanted to collaborate with us. But since we want to build brand Indian Saga in the market, we turned down their requests.
I will work with dedication until my dream of organising and event like the Indian Premiere League is not fulfilled,” he adds.
With plans to open a sports merchandise store and make Indian Saga a brand for sports equipment, Onkar is now thinking of expanding his business and entering the e-commerce sector to compete with companies like White Copper.
Where people struggle to find opportunities beyond their cubicles, people like Onkar seem to prove that business success can indeed come your way, and all it takes is one great idea and the rest will follow..
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @KaurKaur18
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