The Power of Crowd Sourcing – India’s unwanted Ice Hockey Team gets funded to participate in Kuwait

11 Apr 2015

Cheer for IndiaThe sport is not popular in India and certainly does not answer to the name “Cricket”, so why even bother about the Indian Ice Hockey Team. The players are neither celebrities, nor do they endorse cola’s or cars, do not throw tantrums and possibly never been part of a PIL or IPL. (Pun intended). So who cares about them! Given the current ecosystem, it is not surprising that the Ice Hockey players had to run from pillar to post for funds to represent their country.

This is absolutely shocking and an outrage to say the least. Sporting champions being asked to source funds in order represent their country.

But let us give this article a positive spin and learn from this disgrace.

Arguably, there are two important lessons that can be learnt, one from a business perspective and the other slightly more patriotic in nature.

Business Lesson

Let us start with the business lesson. Using the hashtag #SupportIceHockey across Twitter, the Ice Hockey Association of India requested sports loving people to contribute towards meeting a Rs 3.50 lakh (around $6,000) corpus by using the online platform BitGiving.

The response was dynamic and unprecedented. Individuals and simple ordinary citizens contributed financially, in addition to pouring in their support and encouragement. Even Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, pledged his support. Within a matter of days, the Indian Ice Hockey Team had surpassed their financial requirement.

The power of crowd sourcing can be remarkable, we have seen films and now sporting engagements being funded through this mechanism. While several start up businesses have leveraged the power of crowd sourcing, this funding mechanism can be replicated at a larger and more socially connected scale. A good business idea, well defined with the ability to generate true tangible value, is a classic case for crowd sourcing. Take the example of the Ice Hockey Team, it hit the socially relevant mark and people felt connected in being part of a new revolution. VC or debt funding while extremely important are not “the be all and end all” of the funding world. It is about time entrepreneurs and businesses start to think differently. Times are changing.

Patriotic Lesson

Irrespective of popularity or preferences, national athletes deserve to be respected and admired. Let us usher in a breadth of fresh air and support athletes who play sport because they truly respect the game, are willing to fight it out for the nation and do not behave like cry babies when blamed for losing games.

If you support the Indian Ice Hockey team, or believe that every athlete deserves to be respected as we do, raise a toast to or use hashtag #CheerIceHockey on Twitter.

Last modified on Saturday, 11 April 2015 16:12
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