(LATE) NANDU NATEKAR

FOUNDER

Nandkumar, fondly called Nandu by his legion of fans across the World, Natekar was a sports legend even before sportspersons began to be treated like celebrities in India. Voted the most popular sportsperson in 1961, he was a former Indian Badminton national champion, with over 100 national and international titles including 17 national championships. The first Indian to win an international badminton title in 1956 when he won the Malaysian Open, reaching the last 8 of the All England Badminton Championships at the age of 21, and featuring among ‘The Greats’ in a souvenir published by Malaysia during the Thomas Cup Series, 1954-55, and Recipient of the first-ever Ajruna Award, Nandu Natekar’s desire to give back to Indian sports inspired him to establish Natekar Sports & Fitness.

GAURAV NATEKAR

FOUNDER

Sports is as much a passion for Gaurav as it is a profession. The son of the Indian badminton legend, Nandu Natekar, Gaurav is former tennis player, ranked #1 in India and winner of the singles national title in all junior age groups and an international title in the u-18 group. His legacy, sports career and professional experience brings a sportsperson’s and a sports manager’s perspective to the table to create unprecedented value for NSF clients. Gaurav is also a strategic advisor with JanaJal, a water services company, and Mahika, a women focussed learning and placement platform. In the past, Gaurav has been an advisor to E&Y for their sports business in India, a consultant with Grant Thornton, India, and advisor to Tata Trusts for their philanthropic efforts in the Indian sports space.

Gaurav writes for major publications like The Times of India and Mid-Day, is a commentator-contributor with sports and news channels like Sony TV, Ten Sports, Doordarshan, NDTV, Times Now, CNBC 18, Network 18 and more.

ARATI PONNAPPA NATEKAR

CO-FOUNDER

Arati, a national lawn tennis player, was born into a sports family, and she has grown into one of the leading ambassadors of sports in India. P.C. Ponnappa, her father, is a silver medal winner in 4 X 400 m relay and her mother, Nirmala Uthaiah, has held the national titles in 100, 200 and 400 m as well as the national record for 100 m for over a decade.

In the past, Arati co-owned and managed Natekar Sports, a chain of sports stores for 16 years before selling it to focus on advisory and consulting business at NSF. She is the key driver and mentor of ‘Second Innings’, a unique and first of its kind partnership program with Pine Labs that is enabling ex sportspersons from India to get jobs in the tech sector. She is a co-promoter strategic advisor and Mahika, an online learning and placement platform focused on women.

Coach and mentor for hundreds of promising child sportspersons, travelling coach and mentor to the Indian junior tennis team at Wimbledon, Les Petit Ans in France, Nike Juniors in London and the junior Fed Cup team, Arati has been responsible for nurturing budding sportspersons at all levels.

UDDHAV WELINKAR

An M.Sc. Sports Management from Loughborough University, UK, Uddhav has rich professional experience as a sports manager and organiser in India and in geographies as diverse as Brazil and Dubai. His experience as an organising committee member comprises major sporting events such as Commonwealth Youth Games, 2008, Commonwealth Games, 2010, Lusofonia Games, 2014, AFC U 16 Championships 2016 and the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017, Dubai Duty Free tennis championships, 2013. At NSF, he has been responsible for developing sports infrastructure for clients in the private and public sector across Maharashtra and Goa.

RAJEEV SANGANI

Rajeev is our Brand Partnerships Consultant, seamlessly integrating a lifelong passion for sports with over a decade of expertise in events, activations, and digital marketing. Picture him as that kid on the street, cricket ball in hand and dreaming of charging in at the MCG, now channeling that same vigour into orchestrating strategic partnerships that he had when he started out in the game of brand collaborations.

With a remarkable track record of guiding companies into the sporting ecosystem, Rajeev has been instrumental in enabling impactful market penetration. Leveraging his extensive experience, he is able to craft tailored strategic partnerships that authentically resonate with the sporting audience.

Having collaborated with diverse companies seeking a foothold in the sports domain, Rajeev understands the intricacies and demands of the sporting landscape and how these align with the marketing demands of an organisation. His strategic acumen, combined with a deep love for sports, makes him our trusted advisor to navigate this dynamic arena.

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