For many football fans it would be a dream to work with one of the top football clubs in the world. This dream has come true for Akhilesh Emmanuel who was recently appointed as the agent to license the audiovisual rights of Real Madrid TV in India.
We connected with Mr.Emmanuel to know about his vision towards working for Real Madrid and challenges faced by him to get to this position. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
First and foremost can you tell us something about your background ?
I am from Visakhapatnam (Vizag) and I did my graduation in civil engineering from Bangalore. Further I did my masters in project planning and management and then I started my own company in the events industry. At the same time I was also working for a construction company in Muscat to save up to pursue my passion someday. I always knew my passion lies in football, especially Real Madrid since I have always been a huge Madrid fan. I got to know about this course on Masters in football management and coaching in Real Madrid graduate school. I took a year’s time to prepare myself for going there and also improve my skills. After saving up enough, I did my masters in Football management and coaching from Universidad de Europea de Madrid also known as Real Madrid Graduate School. I dreamt of working for the only club I am passionate about and that is Real Madrid CF. My dream has just begun and this is just the start for me to be working towards the best club in the world.
What are the challenges you faced till now in pursuing this career ?
Main challenge was changing my career path at the age of 26. It was bit of a Gamble, but the important thing is to keep believing in ourselves and I was lucky that I had positive people around me who made me believe that I can achieve it.
Is real Madrid going to tap the Indian market soon ?
Yes, India is an important country for a club like Real Madrid especially because of how big our country is and it was just a matter of time. Real Madrid TV is the first step towards entering the Indian Market.
What are Real Madrid TV’s goals for the subcontinent consumers regarding the audio visual content ?
The goal is to bring the fans closer to the club, offer exclusive contents of the club , access to the training session, inside stories of the club, exclusive Interviews, live press conferences etc. This will give a unique experience to the fans and make them feel involved as much as possible in the project of the club and align them with the club’s vision.
Does Real Madrid CF plan to do something similar to Barca TV for the Indian market ?
It’s different from what they do .Our objectives are more about being consistent and make the fans connect more to the club. We will be offering our content 24/7 in English and we have many more partners globally. This basically tells you the story of what Real Madrid as a club does.
From an Indian market point of view, how will Real Madrid CF look at doing something differently from other European clubs ?
The focus will not be to try and tap the huge amount of engagements that the Indian fans or clubs or any Indian organisations have to offer. I think the main reason for the failure of some other clubs is that they may not have fully done their research. I have the experience of working in India which is an advantage. I know that the huge population is an advantage and we can work with the numbers to sell it to them as well, but only if it’s managed properly. Real Madrid would like to make a difference in the Indian football scene and in that path the initial step will be through Real Madrid TV. Any partnership or collaboration formed will be driven with a long term initiative in mind. When it comes to the subcontinent Real Madrid is here to stay and will work towards implementing a strategy that leads to development and enhances the club’s presence in the subcontinent.
Where does Real Madrid TV see itself in the next 5-7 years in terms of the subcontinental market ?
Real Madrid is looking to have a strong stability in terms of presence in the market through partnerships and development with respect to the Indian subcontinent market. Justifying that the club cares for our Indian Fans.
From a student’s point of view, how much importance do you think language plays in getting a job outside in the sports market?
– Language definitely helps you to connect but in European clubs as far as my experience is concerned, unless your ideas and concepts are great, it will be really difficult to get a job in the European football market if you don’t know the language but not impossible. But I must say that learning the language is a big added advantage in your CV. As you work for an organization like Real Madrid TV now,
What are your personal goals with regard to Indian subcontinent market ?
My first goal is to prove myself and live upto the expectations of the job. I want the Madrid fans of India closer to the club and make them feel more connected than before. My goal will be to target the grassroots and help Indian football achieve the dream to qualify and play in the world cup. I am working towards it in a hope that it happens
By Sudip Talukder