zlait Sports Management is strategic sports advisory that helps athletes, teams, business & enthusiasts chart their sporting paths. zlait is committed to a holistic development of sports in India through its commercial, marketing & technical endeavors.
Founder and CEO – Nikhil Sharma – linkedin
A sports management professional who has led organizations, Nikhil was formerly Director at Shillong Lajong FC where amongst other work he was instrumental in the inception of the Guwahati franchise of the Indian Super League. Nikhil is passionate about player development, league structures, sustainability in sport and branding. An AIFF, AFC and FIFA licensed coach, Nikhil is an alumnus of MICA Ahmedabad and has a Bachelors degree in Engineering from Bharti Vidyapeeth, Pune.
Sorabh Yadav – linkedin
With over 8 years of experience in sports marketing, consultancy and sports infrastructure projects, Sourabh heads zlait’s infrastructure business. Having worked closely with AstroTurf in setting up their business in India, Sourabh has been instrumental in setting up 4 state-of-the-art pitches in Delhi, Mumbai and Nagpur. He integrates local know-how and hands-on experience to formulate pragmatic solutions for partners.
Gibran Rahman – linkedin
Gibran has worked in various business verticals in sports such as representation, digital marketing, sports infrastructure and events. Gibran is an avid footballer and fitness enthusiast. He is an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia where he was on a sports scholarship and played for the University at the national and local level. He yearns to expand his learning curve and grow in the sports industry globally. At zlait, Gibran manages overall marketing, operations & partner relationships.
From Sunny Narang’s Facebook Posts :
12th February, 2019
Nikhil Sharma is one of the young Football Jedi’s of India.
Leaving a hardcore corporate career in Mumbai he took the risk to come to Delhi’s wild lands and North-East’s maddening diversity.
Together we were part of a great community that was building new sports enterprises and energizing old ones, from 2012 onwards, including start-ups like Anglian Management Group, Anglian Medal-Hunt Company, Nurturing Excellence in Sports Trust, LEH LEH Sports, Young Monk Communications, Awadh Mutineers.
There were start-ups, clubs that emerged and vanished like Guwahati FC.
We worked with European football clubs getting and sending players to play and train.
So Nikhil has had a front seat driving view of Indian football as it transformed into a new phase of vitality and energy in the second decade of the 21st century.
Nikhil plays regular football with Pandara Park FC Official, and is a trained coach too.
He has co-founded his own sports company zlait Sports Management.
And our Football Comrade has written his first book on Indian Football- India’s Football Dream, along with an accomplished writer Shantanu Gupta, whose biography of Yogi Adityanath is a best-seller.
I am delighted that it’s young people envisioning, reimagining the future of Indian football while deeply immersed in it.
In its players, coaches, leagues, federations, politics and policy formation along with its business side.
Sports is an ecology that is getting stronger by the day, and it needs passionate professionals at all levels with an ability to build enterprise and organizations.
Teamwork off the ground is as important as teamwork on the ground.
Please pre-order it and read it.
And then review it on Amazon.
Hamare Yaar Ne Sapne dekhe hain Des ki football ke, apna ek chota sa dhakka de do yaaron !
India’s Football Dream amazon.in
16th January, 2019
The most important ecology that professional sports need is of passionate professionals in everything from scouting to coaching to infrastructure to specialist doctors to referees to researchers and strategists to nerds.
And all this needs funds. It needs sponsors, investors, policy makers and above all fans.
To develop such complex ecology one needs to engage with the best and the empathetic to your reality professionals, as one can only start from where one is, not suddenly jump to a level beyond our capabilities.
It’s a long iterative journey with lots of failures and small wins.
It takes wisdom and patience, integrity and intent along with passion and professionalism.
And it needs Mentors and co-travelers from across sectors.
I work alongside many young and not so young first generation founders and professionals via
Great to see young professionals like Nikhil reaching for the skies and best practices and getting top professionals and organisations to build ecologies of excellence right here in India
“Very interesting day in Mumbai today at the Trident Hotel as former French National Team Coach Raymond Domenech attended a round table with some of the key stake holders of Indian Football.
Mr Domenech who is currently the President of the French Coaches Association spoke about the development of football players in France and possibilities of working together.
The round table was organised by zlait in partnership with our Fance partners MDV”
16th October, 2018
Here a famous public facility, the Hoopers Court in Matunga, Mumbai has been completely refurbished along with a high quality synthetic surface along with a mural on it, funded by Air Canada and supported by Asian Paints.
A new start-up sports management and infrastructure enterprise, zlait founded by young professionals-turned-entrepreneurs, mentored by me in Delhi, has worked on this with quite a few associate enterprises based in Mumbai.
It’s never easy working out public, private, political, bureaucratic, neighbourhood, professional, logistical issues, even at a level of one basketball court in India !
More power to you guys to build a hundred such complex partnerships on the ground and make new things happen.
“Air Canada has partnered with award-winning content creators Beautiful Destinations to revive the Hooper’s Ground basketball court and showcase Mumbai’s beauty, diversity, and vibrant culture. The initiative was conceived to create an enduring positive space in the community for people to come together that would leave an artistic legacy that is visible from the sky. Renowned Indian artist Sajid Wahid—through ST+ART India Foundation—used colour and design inspirations from Canada and India, including moose and elephant motifs reminiscent of the two nations, to create the unique colourful court.”
2nd August, 2018
#zlait #LifetimeMentoring #SportsStartUps#FootballPassion #BuildingCoalitionsFor Creativity
Nikhil Sharma is a young man from Pune, who left his corporate job in a media company in Mumbai to follow his dream in sports, especially in football.
He worked under my mentoring for almost 4 years in which he was a Director on Shillong Lajong Football Club (SLFC) the first football club from North East to enter I League, looking at team building and co-creating the only ISL football club of North East India, the NorthEast United FC.
He built a new web of relationships from football clubs in India and in many other countries that love football.
He has a single minded dedication to building the football ecology of India from grassroots scouting to players to federations to leagues to coaches to infrastructure to clubs.
He himself is a certified football coach.
As life goes, I moved out of all operations to take a sabbatical from entrepreneurship and do light touch mentoring and informally work in the intersection of politics, policy, innovation, start ups and entrepreneurship.
And delight in my love of the diversity of cultures and communities of our indefinable Des.
So Nikhil set out to build his own enterprise which would single mindedly just work on football and everything associated with it.
He has created a small start up zlait with two partners Sourabh Yadav and Gibran Rahman both Delhi NCR boys.
They are managing Indian and Foreigner football players, building football infrastructure and consultants at large for clubs and leagues, amateur, recreational, professional.
As I shared before LEH LEH Sports built it’s first synthetic turf, it was built by zlait.
This is my larger start up family, in most I have zilch monetary investment but they all believe in following ones passion.
It will soon come together via my Sutradhaar site Rasa Investments Group to share the stories of those that follow their own passions and support others in theirs.
As I say ‘Building Coalitions for Creativity’.
And with few it is not a start up mentoring only, but #LifetimeMentoring ;