Saturday, Jun 25, 2022 | Last Update : 06:49 AM IST

  Life   More Features  05 Jan 2017  Smashing aces in business!

Smashing aces in business!

THE ASIAN AGE. | MERIN JAMES
Published : Jan 5, 2017, 12:23 am IST
Updated : Jan 5, 2017, 6:24 am IST

Being a professional athlete you have to be a bit of an entrepreneur, especially, if it is an individual sport.

Shikha and her team with Anil Kapoor
 Shikha and her team with Anil Kapoor

She was the first Indian woman to qualify and reach the second round of the US Open in 2004, was the top 10 fastest server in the world and is one of India’s top 10 most glamorous athletes. But her calling was something totally different. After retiring from tennis in 2010, she decided to venture out on her own and thus, launched her media and lifestyle company, in 2013. Meet Shikha Uberoi.

“Being an entrepreneur came easy to me. I didn’t go after it. It became a natural progression after tennis. I think when you want do something and achieve a project on your own, it imbibes the lifestyle of entrepreneurship. Being a professional athlete you have to be a bit of an entrepreneur, especially, if it is an individual sport.  If you consider tennis, we go to our matches, pitch for our funding — we are the product there. We have our board of advisors — coach, nutritionist and physical trainer. It is a fabulous metaphor. Actually, there are a lot of synergies and similarities in that whole world. It was a natural step. So, when I decided to become an entrepreneur, things haven’t changed much.”

 

She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, US, majoring in Anthropology and minoring in South Asian Studies. “I had a fabulous education system. I did my freshmen in Princeton University in 2000-2001. But I wanted to play professional tennis and checked with my University and asked them to hold my spot. Much to my surprise, they allowed me to go and play. After 10 years, I went back as a 27-year-old and finished my undergraduate degree. When my classmates were graduating at the age of 21, I was finishing my graduation at the age of 30! It was fabulous,” chuckles the young entrepreneur.

After her studies, Shikha returned to her Juhu home and launched her television shows. “Later, I got the opportunity to be a part of Indi.com, a social video platform. It is a fabulous company — a very convention defying, like me. The only reason I started working on this initiative is that I love challenges and want to empower individuals,” says the social entrepreneur, who loves the exhaustion that comes with doing something productive.

 

About her family, who is her support system, she says, “My father, who is also an entrepreneur, is my biggest support system. Though he gives me tips on how to shine in my business, he doesn’t interfere in my company. Another great support is my husband, Divyansh Bajpai, who is also part of the company. If you don’t have a support system and if you are running only on passion, you will get tired soon. You have got to have a support system, passion and expertise,”

Lastly, how does she de-stress? “I love hitting the gym and take short breaks with my family. I love to gorge on various cuisines — chicken makhani and dumplings are my favourites. I enjoy watching TV shows with my husband and listen to music,” sums up the former tennis player.

 

Tags: athletes, entrepreneur, us open