Najam Sethi Speaks about the Rise of the Commercial Sports Industry in Pakistan

Friday, September 29, 2017

Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Pakistan Super League (PSL), Mr. Najam Sethi spoke to the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB) undergraduate students of the Sports Management Course at a session held on September 29, 2017. The title of the session was ‘The Pakistan Super League - Sports Management and the Rise of the Commercial Sports Industry in Pakistan.’

Mr. Sethi spoke about the advent of the Pakistan Super League, the role of leadership in sports management, the journey of the league from inception to what it is today and obstacles faced from a business and operations stand point and the unique solutions to those problems.

When asked if leadership in cricket and sports management has been different from other projects in his career, Mr. Sethi said, "Leadership is about taking calculated risks in my opinion. We in the private sector do it all the time because we attach economic value to risks, that’s what economics is all about, that’s what leadership is all about. In the public sector risk taking is discouraged, rules are established more to protect against decisions which will be challenged, so there is a natural aversion to take any risks.”

Mr. Sethi said that his experience in the Cricket Board has been interesting as the it demands you to make quick decisions but the public sector rules do not allow you to make those decisions so you have to look forward without losing direction.

The panelists at the discussion held later included Ms. Naila Bhatti, Director Marketing PCB and Mr. Shoaib Naveed, Chief Operating Officer Islamabad United and Adjunct Faculty at SDSB who is the instructor of the Sports Management course. Speaking at the session, Mr. Naveed, said, “The rise and success of the Pakistan Super League has opened up a new industry in Pakistan. Bridging the gap between sports and entertainment, the PSL offers a lot of promise and opportunity for commercially leveraging professional sports in a developing market.”