Interviewee Harkiran Singh Chima
BA.LLB (Hons) NLIU, Bhopal.
MS in Sports Management, Columbia University.
Masters in Global Sports Law, Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía.
Content and Relationship Manager, Zenit St Petersburg Football Club, Russia.
Sports Correspondent, DNA India and DB Post India.
Extensive experience with ADR. Participated and won prizes at various ADR competitions. Past Convenor, ADRC, NLIU Bhopal.
Interview by Nandini Garg, our campus leader from NLIU Bhopal.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello, I am Harkiran Singh Chima. Brought up in Bhopal, I graduated from National Law Institute University, Bhopal in 2016 and am currentlydoing two masters – MS in Sports Management, Columbia University, USA and Masters in Global Sports Law at Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía, Madrid.
Along with doing my masters, I am working for Zenit St Petersburg, one of Europe’s biggest football clubs. I also write weekly sports articles for the Dainik Bhaskar’s English language newspapers DNA and DB Post.
Tell us about your time as a student in NLIU.
NLIU was certainly a big stepping stone in my career. Along with being a great educational experience even though I was never a good student, it helped my grow at an individual level with the practical challenges thrown my way.
How did you manage to keep-up your special interest in sports and blend it with law?
Sports always have and will always be my first interest. Throughout college, I made it a point to watch each and every game of each and every sport I like. Many a times, I was up watching Champions League games at 3:30 am and giving an exam at 9 am.
From a professional standpoint, I always knew that law as a discipline would always help me with whatsoever career path I pursue. Sports require innumerable regulations and laws (both competitive and administrative) so I think my special interest aligned very well with law and I never thought of both of them to be at loggerheads.
Tell us about your experience in pursuing different Masters degrees related to sports in foreign universities.
Studying in foreign universities, and specifically an Ivy League institution is resplendent experience all- together.
You learn a lot from the impressive alumni base, social and professional networking events, teachers who’re industry professionals (I’ve had teachers from Bayern Munich, NBA, Bloomberg etc.) and multitudes of top notch students from all around the world.
Also, the course structure has a practical orientation and forces you to think and put in an extra effort. More often than not I’m doing 2-4 arduous assignments a week, something I had never imagined while in college in India.
Why did you choose a career in sports law over ADR?
It’s all about perspective. Both are indistinguishable according to me – ALL kinds of sports deals involve negotiation. ALL sorts of sports disputes involve mediation and arbitration. So by choosing this career, I’m only furthering the skillset I developed during graduation and applying it into the field I want to work in.
Please share your experience in Zenit St Petersburg Football Club, Russia. Did your legal background helped you in acquiring this position and carrying out the responsibilities associated with it?
No. My legal background has no bearing whatsoever with regards to this position. I’m working with Zenit’s Media and Marketing department and am working towards growing Zenit’s brand in non-European markets (India specifically).
You have also been associated with various Indian newspapers as a Sports Correspondent. Please tell our readers about that.
I write for Dainik Bhaskar’s English language daily’s – DB Post and DNA. My articles include the latest developments around the sports industry.
I’ve also facilitated a deal between Columbia University’s Sports Management program and Dainik Bhaskar for promotion of the program in India.
Columbia seek to partner with an Indian university and bring the program to India in coming years and I think the best way to grow awareness is through traditional and social media.
Any suggestion or advice for our readers.
All I’d say is – Believe in yourself with utmost conviction and chase your dream without any second thoughts. You’ll eventually get whatever you want.