Innovation. Globalization. Celebration!

GlobePreneurs Win: iSportconnect Makes a Difference in Sports Tech

Sree Varma (‘SV’) is 38 years old and lives in London. He is married with two children and has an MBA in Marketing. As a migrant to the U.K. from India with his family, Sree learned the importance of hard work. He worked conscientiously while his peers were partying. After seeing an opportunity to connect people in the sports arena, spending six month’s on a friend’s couch and a long period of research, he started iSportsconnect. Today iSportsconnect holds exclusive invitation-only events around the world for leaders in the business of sport. Hon Pauline Truong had interesting discussions with Sree Varma on how he is making a difference in sports relationships.

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GlobePreneurs (‘GP’): Can you share with us the story of how your family came to the U.K.?

SV: My family came to the U.K. from the southern part of India. When I say that we came with very little, I really mean next to nothing. We had 150 pounds in our pocket and that was it. We stayed in a room in a house with another two Indian families and we ate once a day until we started earning. I guess you could say that it’s the classic immigrant story. It taught me a lot from a young age about the importance of hard work. I paid off my university fees by developing websites for local shops when my all friends were out partying hard in the evenings and on the weekends. I’m still like that. I don’t take anything for granted. There’s no substitute for hard work.

GP: What was your inspiration for starting and launching iSportconnect?

SV: I worked in the publishing business and I became involved in the world of Formula 1 as a publisher. I saw what was happening with digital communities and I saw the business of sport growing and becoming more global and I decided to put them together. I didn’t just dive in. There was a long period of research and consultation. I saw that there were a lot of people in important positions who were desperate for a way to communicate with their peers and keep abreast of developments. I decided to risk everything and go for it. I spent six months on my friend’s sofa when I started the business. 

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GP: What are some challenges with iSportconnect and how do you overcome them?

SV: There’s a common misconception that an online business is all about technology. It’s not. It’s about people. That’s even more the case in the sports business. One of the big challenges is to keep sight of that when you are working hard to build a digital platform. I saw early on that essentially I was in the business of building relationships, and that offline interaction was the key to adding value to the online community. That was a turning point. A big part of what we do now is around the many exclusive invitation-only events that we hold around the world for leaders in the business of sport.

GP: How does iSportconnect engage with gender diversity in sports?

SV: This is an area that I’m very conscious of because the gender gap is so obvious in the sport business, and also because I’m personally so aware of diversity in general given my own background. iSportconnect events are actually a lot more gender diverse than the business itself. The attendance is always very mixed. We try hard to feature women as thought leaders on the website and at our events. Getting more female involvement in our business is hugely important, not least because the female side of the market is so ripe for development and offers so much opportunity.

GP: What is your advice for @GlobePreneurs who want to create start-ups in the sports arena?

SV: Wherever there are fans, there are opportunities.

Did you enjoy this interview? Please feel free to connect and enjoy life to the fullest around the world with with Hon. Pauline Truong on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter!

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20 Comments

  1. Tina Tina
    May 17, 2017    

    Great interview! I love reading about innovative entrepreneurs who see an opportunity, go for it, and achieve success. His story is inspirational and I’m sure he is just getting started!

  2. May 18, 2017    

    Great interview, perfect questions! I enjoyed every line of it. Thanks

  3. May 18, 2017    

    I’m not really big in sports but congratulations to this gentleman for such a wonderful and great award!

  4. May 18, 2017    

    Sree sounds like such an amazing person, just goes to show hard work and a positive attitude always pay off. Congrats to him, I hope he just goes from strength to strength

  5. May 18, 2017    

    Sree Varma sounds like a very inspirational business man. I love hearing stories about successful people who started from humble beginnings and then worked their way up to the top. Very inspiring!

  6. May 18, 2017    

    Congratulations to Sree on his successful career. His success shows anything is possible with hardwork and that your background doesn’t determine your future.

  7. Anupriya Basu Anupriya Basu
    May 18, 2017    

    Great to read this story! Those who are passionate and hard working can really do wonders! Its about believing in yourself!

  8. May 19, 2017    

    I am so pleased that they are trying to introduce more women at the forefront of sport as leaders. It is so important that we give our young girls a good role model x

  9. May 19, 2017    

    Nice interview, congratulations on your achievements!

  10. May 19, 2017    

    Great read. Thanks for sharing.

  11. May 19, 2017    

    What a great story! Yay, hard work and success! 🙂

  12. May 19, 2017    

    It is quite cool that most people do not let their rocky beginning disrupt their ambition and dream. Congratulations to Sree Verma for being a hard worker and innovator.

  13. E H E H
    May 20, 2017    

    I love how young and new entrepreneurs receive awards for their accomplishments like these entrepreneurs did. It is very inspiring to know the heights one can achieve!

  14. May 20, 2017    

    Great that Sree Verma took the initiative and has achieve success. Sometimes when you have very little to start with and even less to lose it gives you a thirst for success you may not have had before.

  15. May 20, 2017    

    This is a very inspirational and motivating interview. This just shows that you have to start from somewhere and with lots of hard work and probably a little luck you can achieve everything. A great post for all future entrepreneurs.

  16. May 20, 2017    

    Such a great story! Just goes to show, passion and hard work pay off. I love his efforts to support women in the sports industry, very inspirational.

    Gennifer Rose | http://www.GenniferRose.com

  17. Tiara Wilson Tiara Wilson
    May 20, 2017    

    I’ve never heard of isportconnect, but it sounds so intriguing. This was a beautifully written post. <3

  18. May 20, 2017    

    This is interesting and more power to her. It takes a lot to get there.

  19. Elizabeth O. Elizabeth O.
    May 21, 2017    

    I definitely like his work ethic, that’s what makes him successful. This was a great interview and it’s so nice to learn more about successful entrepreneurs. Very inspiring!

  20. May 21, 2017    

    Great interview! Sree Varma sounds like a dynamic and intelligent man. Thanks for introducing him to us! It is always nice to read the interview of successful people!

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