Public Relations Council of India (PRCI), the ace body of Communications and PR professionals awarded Shri Abhijit Sarkar, Head – Corporate Communications & Director-Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, Sahara India Pariwar, with the coveted Chanakya Jury’s Special Award 2015 for his exemplary work in the field of Sports Communications. Shri JualOram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India presented the award to Shri Abhijit Sarkar, in a glittering ceremony held at New Delhi on 13th March, 2015.
This award is an eloquent manifestation of the fact that Shri Abhijit Sarkar is probably the only sports management expert in the country who has so effectively contributed to sports in India, across the board. His exceptional efforts in bringing together Corporate for promoting sports in India from regional, national and international level not only took sports like cricket to greater heights but also brought excellence in those sports which are less popular and require infrastructural and financial support and there is hardly any sport left in the country where his efforts and encouragement have not been recognized. His outstanding contribution to Indian sports is also evident from the fact that he is the Co-Chairman of FICCI Sports Committee for the past two years and also a member of the prestigious Sports Committee of CII for last three years. He has also been the Convener of Publicity & Media Sub Committee of the XIX Commonwealth Games, 2010.
For his contribution in the field of Sports and Corporate Communication in general and Public Relations in specific, he has been awarded with the ‘Most Dynamic Corporate Communications Professional of the Year’ in the Power brands Hall of Fame Awards in London 2011. He has also been conferred with Indy’s Excellence Award 2008 in the field of Corporate Communications, Crises Management and PR and ‘Communicator of the Year” award 2011 by IPRCCA, ‘Chanakya Corporate Communication Professional of the Year’ by Public Relations Council of India.
Additionally, Mr. Sarkar’s unparalleled expertise and leadership in the field of sports have also accorded him vital positions in various sports bodies. He is Director – Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, Director – Sahara Force India (India’s only Formula One team), Director – U.P. Wizards (U.P. Franchise team of Hockey India League), Director – Ranchi Rays (Ranchi Franchise team of Hockey India League), Director – Awadhe Warriors (Lucknow Franchise team of Indian Badminton League), and Director – Sahara Warriors (Sahara’s Polo team). His charm and dignity made him a personal favorite of nearly all the eminent sportspersons who always consider him as their indispensable support.
It was in consideration of his deep understanding of the nuances of media and sports, vast experience and expertise in the area of communications and Sports Management that he was appointed as a Convener – Publicity & Media Sub Committee of the XIX Commonwealth Games, 2010. For the same, Sahara eventually received Gold Award under the category of ‘Public Service Campaign’ by the Public Relation Council of India in 2011.
Mr. Abhijit Sarkar has played pivotal role in cementing Sahara’s inseparable association with Sports, for the past 15 years, whether it is the Sahara Cup in Canada, Sponsorship of the Indian Cricket Team for 14 years, Indian Hockey Team, Indian Women Cricket team, Indian Volley ball team or playing a pivotal role in Sahara’s association with Hockey, Boxing, Wrestling, Archery, Shooting, Football, Golf, Polo, and other sports disciplines. Besides, being the most visible face of Corporate Communications professionals in India, he also happens to be one of the tremendously successful in taking Indian sports to the next level. Under Mr. Sarkar’s visionary guidance Sahara is supporting 73 Sports person out of which 5 had won medals in London Olympics 2012.
Having bestowed upon with multitudinous tasks in running Sahara’s IPL Pune franchisee – Pune Warriors India, as director Mr. Sarkar lead the IPL team for three consecutive years and played a decisive role in getting the coveted franchisee for Sahara.
Moreover, Mr. Sarkar has been instrumental in developing and executing various well acclaimed international and national events like Sahara India Sports Awards (SISA) – the one-of-its-kind platform to honor the sporting legends. The ‘Sahara India Sports Award’ won Silver Award under the category of ‘Corporate Event’ by the Public Relation Council of India, 2011.
Since the early days to the present day, Sahara’s association with Indian Cricket has traveled a long journey of significant milestones that deserved to be chronicled. The story of the rise of Indian Cricket team as a cricketing super power during the course of Sahara India Pariwar’s long association not only needs to be told but also preserved for the future generation of the cricket lovers.
In the same context, Mr. Sarkar came with a up concept of preparing a Coffee Table Book, ‘The Golden Era’, which is a sumptuous tribute to Cricket and commemorates Sahara’s glorious association with Indian cricket in a form of book that spans from Natwest Trophy win in 2002 which is considered a turning point in Indian cricket after, of course, the 1983 World Cup triumph to India’s recent home series against South Africa. The book has number of sections with brief bios on each of the recent great cricketers. The book was conceptualized, ideated and produced under the guidance of Mr. Abhijit Sarkar.
In addition to this, he was instrumental in bagging the coveted franchisee of Uttar Pradesh in 2012 for the Hockey India League. Spearheading the U.P. Franchisee, he added another feather in his cap by adding another franchisee, Ranchi Rays in 2014, in the Hockey India League, which Sahara co-owns with cricketing legend, M.S. Dhoni.
Besides, he played a major role when Sahara announced its co-ownership in India’s only formula One Team with Dr. Vijay Mallya. Not only India, he expanded the horizon of Sahara’s association with sports beyond a nation, when Sahara bagged the official sponsorship of Bangladesh Cricket team in 2012.