19 April 2017 13:15:56 IST

It’s a long road ahead!

India needs to keep its expectation grounded in reality and work towards improving its strengths

The case explains the primary reasons for India’s poor performance in the Olympics so far. There have been a lot of challenges faced by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Some can be overcome in the upcoming years, but others may take longer to be implemented.



~ Spending : How did India fare in the 2016 Olympics, compared with its fellow top-ranked nations in GDP? Very poorly, indeed. While India won a measly two medals, other countries went home with at least 20. The main reason for this debacle was the total spending on Olympics. The graphs show that India spent astonishingly little, when compared with other countries. Less than $18 million, to be precise. Other countries invested over a $100 million. Other areas of improvement include infrastructure, brand associations, talent scouting and training.



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So what can be done to get more medals at 2024 Olympics? Here are a few points.

Create a healthy sports environment

~ Work with the Confederation of Indian Industry — Sports Committee, and identify areas where private players can invest.

~ India has a strong youth population — 53 per cent of the population is between the age group of 5 and 29 — that can be tapped for the 2024 dream.

~ Large-scale sports goods manufacturing factories should be opened up throughout the country.

~ There can be more franchises in domestic leagues for sports such as cricket, badminton and hockey, which are a popular destination for private investment, especially the successful teams, which make big profits.

~ Have a clear taxing structure for global advertisers and investors of sporting events (including the prize money sponsors).

~ FDI in sports would certainly give a boost to this sector.

For Olympics:

~ Instead of targeting 50 medals in the 2024 Olympics, aim for 30, a much more realistic number.

~ Private-public partnership model is essential. Build stadiums like SE TransStadia in Ahmedabad, throughout the country.

~ Use the ‘build-operate-transfer’ model for sporting and fitness centres.

~ Encourage other States to follow Andhra Pradesh’s model of involving more women in sports and unleashing their potential.

~ Form a special team, which will travel throughout India on a schedule and scout for talents in the interior regions.

~ Talented foreign coaches are necessary but, to nurture local talent, bringing in the best coaches from India, paying them well and putting them in rural areas where talent is scouted, will be more beneficial.

~ Promulgate brand sponsoring of individuals whose talent is spotted at an early stage (particularly in individual sports, where this needs a great push).

~ Have special funding for Paralympics, special training centres and coaches for the events.

Based on the analysis below, it is can be seen that India’s two strong points are wrestling and shooting.

Totally, there are 33 events in wrestling and shooting combined, where India can target 60 per cent conversion — 20 medals at least. Invest especially in these sports so that the medal goal is achieved without obstructions.




~ Start training from an early age — six years (like the Russians ). Help these discovered sportspersons financially, as most come from economically weaker sections.

~ Another main point that could improve the medal tally prospects would be appointing player-specific trainers, instead of common ones, especially for those players who perform exceptionally well.

~ Increase the number of academies dedicated to wrestling (both in Haryana and other surrounding places).


~ Better equipped fitness and training centres — like Abhinav Bindra’s high-performance training centre in Chandigarh — must come up.

~ Use trained foreign coaches if necessary (funded by sports authority).

~ India has better infrastructure for shooting compared to other sports, but to provide the cutting edge, it is advisable to hire sports psychologists and give targeted training to specific athletes. Make sophisticated training techniques like neurofeedback available to all shooters sponsored by the government. ( Refer: neurofeedback )

~ Methods like ‘mood profiling’ can also be used for analysing shooters’ psychology, to bring out the best from them.


India needs to increase its Olympic expenditure to 15 per cent from 4 per cent as part of the total budget. This would enable the implementation of the above mentioned improvements and the dream of India winning 30 medals in the 2024 Olympics will be closer to reality.

(The second runners-up are first year PGDM students at Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai)