Emerging Entrepreneurs

Game on: Digital play to organise sports

Meera Siva | Updated on January 11, 2018

Aditya Elango, CEO, Adya Sports Tech Pvt Ltd   -  Bijoy Ghosh

Adya Sports Tech helps in simplifying the process of conducting tournaments

Organising and conducing a sports tournament is no child’s play. From getting the word out, signing up players, handling their registrations, scheduling the matches, keeping track of results and scores is a lot of work. The experience tends to be chaotic – for players, coaches and organisers — as it is all manual. And this wide-open field is what Aditya Elango, a former international badminton player and CEO of Adya Sports Tech Pvt Ltd, wants to digitise.

Wrong serves

“I started playing professional badminton at the age of 10 and was active in the player circuits over five years ago. It was not easy to register for tournaments and there was a lot of chaos and confusion to make payments. On the day of the game, you will not know what time your match is and you end up wasting a lot of time waiting,” he says.

The process of scheduling matches – called fixtures or draws — was quite complicated as it was manual. “There were complaints of favouritism as there were no processes to selecting who plays against who,” he notes. After each match, players had to keep their own scores as there was no official record provided. “I used to build my profile by gathering data painstakingly. This was needed to get sponsors for participating in international matches,” he explains.

Double fault

In 2011, he was ranked 80 in world in men singles, but due to frequent ankle injuries and lack of a good mentor, he had to give up the game. He started organising tournaments. India’s first international badminton league — Tamil Nadu Badminton League — was started and run by him between 2012 and 2015. He did many firsts, including conducting a badminton match in a shopping mall in India in 2012. In this process, learning what organisers went through. He wanted to create tools to conduct tournaments that were world class.

“When you try to look for data on how many tournaments are organised or the potential for a software for racquet sports, there is really no information,” says Aditya. The statistics, if at all, are old – again pointing to lack of simple process to gather sports-related information.

Aditya was convinced of the need and had a reasonable idea of the solution. “I had dropped out of college before completing my engineering degree. So I was not confident of having the software skills to do the product myself,” he says. In 2016, he teamed up with his classmate’s friend and serial entrepreneur D Nandan to chalk out the product. Tournament OS was launched in 2016 and the development was outsourced; a base product was ready in September. The initial response – from players, organisers and referees — was positive. “We had referees who have been our ambassadors with organisers. For example, a former national umpire, Satyanarayanan, started insisting to organisers who approach him to use TournamentOS,” says Aditya.

Advantage, digital

The enthusiastic response is understandable, as having a digital system creates a lot of efficiencies. Instead of getting down in routine work, organisers can focus on reaching out to players and sponsors. The data collected – match results and scores – can help in ranking players. It also enables to build an online profile. Coaches can analyse the performance of players and improve their skills and techniques. Matches can be recorded and played back, facilitating enabling analysis of mistakes or strengths.

“There is a lot of interest among children and parents to learn sports and participate in competitions. Having digital tools will help simplify the process of running a tournament and providing the best value to players and coaches,” says Aditya, who coaches and mentors over 100 players currently as the Coaching Programme Director at Tejesh Sports Academy.

Drop shot

TournamentOS is offered to organisers for free. Revenue generation is from players for services such as payments. There are also plans to charge for access to recorded games, players’ scores and analytics such as rankings. The start-up was inducted intoNASSCOM 10K Startup Warehouse, Chennai, in February. So far, 25 tournaments have been conducted by organisations. The platform has enabled 5,000 matches involving 6,000 players in the last nine months. The eight-member start-up team is focussed on extending the product beyond racquet sports to other games such as basketball and football.

“We are raising funds from angel investors. Our goal is to reach 150 tournaments across eight sports by December,” says Aditya.

Published on July 10, 2017

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor