Interview of Megha Gambhir, CEO & Co Founder of STUPA Sports Analytics, predictive analytics startup

SAVE to Win Games: An Indian Startup assisting global sports associations and players towards Success

“When God has plans then you tend to move towards it” says Megha Gambhir, the Co-founder and CEO of STUPA Sports Analytics.

The key to success is the execution of the plan. From dating during college days to now the Co-founders of a startup that has recently tied up with global table tennis associations like the International Table Tennis Federation and USA Table Tennis , the story of STUPA Sports Analytics is all about the passion for sports.

Megha Gambhir & Deepak Malik

Megha said “I usually eat, drink and do everything with table tennis. At home we just talk about table tennis.”

She spoke in detail about how one of the fastest racquet sports in the world, table tennis became a part and parcel of her life. It was in 2018 that Megha along with Deepak Malik, the former national player and coach of Indian national table tennis team, decided to start a performance analytics company.

You can watch the complete interview here : PAC Talks with VJCV: STUPA Sports Analytics (where Megha talks about table tennis, performance analytics, importance of sports related fitness, the changing sports ecosystem and female entrepreneurship).

You can listen to the interview on Spotify, Google, Apple podcasts.

Deepak Malik

From a general science background to getting into an information technology company as part of campus placements in 2007 and then learning the nuances of the technology for almost 12 years, looks like someone had been pulling the strings together for quite some time.

“While I was working in EY, that was my last company and doing a project for World Bank, I decided to quit my job. I thought of taking a break and explore. This is when Deepak and myself thought of starting STUPA Sports Analytics.” Megha shared the beginnings of this Startup which has been in News recently for the right reasons.

Sports and Technology has been on an intertwined path for the past few years.

Megha mentioned the importance of using tools to capture and process the data: “The performance of the players, whether it be practice sessions, friendlies or actual matches, are captured traditionally by the coach and the players themselves in their mind. This is used as a referral point to nullify the weakness and upgrade the strengths. Now with the aid of technology, this is captured in a systematic manner.”

“We came out with the prototype in Tableau.” Megha answered while talking about the tool used by them to bring out the information in presentable format.

The current application of STUPA helps player to get data about the performance after the completion of the game. Match video has to be uploaded to the app and data mining happens at the backend to provide the required key performance indicators.

STUPA will be having a panel of experts with them to help the players. This is not going to be limited to coaching but will also cover areas like proper physical and mental match fitness, yoga, sports physiotherapy, etc.

“I presented this in the ITTF Sports Science Congress in Budapest. From then on, we have got lot of traction towards STUPA. We also got an opportunity to cover Ultimate Table Tennis – one of the biggest table tennis leagues in India.”

STUPA is now working on an Artificial Intelligence based system which will assist in capturing and sharing real time information with players as well as coaches. This will definitely be a requisite going forward for performance analytics. In addition to this, the application will be extended so that other racquet sports like badminton, tennis, squash, etc. can be analyzed using similar technology.

Human intervention is imperative. But Coaches, teams and players who use technology will have an advantage while competing.

Technology has enabled the transition of almost everything around us, right from simple messaging to the complicated cryptocurrency, all of these can be managed with our fingertips.

Sports has also seen enhancement in on field as well as off field activities. Digital fan engagement, customized messaging, health tech based apps to improve the performance and match fitness of players, etc. are some of the areas where technology has made an impact in sports.

The availability of many big data softwares is enabling to crunch data with ease. Cassandra, Hadoop, Talend, Tableau, Teradata and to the latest Snowflakes, there are enough and more choices out there in the market.

Technology & Analytics will augment the Sporting ecosystem. 

Already many of the major sporting leagues & clubs are using one or the other form of analytics software. Coaches as well as players have started to recognize that Sports Analytics is Very Essential (SAVE) to Win games.

Megha concluded the conversation by saying “My family and husband has always supported me in whatever I want to do. This has empowered me to move ahead with determination. I am happy to inspire other women around me. I hope to see more women getting into entrepreneurship by taking the confident step.”

STUPA Sports Analytics is in discussion with multiple sporting associations. They already have some of the world’s top ranked table tennis players using the tool. It is great to know that a sports technology startup from India will be assisting global association and players to succeed in their games without compromising on the security of the data.

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