Dubai: Globosport, the business venture of Mahesh Bhupathi, has turned out to be a major player among India's celebrity management and entertainment software production companies.
From a soft launch eight years back as a sports management firm, it now has the main corporate office in Mumbai and Big Daddy Productions — their new initiative — is exploring avenues in feature films, production of television software etc.
"Under Big Daddy, we are now conceptualising, producing and monetising content alongwith our bread-and-butter business of celebrity management," said Mahesh Bhupathi, sounding every inch the managing director during the interview.
Making the Cut, a television search for India's most talented designer and next supermodel was one of the first productions of Big Daddy which went on air in 2009 while there's also The Pitch — a business reality show with Bollywood actor Rahul Bose, currently on air on UTV Bloomberg. Then came Hindi feature film Chalo Dilli, starring wife Lara Dutta, which was released earlier this year.
Apart from playing the lead role in Chalo Dilli, what has been wife Lara's inputs in Big Daddy? "She reads the scripts before we lock them," Bhupathi chipped in.
While Globosport's celebrity sports clients in the initial years included Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, tennis star Sania Mirza and badminton's Saina Nehwal, they now have Somdev Dev Varman and a clutch of other young talent in tennis and squash under their wings.
Their portfolio from Bollywood and the south Indian film industry reads an impressive one with Boman Irani, Rahul Bose, Neha Dhupia, Celina Jaitley, Shruti Seth, Soundarya Rajnikanth, Dhanush — apart from wife Lara herself.
Besides playing the tennis star and entrepreneur, Bhupathi takes his role as a tennis mentor seriously.
The Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academies, a wing of Globosport, has tied up with schools such as the Ryan Group of Institutions and Jubilee Hills Public School in Hyderabad, to make the game accessible to schoolchildren.
It is also expanding the 40-strong chain in India and West Asia. The centres, which have 7,000-10,000 aspirants at any given point, have produced players such as Yuki Bhambri, junior Australian Open champion, and Kyra Shroff, a silver medallist at the Commonwealth Youth Games.