As we grow old, our craze about sports starts waning until sporting activities completely vanish from our lives. Partly, it is because of the increasing responsibilities; partly, because of the lack of company & not knowing the locations where one can play.
For Dishant Sanghvi, Jimit Shah, and Jinay Shah, this phase of life was unacceptable, which seems inevitable to most. The trio decided to do something about it, and came up with a mobile social network called PlayOSport that helps sports enthusiasts in connecting with each other, finding locations, and in fulfilling their craving for sporting activities.
The PlayOSport team is determined to bring change in people’s life by sparking their forgotten urge to get involved in sporting activities, and has been making continuous progress in their mission.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
PlayOSport™ is a mobile application based service which aims at giving every user a chance to don that old sports jersey and meet people with similar sporting interests in and around their area of choice. Its Goal is to eventually become a one stop sporting solution for all your sporting needs. We want to make sure nobody has a reason to say they cannot play a particular sport due to lack of players or locations. The App aids you in not only meeting new sports enthusiasts but also gives you access to locations you did not even know existed.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Countless years have gone by and so have the numerous Olympics. Every year we have a dismal performance. Everybody talks about it for a while and then it is forgotten. Even in school we were assigned only that one hour a week which usually was taken by other teachers to complete their syllabus. Sports, as a culture has to be promoted in our country. According to our survey 75% of the people stop playing a sport once they pass out of college due to lack of company or places. I used to be a football addict, would play for 5 hours a day straight from there I directly went to not playing even for 5 hours in a week. There had to be a solution. It was not like the grounds were empty, people were playing but the problem was I did not know them and was maybe a tad bit shy to go approach them directly. Thus, our social platform for sports enthusiasts to find other like-minded people was born.
What is your life mantra?
I would like to quote Hellen Keller on this. “Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere: and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles.”
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The hardest part of building our startup was and remains is the customer acquisition. It is a completely new concept, so educating people about the whole process and how it works is a little tough even though we have an extremely user-friendly application. Secondly the funds required to build something like this ground up have been difficult to gather. The amounts required are just astronomical.
Nevertheless we are trying our very best to make everybody play!
How did you overcome those challenges?
We are educating consumers and spreading the concept in every way we can. From Social media promotions, going Turf-turf, lane to lane and speaking to the young people playing, putting up standees, distributing fliers, creating videos, you name it and we are doing it. The concept is being spread via every channel we can think of. As for the funds, we are saving and arranging from every source we can.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are, as of now, self-funded. Everything up to this moment has been made with our savings. We wanted to set a proof of concept and a successful working platform before approaching investors.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We as co-founders of a startup keep a favorable environment for the whole team. We create a culture which supports knowledge transfer. We give the team freedom to shoot ideas and give suggestions so that the organization grows as a whole. We do not really have a hierarchy system unless absolutely necessary. Also as the app suggests a couple of games in between work is probably the most refreshing thing one can ask for.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Dedication: Having a high work ethic goes hand in hand with having an extra ordinary amount of dedication
- Adaptability: Adapting oneself in different situations is essential
- Communication skills: Both written and oral communication skills
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We love technology and the broadness of it. We often use Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Uber, Photoshop, inshorts, LinkedIn and of course PlayOSport!
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Taking action on ideas. For every idea we get to develop our business we take action right away and start strategizing. It’s pretty simple. You have something in your head, you say it out loud. 5 people will hear you, they will add their opinions to it and the idea will either become bigger or be rejected and the work goes on.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Being over enthusiastic. Researching in depth about any plan is necessary before taking any further step. Instinctive approach does not work all the time and I have definitely learnt about that the hard way.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Make the journey fun! The minute you make it serious, there’s a big chance it will start carrying a heavy emotional weight, you will feel a burden, lose perspective and forget why you started the whole thing anyway.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
One should never miss out on any kind of a fruitful opportunity due to procrastination. Start taking action immediately.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Working smart will get you more applause but that will more or less last momentarily. Working hard will get more done in the long run.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We plan to revolutionize the sporting industry just using the technology. Our priority is to encourage the youth of this nation to be involved more in sports. We plan to lean into organizing sporting events for corporates, schools and for the general public. In the bigger scheme of things, we want to ensure that if anybody thinks about anything regarding playing a sport, their answer should be PlayOSport!
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
At this moment, I am pretty happy at the position I am in. What I have got to reality from just an idea makes me feel content. But if there was one thing that I had to change, I would change the time of my start. A couple of years earlier, when I was whiling my time away, would have been wonderful.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Goa – According to me, it is the perfect destination in India for a nice getaway. There is no hassle in the city, there is no dress code, no moral policing. Everybody is always happy in Goa. It just has a good vibe.
UK – The people over here are extremely friendly and make you feel at home instantly. Top it up with watching EPL games, can a getaway get any better?
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford