Kushal Das's resume would be the envy of MBA aspirants and sport enthusiasts alike. The man, who served as ICC's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since 2008, began his tenure as the new general-secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Monday, replacing Alberto Colaco.
"I was out most of the time meeting people and just spent 15 minutes at office. I will be travelling on work for a while and so there isn't much I can look into prior to the end of the Diwali holidays," began the St Stephen's alumnus who was the CFO of IMG for 12 years.
Asked by Hindustan Times as to what made him take up the reigns at AIFF, the 48-year old explained: "I wanted to come to India and the AIFF represents quite a challenge from what I was used to at ICC where the management is professional. The operational mechanism needs improvement which will result in a more commercially viable body. There should be more money coming in then, allowing me to implement a more efficient development system at the grassroots level." In a lighter vein, he added: "With the ICC , it became a maintenance job after a while as thigns were already in place!"
Das remained tight-lipped about the grapevine reports of Reliance-IMG coming onboard as AIFF's new broadcast partners, stating, "We're still in talks with them and with others."
With regard to how football has changed since 1996 when IMG was associated with the National Football League, Das said, "It's sad but the sport was extremely promising back then. The vast potential that exists needs to be addressed and that the India team with Bob Houghton has been doing well over the last few months comes as an advantage."
And finally, when asked about Colaco who was at the AIFF helm since 2000 when he was appointed honorary-secretary, the new chief said. "He will be here working with special projects over the next few months so it's great as I will learn from his experience."