JUL 17 2019

Lessons for CEOs from IPL 2019 Teams


TAGS : CEO, Lessons, IPL2019, CaptainCool, Mahi, MSD, VK, Virat, Rohit, MI, CSK, RCB, KKR, SRH, DC, KXIP, RR

Lessons for CEOs from IPL 2019 Teams

Sports has always been regarded as a form of entertainment, but real fans of any sport realise that it is not so simple and there a lot many other factors involved, discipline, strategy, planning and execution all of which undergo the same processes as in corporate offices. But how are they different? The results are immediate, even if not in on or two matches but for sure over the period of season. Be it the Champion’s League in Football or the IPL in Cricket, the biggest of the sports fests are not just forms of entertainment any more, they have evolved much more than just being limited to the ground and that is how we can actually learn from the teams and their strategic decisions. Taking a few teams for that purpose:-


Mumbai Indians-

The champions of IPL 2019, the only team to have defeated the defending champions of 2018 in all of their encounters this season with them winning their 4th title, one more than the southern team which has had a large scale rivalry with the Paltans since time immemorial in IPL. But those matches were not the only ones which got them the cup this year, from being limited to a team score of 87 by SRH to snatching the cups away from under the nose of the defending champions. So what was their mantra behind this, what made it click this time that they are now ahead in cup count when compared to their biggest competitors?

Invest in Talent and Back them

Mumbai Indians has always been one of the most fan frenzied teams of the IPL and the paltan’s popularity and craze can be termed equivalent to what the Yellove is showered during Whistle Podu. But if you deep dive into the reason behind such a huge fanbase and love despite sometimes not being in the best or even good forms is that MI has retained a lot of it’s talented players over the years, not to mention the gift to Indian Cricket team which MI has given in the form of Pandya Brothers. MI has always stood by their talent no matter what and have kept themselves invested in their growth(grassroots foundations) rather than spending their purse in during auctions.


CEOs need to follow this, especially for startups, investing in a good team is a key to sapid growth and sustenance of the same. One has to understand the employees’ skills, interests etc. and accordingly make turn them beneficial for the team/project/company. But hiring good talent is just not enough, people go through Highs and Lows in their life and it is during this point in life that they need help and support from people. Acting as that support and giving a feeling of being there for the employees can go a long way in minimizing attrition and brain drain.



Chennai Super Kings-

Who can even think about talking IPL without the #WhistlePodu Express, the love both for the team and its Captain Cool seems to be only increasing exponentially and hence maybe that is the reason that despite being banned for 2 years, the team made a comeback in IPL2018 with a Cup in the immediate season, and boy, wasn’t that campaign beautifully set.  But this year, despite being in their own juggernaut form, CSK lost all matches to MI, 4 to be exact if we take into account the Playoff matches. But what is it that CSK does where in despite being banned for 2 years, they come back to snatch the glory right from SRH’s comfortable bats, ironically at a venue where SRH had restricted MI to a mere 87 runs getting everyone else OUT.

There is no replacement for Experience

CSK have been constantly criticized this IPL 2019 for sticking with senior players and not trying out new talent. Be it Dhoni or Watson or Harbhajan, people have constantly criticized them for this and yet since they kept winning matches and were on their way to the Semi Finals is where you realise how big a role experienced players can have on the game and if the team believes in it they can go miles.

CEOs need to understand that no matter how big a company or startup, it is always good to have people having experience in the same. A healthy mix of experience, raw talent and proactive teams can work wonders. In rare projects you see one employee cover for their partners on ground and similar thing happens on field for CSK because of which maybe someone or the other always comes out as a Hero in winning matches. But retaining just any top level talent is not enough, one needs to have only the ones who are closely related to the project. Acting as that support and giving a feeling of being there for the employees can go a long way in minimizing attrition and brain drain.


Delhi Capitals

Previously known as Delhi Daredevils, the Delhi franchisee of IPL underwent fundamental changes before the start of the season and the change showed immediately with Delhi Capitals for the first time in the history of IPL being considered as a potential front runner for the cup this year. So what happened, where did this all change suddenly in a single season without changing the team much.

Creating an Enabling Environment

Before the start of the season DC took on a new Head of Operations, who then roped in Dada and Kaif for guiding the newly christened team. The result was spectacular considering the Delhi franchisee quite comfortably glided into the playoffs for the first time ever before being knocked out in the 2nd Eliminator by the previous year champion. All of this was a direct result of the changes brought about in the environment and these changes no matter how minute have the potential to have lasting butterfly effects.

CEOs should work towards providing their taskforce with all the resources and help necessary to enable them in a positive way so they tend to start and become autonomous business units. It is a known belief that if the employees feel they are growing and learning, the next stop for that company is always nothing other than Prosperity and Thriving.


Sunrisers Hyderabad

Another champion from the past and a favorite as well, SRH had in the year 2018 put up a great campaign, winning on most of the League matches, playing eliminator 2 to reach finals despite being top of the table. However, unlike last year, this year the performance of the team can be partitioned into two phases namely BWL(Before Warner Left) and AWL(After Warner Left). So what happened to a final reaching team that they couldn’t get past the eliminators this year?

Don’t depend completely on top performers

Warner and Bairstow took a front foot leading the SRH campaign in IPL with both of them competing with none but each other for the coveted orange cap given to the highest run scorer. But when country duty calls for World Cup, everyone answers, and hence when Warner and Bairstow took off, the Hyderabad team got hit big time with the team not being able to convert good chances into the wins they want.

CEOs should not encourage teams where only 20% of the members are responsible for the 80% of the deliverables, it will become very difficult in their absence, especially navigating during their leaves or when they decide to move on to newer avenues, a collaborative effort is how teamwork should proceed.