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18 May 2021.8:31 PM

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Cricketer turned entrepreneur Arjun Gupta's tale of not giving up:The KragBuzz Story

There is an endearing charm about common men persevering and constantly aiming to break new grounds on the path to success. Former cricketer turned entrepreneur, Arjun Gupta’s story charters a similar path of an honest endeavour finding purpose in a reimagined childhood dream.
Today, Arjun’s maiden entrepreneurial venture Kragbuzz is one of only 30 jersey manufacturers recognized by cricket’s apex governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC). He is also the co-founder of a digital sports news channel, Sportz O’ Clock, that aims to shed light on talented people in the local space.
Arjun’s journey, however, has not been straightforward. While he remains associated with cricket, a game he loved growing up, this is not how he originally imagined his future to be. He, like millions of others wanted to represent the country in cricket, and he was pretty good at it too – constantly featuring in his state side’s age group teams as a wicket-keeper batsman, but that big breakthrough never really came along. He has no regrets though. He has always lived his motto of making the most of the little that he has been afforded. It is a common theme among successful entrepreneurs – they grab opportunities and turn them into projects.
That’s how the Kragbuzz journey started. The brand was conceptualised was over a phone call from a friend of his when Arjun was still pursuing cricket as an active player. A corporate cricket team needed jerseys and Arjun was only too happy to find time out from his day job to help. Somewhere between this phone call and sourcing the jerseys, he found his eureka moment.
It is important to contextualize Arjun’s transition from cricket to Kragbuzz. He grew up forming an intrinsic bond with the game of cricket. Right from the tender age of 5, he engaged passionately with the game so as to one day represent his nation. He would leave no stone unturned to this end and while his excellence took him to far and off places like South Africa, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates, fortune and circumstance did not favour him. Thus, the opportunity to help others wear the jersey of their dreams became Arjun’s dream. He convinced himself to reimagine his dream and work towards living it.
The first step towards realising his newfound passion to remain associated with cricket was to gain experience in the domain of apparel manufacturing. His father with his unrelenting support, proved to be the guiding force. In order for his son to learn the intricacies of each step in the manufacturing of a jersey, he got him to undertake a two-week training program at Shyam Tex Exports. The time he spent here was like going back to coaching academy for Arjun. He, once again, became the little kid who was keen on picking up every little detail. In the training period, he learnt in great detail about the requirements and functioning of every machine.
While learning about the nuances of manufacturing, Arjun juggled his time taking new orders for jerseys to better familiarize himself with the supply chain of his then to-be industry of operation. This experience, Arjun believes, helped him understand the product better. In serving clubs, schools and reputed institutions, Arjun internalized an irrevocable allegiance to quality.
This vision, along with time and hard work, allowed Arjun to formalize his brand Kragbuzz, which began taking flight in 2018. There are various aspects to acing this off-field game and being someone who has played the game on-field, Arjun realizes the importance of getting things right. It is perhaps this empathy for the customers along with the will to learn the craft of the creator that has helped position Kragbuzz with a competitive advantage in the market.
Arjun explains that every individual jersey has special customisations which Kragbuzz seeks to perfect. Each team has a different logo, name, style and fit for their jerseys. Within that, each player has a different name, size and number which need catering to.
Looking back, Arjun acknowledges everyone who has helped him and Kragbuzz reach the heights. Not every brand becomes recognized and recommended by the ICC in such a short time. Arjun believes that the growth of a brand is strongly related to its ideals.
Explaining the importance of the same, Arjun says that he picked up the word ‘Krag’ from his time playing cricket in South Africa. In the Afrikaans language, it means strength. That is what he has displayed through his brand – strength and vision to explore fresh creative avenues which has translated into Kragbuzz finding new avenues of success.
The 29 year old sees a bright future but recalls a time when his business would run on word of mouth and believes everyone had a role to play in Kragbuzz’s growth. Being rooted in reality is what helps Arjun tackle difficulties.
The Covid-19 pandemic, inevitably, has been the most potent challenges of all for Kragbuzz. As the world stopped functioning as we knew it to, Arjun decided to make good of his time indoors. During the lockdown of 2020, Arjun collaborated with a friend to start interviewing sports people. Once that got a good response, they established Sportz O’ Clock as a digital news channel. This platform, targeted towards the youth, talks about sports business. They are also planning on expanding digitally, perhaps launching an app and exploring more content in this space, which includes highlighting local talents.
Beyond Sportz O’ Clock too, he is actively chartering new paths to expand Kragbuzz and serve more customers in the coming time. Currently, Kragbuzz products are on Amazon, Flipkart and Meesho while they are looking to further their e-commerce portfolio to platforms including Myntra, Ajio and Tata Cliq. Arjun also plans on opening physical stores in certain locations so that they can serve their customers directly. Simultaneously, the Kragbuzz team is working on enhancing the user experience on their website and making exciting customisation features available on the platform.
With a glint in his eye, he describes how this is just the tip of the iceberg that we have gotten to know - he is actively pursuing other verticals like a fitness centre, a sports management institute, an event merchandising wing, merging his business with sports tourism and to run a full-fledged communications portal promoting young talents.
His journey exemplifies that hard work always pays off. He may not have always dreamt of being an entrepreneur but his honest efforts to become a professional cricketer is helping him live his reimagined dream. Every instance of Arjun having to think of new ways of countering opposition has normalized his mind to find new opportunities in difficult times. His experience of stepping onto the field as a team has enabled him to better lead and understand the people he is working with. He might not be donning the big gloves anymore but his ability to collect a ball down the leg side while standing up to a fast bowler is still there – literally and metaphorically!

#Cricket #Sports #Business #news
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