In India, no sport enjoys a fan base as huge as cricket and is more of a religion than just a sport. But here's a man who opted for golf, which is assumed to be a rich man's game, and turned it into gold. International Business Times spoke to Dhruv Verma, CEO of GolfLan on #BizTalk (a talk show which hosts business leaders) in conversation with Executive Editor, Danish Manzoor.
Before starting GolfLan, Dhruv was a banker and it was a tough call for him to quit a stable career. "Every month my bank account would get credited with a good amount of salary and it was really tough for me to leave that comfort zone and start doing something like this," he said. However, a game of golf with his investors in the UK intrigued him. Dhruv recalls, "I was working in the UK with a bank and there we used to get a golfing allowance so that we can spend some quality time with our clients while playing golf. That is how I got stuck with golf."
After some time, he returned to India. One day, he planned to go for a movie. As there was still a lot of time for the movie, he thought to himself, "let's play a game of golf". He tried searching for it online but to his utter surprise, he was unable to find & book one. "I called up a few golf courses in Delhi and asked them to book a session for me, to my surprise they did not have anything online and said that they have written my name on a register and will get back to me," Dhruv said.
Intrigued by this, he called up few golf courses in the UK where he used to play and it was the same case even there. From there on, he got a clue on how to turn this problem into a business. He said, "For me, it was really surprising to see that a country such as India which is booming in the technology sector, does not have anything online related to golf. I researched over 80 golf courses in India alone and there was nothing online. The idea of bringing golf to an online platform was really exciting and hence I started working on it."
But as they say, building a business from scratch is not easy at all. The same happened with Dhruv. He had to suffer a lot in the initial stages. He recalls, "Trust me, leaving a permanent job and going on with a start-up is never easy. After like four months my savings were finished, I had to sell my wife's jewellery while credit card bills and EMIs started building up. But, I had a strong will to go ahead with it and that is what finally paid off."
His company is headquartered in New Delhi and has branches in Dubai, Singapore and South Africa and this March (2018), he is going to open a branch in the United States of America as well.
Dhruv said that the study which he has conducted suggests that this a $60 billion market and if he can capitalise on the new technology, he can really turn it around.