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RA Chandroo

Pursuit of Happiness

Hitting The Birdie
When it comes to badminton, talent runs in the family of Ascendas Singbridge's India CEO Vinamra Srivastava

Tanya Baisoya

Vinamra Srivastava grew up in a house where everyone played sports, more specifically, badminton. So it is not surprising that the now CEO of Ascendas Singbridge India Operations and Private Funds would pick up the skills too. Vinamra was in his senior secondary school when he started playing badminton tournaments. “The first few matches were really stressful. But after a couple of months, I started getting better at it,” he says. As a part of the sports team, he was involved in a variety of games. He often participated in casual cricket, basketball and table tennis matches too. Srivastava comes from an armed forces background and believes that in such families, being a sports enthusiast is a compulsion. “I have been watching my parents play in tournaments since I was 10 years old. Sports is something that is deeply rooted in our family,” he says. He believes he is not as talented as his parents to take it up professionally. “I have played till inter-school and college level,” he adds. His inclination towards business was another reason why he could not pursue the sport professionally. Srivastava quips, “I know there are times when kids get confused between what they want to pursue, but that was never the case with me. I had an equal interest in academics, but I knew that I would never stop playing badminton.” Now, Srivastava manages to seamlessly switch between his two interests, having played around 50 matches.

With all the love for the sport, Srivastava has also written a book on badminton: Kiss The Lines published in 2013. “The book is an inspiring journey of a young girl who goes from being nothing to achieving everything she ever desired,” he explains. Srivastava’s inspiration to write the book came from Saina Nehwal, who he considers to be his idol. The book also talks about maintaining a healthy mental state and how important it is to never give up. While penning down the story, he saw his own reflection in the girl.

Srivastava did not restrict himself from chasing his passion when he was living abroad. “Singapore is heavily focused on badminton. I have played with some Chinese players too and their court spirit is commendable,” he says. For all the time he lived in Singapore, he utilised his time to the fullest, occasionally playing casual matches in neighbourhood tournaments too.

All these years of practice have taught him to never give up and fight endlessly. Even now, he makes sure that on weekends, he spends two hours in the morning from 7 a.m to 9 a.m, playing badminton. “Focus and discipline are two things the game has taught me and I have applied them in my professional life,” he says. For him, this is the only to way he can cut himself off from the world for a few hours to do what he loves.

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