Boxer MC Mary Kom’s profile has changed ever since her exploits at the 2012 London Olympics Games, where she won a bronze medal.
The pugilist from Manipur flew to Hong Kong on Thursday night to raise funds for her boxing academy in Manipur. On Women’s Day in April, she was busy representing the Asian continent at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarter in Lausanne. On World Yoga Day (June 21), she will be the chief guest at the India consulate in Dubai. An animation series on the life and times of the Asian Games gold-medallist boxer is also in the pipeline.
If IOS Sports and Entertainment Private Ltd, the company that manages her, is to be believed, Mary Kom’s brand value is in the Rs. 100-crore bracket. “She is a household name in the country now. Corporates are willing to support her,” said Neerav Tomar, the managing director of IOS Sports.
Despite earning name and fame, Mary Kom is still very down to earth. The five-time world champion says she now wants to give something back to the community. “It’s payback time,” she says, when asked about her plans to expand her boxing academy. “The academy,” she says, “isn’t just for Manipur athletes but open to all. Anybody can come and train.”
Though the academy is operational, she is awaiting a formal inauguration from the Prime Minister.
The international medals apart, her biopic featuring a top Bollywood actor, too played a big role in taking her popularity far and wide. Today, she endorses as many as 17 brands, is the brand ambassador of Thailand tourism and her estimated annual earnings are in the range of R6-8 crore.
There is a perceptible change in her accent as well. Mary Kom has a hearty laugh when she is told her communication skills have improved a lot in the last decade. “I am in a different league now,” she tells HT.
But will all this change her outlook towards the 2016 Rio Olympics Games. “Not at all,” she says with an air of confidence, adding, “I follow a strict physical fitness regimen. Once the national camp gets underway, I have to polish my punching skills.”