As a national interest, badminton is on its way up and as a sport, it is on its way to becoming a commercial success in 2013. According to Mahesh Bhupathi, Indian badminton has a great combination of things going in its favour. The tennis star follows badminton closely both as an athlete and as owner and MD of Globosport, the sports and entertainment media consultancy.
“First, for any sport to be successful in India, you need to have role models,” he says. He points out that a sport needs to have successful players, who occupy top international rankings, and India certainly has such names both at the senior and junior levels. “Not only does India have senior Olympians like Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap, but plenty of prodigious young talent is coming up the ranks too.”
Seventeen-year-olds C Rohit Yadav and Pusarla Venkata Sindhu are ranked ninth and seventh on the junior world men’s and women’s lists, respectively. Successful youngsters are marketable role models for kids to take up the sport.