Did You Catch These MBA Lessons While Watching IPL?

The Indian Premier League (IPL), since its inception in 2008, has relentlessly kept fans on the edge of their seats with the world class performances of its players and the nail-biting matches it offers that often get decided by the very last ball. It wouldn’t be erroneous to say that if cricket is a religion in India, IPL is the temple. The event is unparalleled in terms of the mega-confluence of world’s best cricketers that it assembles, competing in razor-sharp T-20 games, resulting in an addictive package of entertainment and passion for its followers. 

In 2016, AB De Villiers, the South African cricketer and long-time Royal Challengers Bangalore player, famously wrote in a column that IPL was the University of World Cricket and playing the event was the equivalent of an MBA degree in cricket. It’s therefore not far-fetched to assert that there are quite a few valuable business management lessons that one can learn while watching their favourite teams playing their favourite and most-awaited event.

  • One plus one equals eleven 

This statement may not be mathematically accurate but holds 100% validity when it comes to sport, corporate management or anything that requires a team-led initiative. The overall performance of a team can only be remarkable if the players’ get the space to play onto their individual strengths and not be bogged down too much by their weaknesses. If the team members are chosen considering their particular domain expertise, then it’s more likely for them to feel committed to the collective project and perform as a team, and not as individuals covertly competing against other team members.

  • An uncompromising meritocracy

IPL gives great lessons in terms of how absolutely irrelevant superficial identity markers such as nationality, caste, religion, colour, etc. are, and that the only things that matter are the skill-set and commitment that one is bringing to the table.

  • Change is a necessity 

As cliché as it is to hear that change is the only constant, it is also something that must be embraced by business administrators to not be left behind by the changing times. Delhi Daredevils, which rebranded itself as Delhi Capitals last year, is the biggest example of how experimental and calculated risk-taking can transform circumstances for your business.

  • Ability to not break under pressure 

The IPL is popular, among other things, for the astoundingly exciting matches that keep up the thrill until the very last ball. Understandably, the pressure on the players and team administrators must be nerve-wracking, given the already limited format of a twenty overs innings. So the key to the game and by extension, any business undertaking is to keep going, no matter the pressures, vagaries, fluctuations and unpredictability of the corporate world.

  • Branding and memorability 

One only needs to think of the term IPL and the catch-tune will start playing in their head. Not just the whole tournament, the individual teams have all constructed and sometimes reconstructed their own peculiar images, partly deriving from the state/city, partly from the players or sometimes even the owners. The catchy songs and taglines play a huge role in rallying followers around a team and consequentially the event, and increases the memorability factor manifolds. This has crucially contributed to the continued mad fervour with which the 13 year old tournament is received.

  • Recognition and Rewards 

The whole atmosphere of IPL is one where performers are instantly rewarded in various forms, like the recognition of several records, the orange and purple caps that are given for most runs and most wickets, ‘Man of the Match’ after every game, and sometimes even the cheers of the cheerleaders at the fours, sixes and wickets. The business management takeaway from this is to ensure that team members are duly recognised and rewarded for their efforts, so they feel fulfilled and motivated to contribute and excel more and more.

These were a few business management lessons that one can acquire from the biggest cricketing extravaganza. IPL, after all, is not just a sporting tournament, but involves loads of business administration behind the curtains, which includes intensive strategizing, risk-taking, brainstorming and execution.

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