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FIFA-CIES & Pillai Group launch FIFA/CIES Executive Program in Sports Management

March 5, 2019

On March 1, Mahatma Education Society’s Pillai Group of Institutions, a Mumbai based not for profit trust that manages over 48 educational institutions in Maharashtra, hosted FIFA/CIES/PILLAI Sports Summit on the theme “Sport and the Development of a Nation” to launch the prestigious FIFA/CIES Executive Program in Sports Management in New Delhi in partnership with CIES (The International Centre for Sports Studies, Switzerland), one of the world’s leading institutions in Sports Management Education.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) towards this direction was signed by Pierre Cornu, president-CIES and Dr. K.M.Vasudevan Pillai, chairman-Pillai Group in the presence of Vinod Tawde, minister for education and sports – Government of Maharashtra and several other stalwarts of India’s sports industry on December 3, 2018 in Mumbai.

FIFA (World’s Governing body of Football) along with CIES established the FIFA/CIES University Network in the year 2004 ‘to give students the broadest possible vision of management in modern sports’. Today, FIFA/CIES has an established network for conducting their executive sports management programme in 15 different countries in Asia, Africa, South America and Central America, as well as in the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe. India is the 16th country in the global map to have such a programme and the first in South Asia to get an authorisation for running such an initiative. The programme allows managers from various sports organisations to gain knowledge of management principles in fields such as marketing, sponsorship, finance and accounting, communication, management, law and event management.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Vasudevan said, “Our partnership with FIFA/CIES has come at a crucial time where our country is all set to take its sports ecosystem towards a new direction. The Pillai group has focused on excellence in education for five decades now and is also known for encouraging its students to pursue a career in sport. We are proud that our alumni include nationally and internationally known athletes who have participated at the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, Indian Premier League (IPL) and Indian Super League (ISL). We are, therefore, convinced that being part of the FIFA/CIES University Network will allow us to become a leader in the field of sport management in South Asia.”

He further added, “With the rise of world class leagues and clubs in the Indian sports, formal education in sports management has become the need of the hour. This programme will enable the Pillai Group to nurture and develop skilled sport managers at the level of federations, clubs, small sports associations, government, corporates and local sports entities.”

The summit was inaugurated by chief guest Shiny Wilson, four time Olympian and Asian Games gold medalist. The guest of honour was Kuldeep Vats, vice president, Indian Olympics Association & President Delhi Olympics Association. The inaugural session was followed by two panel discussions on “Khelo India and its impact on Sports development in India” and “Beyond Playing Careers in Sports”. The panelists were prominent names in the realm of sports who deliberated on the various aspects of sports management and development in India. The discussions veered around the huge untapped potential in the business of sports in India as they felt that India was still a relatively small player in the multi-billion-dollar industry. They however alluded to the fact that things have changed since the formation and success of various leagues such as the IPL, ISL and PKL. They felt that the heightened level of interest in different sports in India and the increase in media viewership fueled by enormous consumer demand points to a very bright future for the sports industry in India.

At the inaugural session, Prof. Pierre Lanfranchi, scientific coordinator of the CIES University emphasised on the need for such training in sports organisations in the Indian subcontinent. “The Indian sub-continent is witnessing an increasing demand for sports management professionals in recent times. At CIES, we developed the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Sports Management with the objective of equipping such professionals involved in the various sporting federations, associations and clubs with the necessary management tools while taking into account the specificities and realities of the local environment. It is a pleasure to associate with the Pillai Group of Institutions in launching this Programme in the Indian sub-continent. We will be able to leverage their expertise in management education as well as their contribution to sports in our endeavour to develop sports management professionals primarily for this geographic area”.

The first batch of the Pillai/FIFA/CIES Executive Program in Sports Management will start in September 2019.

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