Beyond the Field: Akash’s Impactful Journey

Gretchen D. Barretto
2 min read
May 23, 2024

Introducing Akash Rajput, the person who turns big ideas into game-changers! As the manager and driving force behind our Strategic Partnerships Team, he spearheads collaborations in the CSR division at the Indian Football Foundation (IFF).

Before we get into the nitty gritty of his life at BBFS (Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools) let’s rewind to the beginning of Akash’s journey. Hailing from the vibrant cities of Pune and Delhi, with roots in an Air Force background, his initial goal was to become an investment banker. However, fate intervened – Akash’s plan shifted when he learned about a first-of-its-kind sports management course at Symbiosis International University during his MBA preparations. Despite not making it as a professional player, his heart was always set on contributing to Indian football.

And so, he redirected his focus, dropped financial aspirations, pursued the sports management course, and decided to make a significant impact on Indian football. From managing venues in Pune to working a marketing gig in Bangalore, Akash’s determination ultimately led him to establish India’s first-ever girls’ academy at a prestigious residential academy in Karnataka!

Fast forward to May 2021, where Akash’s quest for structure led him to BBFS. After a quick call to Divya (People’s Manager and Head HR), he found himself managing the BBFS Residential Academy, Nasik, in association with Barnes School & Junior College. The nationwide footprint of BBFS appealed to him, promising a bunch of learning opportunities.

When asked about his favourite thing about working at BBFS, Akash highlights the culture, the values, and the way the seniors handle curveballs. “We are motivated to do better every day”, he expresses. His pivotal role in CSR funding stands out as a testament to BBFS’s commitment beyond mere corporate affiliations. A big part of Akash’s job involves forging exciting partnerships with prestigious organizations for the same purpose. He shares how it isn’t just about funds, but also about scouting talents across the nation and giving them scholarships that transform lives – education, training, the whole shebang! These scholarships especially contribute to the upliftment of underprivileged kids and their parents. Akash confesses that the sustainability and growth potential of BBFS are key factors that have kept him committed. He believes in the organization’s self-sufficiency and long-term impact.

Shedding light on what his day at BBFS looks like, he shares, “My job is far from monotonous. Every day is different. I might get tired, but it’s satisfying. I even look forward to Mondays!”

Akash also addresses the bond he shares with his colleagues; “I value the relationships built during my tenure. It’s a small team, so we’ve got a good relationship”, he says. From Nasik to now, each day is a new adventure with new learnings. Leadership lessons? Check. Crisis management skills? Double-check. “The most valuable thing I’ve learned in handling a crisis situation is to take responsibility as a leader and refrain from resorting to a blame game.”

For those eyeing BBFS, Akash’s advice is simple: “Close your eyes and join BBFS! Here, you will work in harmony.”
I think it’s safe to say that Akash is not only making a positive impact on Indian football through his journey but has also discovered a rewarding and purposeful career at BBFS.

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