Nita Ambani: The first lady of Indian Sports

Mrs. Nita Ambani (Image Credit:

We have been witnessing an ever going debate on whether athletes make a good sports administrator or not. And the popular opinion is that sports administrator should be ex-athletes.

I have worked in multi-organizing games, International Federations and UEFA which are considered as the peak of the sporting world, and I am not an athlete. I have worked with best sports managers across spectrum non-athletes and athletes alike.

Management of sport or governing body requires skills, which are different than that of being a sportsperson. (One can always questions Sachin’s record as a captain, which doesn’t make him less than a God).

“A sportsperson with management skills would be ideal”

Let’s come back to the most talked about topic of this month, IOC membership of Mrs. Nita Ambani. She is one of the most known personality in the world of Indian sports, has been called first lady of Indian Business world. She has been involved in school sports / grassroots sports with reliance sports ventures with incredible private spending power added onto her political influence.

Let’s talk about IOC membership now:

“The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organization made up of volunteers, committed to building a better world through sport.”

IT is simple, to run an organization like IOC, they need influential people with cross-section of expertise in all aspects of sport, culture, medicine, sociology, business, law and management while keeping intact the gender equality.”

Let’s take the case of Olympics. Organizing Olympic Games is a costly affair, it requires government guarantee which runs in 100s of millions, any decision related to games requires high political influence which eases down the administrative processes.

Now my question, which of the “Indian athletes” would guarantee the above two criteria (there are several more), none comes to my mind.

The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, PT Usha or any other Indian athlete in my current memory would not be able to influence political decisions which require huge financial guarantees.

In the present scenario, I think it is best for Indian sports to grow with backing from Mrs. Ambani.



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