BASKETBALL Vivek Ranadive, an NRI who purchased an NBA team wants to use scientific techniques for success

S oftware Technology and basketball do not share much in common, but a US-based Indian software entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive has become the first NRI to buy an NBA team — Golden State Warriors, recently. He is now a major stake-holder in the team. Ranadive is the CEO and founder of Tibco Software and his record $450-million deal for the Warriors was first unveiled a few months ago.

Ranadivé founded Tibco, a provider of infrastructure software for companies to use on-premise or as part of cloud computing environments in 1997. This 53-year-old sports fan believes that he could employ out-of-the-box thinking with the Warriors and help them win the World Championship title that has eluded them since 1975.

“Many people have asked me the reasons I wanted to invest in basketball. I feel that it is the most popular game in the US and is gaining popularity across the world,” says Ranadive. His interest in the game developed after he watched his children take up the sport in high school.

Golden State Warriors might not be top dog on the NBA league, but Ranadive plans to bring about some quality change in the set-up. “The only way for the team to go, is up. I am keen on using my technology skills to enhance the team's standings in the NBA league with better analytical and strategic input.”

Raising profits in sports is difficult initially and Ranadive would like to watch and guide the team with the best possible support. “The guys are young, talented and hard working. We hope to do well in the coming season.”

The software pro also has high hopes of the game's prospects in India. “The recent initiative of NBA with Mahindra in India has yielded positive results. A lot needs to be done at the grassroots level for the game, though it does enjoy high popularity in metros like Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi. A good dose of corporate investment should help the game. I don't mind doing my own bit for the game in India,” says Ranadive.

Ultimately, he reasons, the game's growth depends on the quality. He points out that Indian basketball needs not just the numbers and corporate support alone, but also scientific inputs and international coaching facilities.

“Sport now seems to figure in the National agenda. The recent Indian performance in meets like Commonwealth Games and Asian Games has made the world to take notice. Every game needs a world beater, as it has happened in badminton with Saina Nehwal.

“Similarly, one might find an Indian player good enough to figure in the NBA.”

KALYAN ASHOK

The recent initiative of NBA with Mahindra in India has yielded positive results. A lot needs to be done at the grassroot level for the game Vivek Ranadive

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