Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Mentor & Friend Moves On


I’ve always heard the saying that “the only constant in life is change,” yet for some reason when it happens in my life, it takes awhile for me to accept.  A few weeks ago, my boss, friend and India mentor Sukhvinder Singh (“Sukkhi”) shared that he has been appointed as the new CEO of the Indian Super League franchise, FC Goa.  While I was happy for my long-time friend and boss given the profile of the position and incredible quality of life in Goa, I went through a number of emotions during the few weeks post his announcement. I guess I got so used to building Libero Sports and contributing to the Indian football industry alongside Sukkhi that I never thought about what it would be like if he was no longer around. 

I have deep gratitude for Sukkhi. It was him who spent quality time with me during my second trip to India in 2008 sharing all that he knew about the Indian football industry. On that same trip, it was him who connected me with Indian football industry influencers around the country and eventually invited and hosted me at my first Indian football match – 80,000 people watching Dempo SC take on East Bengal in a Federation Cup Final in Kolkata. Post that trip, it was Sukkhi who advised me on what I could do in India and eventually helped me secure a position in Dentsu’s sports marketing division. 

When I moved to India, it was Sukkhi and his wife who met me the day after I arrived and took me out for a welcome dinner at Select City Walk in Saket.   A year and a half into my time in India, it was Sukkhi who hired me as Director for Libero Sports providing me with the ideal platform to support the growth of Indian football with a group of  people who I enjoy working with.  And over the last 6 years, it’s been Sukkhi and his wife Tulika who have kept tabs my personal and professional welfare – a promise they made to my parents back in 2010.

Sukkhi is one of the best people I’ve come across in my lifetime and I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to work with him over the past 5 years.  I’m 100% sure he will succeed within his new role at FC Goa and our Libero Sports team will only build upon the foundation he established for the company while serving as Managing Director. 

I’ve learned a great deal over the past few weeks.  The biggest piece of wisdom is to have gratitude for what you have while you have it and accept when you no longer have it.  I now not only accept that Sukkhi has moved on, but have come to the realization that his departure from Libero Sports has created a fantastic opportunity for myself and my team to grow to greater heights as individuals and professionals.

With Sukkhi, then AIFF General Secretary Alberto Colaco and a few friends in Kolkata in 2008 before the Federation Cup Final

In 2009 at the Coca-Cola Cup Finals in Gurgaon

In 2010 at the TransStadia Sports Conference in Mumbai 

Crazy Old Delhi Trip in 2011

At the annual Libero Sports Holiday Party in 2012

In Rishikesh for my 31st birthday

In Aizawl, Mizoram with Aiwzawl FC President Robert Royte in 2015

Outside of our "Destination India stall at 2015 Soccerx Global Convention

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