Wed May 04 2022
5 min read
It feels like yesterday that Dhoni had made his retirement announcement on Instagram in 2020 from international cricket and Virat took over as Captain. Then again, a blink ago, Kohli stepped down as well. It seems to be happening too fast, doesn’t it? Do our beloved sportspeople really grow old so quickly?
Okay. Fine. We’ve finally snapped out of our denial - we KNOW and we fully acknowledge that Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli are no longer captains - not of the Indian cricket team, nor of their IPL teams.
💡 The point is - Mahi and Chiku (as fans would oh-so-fondly call them) may no longer be Indian cricket team captains but they’re still captains for India itself.
In this blog, we’ll tell you what’s common between these two legends.
Our hypothesis is that when people become wealthy, it’s common for them to build businesses in their areas of expertise. MS Dhoni does have a chain of sports fitness centres SportsFit and Virat Kohli is Puma’s ambassador beyond his brand One8. But their era of captaincy doesn’t just stop there.
💡 The impact MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have had on India as a whole and not just cricket in recent years is colossal as compared to Sachin Tendulkar saying, "Boost is the secret of my energy". They invest in businesses & off-beat brands. They're startup focused and not limited to FMCG or automobiles. If this is not real value creation with the influence and following they have, what is? 🤷🏻♀️
Captain Cool is the only Indian skipper to have won three major trophies for us - the Inaugural World T20 WC, the Champions Trophy, and the prestigious ODI World Cup. He has a batting average of 102.71 in a successful chase, which remains to be the highest for any player in ODIs, with a minimum of 1000 runs being scored. And as for IPL, who can forget the 2010 match where CSK went up against PBKS where Dhoni scored 30 runs in the last two overs, or better yet, the 11 sixes he smashed in the 20th over of another match? Inspirational to say the least.
Under Kohli's captaincy, India won its maiden Test series in Australia in 2018/19 after 71 years. India was crowned as the No.1 Test Team in the ICC Rankings for 42 months at a stretch. At the age of 22 years, Kohli became the youngest player to captain an IPL team. Kohli led RCB in 140 IPL matches, which is the second-highest for any captain in the IPL.
💡Virat Kohli is only behind MS Dhoni in terms of matches played as a captain in the IPL.
The chassis of a great Indian cricketer has been standard and predictable for years - score runs, have a temperament that’s talked of, become the captain, get your brand endorsements in place, retire when appropriate.
Well, that’s not the case with Dhoni and Kohli. What makes these two gems the captains of India, the nation, and not just their cricket teams is their audacious efforts in lifting up the Indian economy itself. It does need a certain level of patriotism to serve the territorial army as Lt. Col. Dhoni is doing but he’s doing so much more. Let’s look at a few interesting investments that both these Indian Captains have made that will forever cement their legacy on this nation that makes them the extraordinaires that they are:
It’s said that 6grams of gold lifts the worth of a nation by a lot, like in the Olympics. Unsurprisingly, both our captains continue to do their bit by investing in the future of sports in the country.
Mahi owns a chain of gyms, called SportsFit that trains cricketers and he is also the co-owner of Chennai-based football club Chennaiyin FC, Ranchi-based hockey club Ranchi Rays, as well as a Motorcycle sports team, Mahi Racing Team India.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli Foundation was born out of Virat’s dream of making India a sporting superpower and is enabling athletes proactively to realize their true potential. Not only this, Virat has invested in many sports tech startups and is co-owner of many sports clubs like FC Goa and UAE Royals. No wonder he’s on the Forbes’ Global List of Highest-Paid Athletes!
🚀 Indian startups
Virat and Dhoni are not only representing the most popular gaming platforms in the country, like Dream11 and Mobile Premier League, they are doing much more.
Despite the pandemic in 2020-22, the Indian startup ecosystem closed FY22 with funding of $38.3B across 1,633 deals. And of course, our captains have been a party in making this magic happen. Since we have our teeth sunk deep into growth-stage startups, we understand deeply the impact these two real-life heroes are creating in the ecosystem. Now the dream is just to help 100+ startups in their 1-100 journey this year!
Most notably, MS Dhoni has invested in Khatabook, a platform that enables operational book-keeping for MSMEs. It’s needless to say that MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy and contribute enormously to the GDP (about 29%). Nearly 65 million MSMEs in the country employ millions of people. The support doesn’t only stop at investments. Khatabook acquired the Tally-on-mobile platform BizAnalyst, which is endorsed by Dhoni as “Dhande ka Doctor”. Some other startups that Dhoni has invested in are Cars24, 7InkBrews and HomeLane.
Virat Kohli launched his investment journey at 25 by buying a stake in a London-based social media startup called Sports Convo. Since then, he’s gone on to invest in many Indian startups like Digit Insurance, Rage Coffee and even a gym and fitness startup, Chisel.
Tourism and hospitality go hand-in-hand and India’s tourism industry is critical for the livelihoods of millions. In 2019, the tourism industry of India alone contributed to nearly 13% of the total employment in India.
Dhoni’s stand-alone hotel, Hotel Mahi Residency, in Jharkhand is his least known venture. The hotel industry in India is decimated post-pandemic with more than 40% of small hotels shutting their doors. But it takes one Dhoni to keep their hopes alive as inbound tourism opens up again.
Inaugurated in 2017, one of Virat Kohli’s renowned hospitality ventures is One8 Commune, which is now a restaurant chain across Delhi, Pune and Kolkata.
As you may already know, since the pandemic, the entertainment industry has seen a big boom on online streaming platforms as well and for many of us, it was the go-to place to deal with our anxiety at the time. It is an industry worth $12billion after all and it’s the one industry that touches mindsets of all ages across the country.
After Dhoni’s biopic got released, he became interested in the entertainment industry and its power. As a result, Dhoni Entertainment debuted with Roar of the Lion, a documentary that aired on Hotstar in 2019.
When it comes to Virat and the entertainment industry, we already know the relationship. Although he’s not producing films by himself, he’s one athlete who knows how to turn their online following into a well-oiled wealth creation machine. He charges $5cr for one Instagram post from a brand and he has over 30 brand endorsements, which also makes him the “most valuable celebrity” in the country. Brands bet on him big and he won’t have it any other way!
So if you are missing Dhoni and Virat a little extra this IPL season, it’s because their captaincy is felt in our everyday lives for very good reason. Both our ex captains are setting goals for how an influencer must use their wealth and following for the betterment of the economy. If this is not legendary captaincy, I don’t know what it is. We are just walking in their footsteps by backing Indian founders, one digital business at a time. If you are seeking a growth partner who's also an MSD/Virat fan, join the Klub here 🚀