Chirag Parekh opens up to LA POLO about his love for the sport of the kings
The 10 goal Sternhagen Polo Cup raised the spirit of Polo in full flare under the guidance of Chirag Parekh, the founder of the Cup. After an exciting match that was followed by a typical Mumbai night party, Chirag Parekh sat in conversation with LA POLO. We captured him candidly and here is a glimpse of it.
LA POLO: Everyone has heard you say that Polo brought speed to your business. How exactly did that happen and even more stark is the fact that how did Polo came in the way of a businessman?
CHIRAG PAREKH: For me, Polo has changed my life. The sport needs a lot of guts to get on the horse and then Polo, all in all, is a different game. You need a lot of courage, and it all comes from the core. With Polo, you develop guts, power, and courage. I think it absolutely relates to the business side because then you start taking the risk in business too. Polo brings a lot of energy in me, it makes me a very sporty young man that is bound to take challenges everywhere.
LA POLO:> For quite some time now, you have been into a subtle art of bringing Polo to the masses. Champions Polo League is one such example. But Polo is still the sport of the royals that caters to a specific audience. How difficult is it for a sport like that to achieve the aim you have?
CHIRAG PAREKH: Polo is a luxury sport but we did a Champions Polo League. We did a shorter form of the game. We had in Gujarat like 20000 people, and we had 10 teams participating. What we did, we made the ground smaller. We conducted it during night time when everyone is free. We made a shorter game, faster format, which is more spectator friendly format. I think, this kind of shorter formats, I still believe, has to come in. Luxury can stay where it is but you can also develop a new kind of a game format where it attracts masses.
LA POLO: Why Polo and not any other sport?
CHIRAG PAREKH: For me, it was only Polo because I love horses. I think like I say, there is only one thing that comes between me and my horse is a saddle.
LA POLO: What do you wish to achieve from the Sternhagen Polo Cup?
CHIRAG PAREKH: This is our second year and I can see it being better. I also want to thank LA POLO, they were a tremendous support in this as an associate partner. LA POLO did an amazing job. I want to thank Ferrari, Navnit Motors. We also got some foreign DJs coming in playing. I think the whole atmosphere here is fantastic, and I think for our brand Sternhagen which is a luxury brand, Polo absolutely relates. I believe in getting the cup better and better every year.
LA POLO: Any other future projects that you foresee to introduce in Polo?
CHIRAG PAREKH: No, I think I did a lot with Champions Polo League and Sternhagen. Now I am going to take in a deep breath, enjoy my Polo. I just want to build my brand Sternhagen.
LA POLO: Coming back to you as Chirag Parekh, how do you differentiate between Polo and your business?
CHIRAG PAREKH: One thing is very clear, I have drawn a line where Polo cannot enter my business. I have sponsored four tournaments, but I did not play a single one. So it is kind of obvious because I don’t have time. But whenever I have time, I will play. Said that it will always be my business that will come first.