Sports in various forms are often used to draw a parallel to the business or corporate world and there is more than one lesson to be learned from the game of Cricket. In fact, some of life’s best metaphors such as batting on a sticky wicket or going on the back foot are from the game of cricket. I have often been struck by how closely the game on the green and the game of greenbacks mirror each other.
Sachin: A Billion Dreams, a real-life portrayal of what life has been like on and off the pitch for one of the greatest cricketers of all times, shows us how a passion for the game and dedication for the smallest of details go into crafting a story of success, which is also true of any business scenario. Today, technology has made it very easy for businesses to keep track of these details. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, Virtual Reality, and others have not just allowed businesses to analyse the data available in minutest of details, but also deliberately seek data and experiences that would enable them to predict market and demand trends to make sound business decisions.
This is actually a good parallel to the technologies such as the Hawk-eye, Snick-o-Meter, Ball Spin RPM, Hot Spot, etc., that have made their place in the game of cricket. The thwack of the ball hitting the willow has always been enough to send fans into a frenzy world-wide. Nowadays, BatSense ensures that a coin-size gadget fitted atop the bat sends wireless signals that decipher how the ball was played. Thus allowing for in depth analysis of the batsman’s style as well as strengths and weaknesses – an invaluable tool for making sound cricketing decisions.
These technologies also help the viewers get a 360° perspective of the game itself, bringing them that much closer to the game. Just as Social media and interactive marketing techniques are removing the layers from between the brands and their audience.
It is interesting to map the different cricketing formats – the traditional five-day test matches, the well-established one-day matches and the current flavour, T20 – against the players in the business arena. There is no denying that the test match is the one that truly showcases the game in all its glory while at the same time depicting qualities of patience, persistence, and the ability to hold steady in the face of opposition. The Tatas and Birlas have long established their supremacy and proven their staying power in the corporate world.
Though the current flavour may be the startups, that are catching all the eyeballs and media space; it is the small and medium businesses that are expected to drive the country’s economy into the future. Just as the T20 format has been designed to target the student or professional with extreme paucity of time, but it is the one-day cricket that is all about pitting one’s skills against the opposition and meeting deadlines in face of odds.
No matter what the format, at the end of the day, it is all about putting the right man in the right place at the right time to play the right shots at the right pace, be they on the field or in the boardroom.