Marathon today is a $400 mn industry in India and we are privileged to have created it: Anil Singh, MD Procam International

IP is an insight into what the promoter is, it is his vision, his thinking, his dream and his ideation says Singh.


‘How to create a winning IP’, has been a much discussed subject. There are many versions to address this question, but the most believable version will always come from the person who owns most popular, most profitable and most respected IPs.

Anil Singh, MD Procam International, who owns IPs like Tata Mumbai Marathon, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, TCS World 10K Bengaluru that have a collective ROI of 1150 crore recently spoke about the topic. In an exclusive conversation at the recently held BW Applause and everythingexperiential Marketing Summit in New Delhi, Singh stated that an IP is an insight into what the promoter is, it is his vision, his thinking, his dream and his ideation.

Sharing the journey of Procam International and how it has created some of the most respected IPs in the world, Singh said, “The world of IPs is large, it’s a massive opportunity. Owning an IP is like having a child. It demands constant involvement and putting in investment for it to reach somewhere and there is no limit to where it can reach.”

It must be mentioned that Singh has created a massive IP and busted the myth that cricket is the only sport worshipped in this country. “At Procam we never did mainstream sports like cricket. Procam has been credited for building the squash revolution, the volleyball revolution and the rugby revolution. Cricket didn’t turn me and I have noticed a difference between participatory and spectator sports. If you look at spectator sports, you see what is unfolding in front of you and there is a winner and a loser. Participative sports on the other hand, means having 50K people and  everybody's a winner. What also comes out of participatory sporting events is the fact that there can also be 50k different stories to talk about.”

Speaking about the rise and scope of non-cricket IPs, Singh said, “Running today is a 400 mn dollar industry and we are privileged to have created it. I used to knock every door and nobody would open it and everyone thought I was a lunatic.”

When asked about the art and science of creating a winning IP, Singh explained, “Vision is vital, it can’t be a force fit vision, it has to sync naturally. The second is the guts and understanding that journey, because the journey of creating a winning IP will be fraught with hurdles where many people will give up easily. The third is doing a regular reality check and knowing where you want to reach.”

Explaining the critical dynamics between IP owners and sponsors, Singh believes that the equation between the two needs to be understood in the context of today’s times. “Today branding is not the answer to sponsorships, in fact branding in many ways is irrelevant from the vision point of view. Sponsorships are about how you can weave the fabric of your story into the DNA or fabric of the event.” 

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