Badminton player, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu also known as PV Sindhu is one of India’s biggest sports personalities. Professional from the age of 13 years, a consistent medal winner, won Silver Medal in Rio Olympics in 2016 and a bronze medal in Tokyo Olympics 2020. In Aug 2019 PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win a gold at the BWF World Championships breaking the tag of a choker in finals. PV Sindhu is the country’s highest-paid non-cricketer on the brand partnership. A biopic is being planned on her by Sonu Sood. How was PV Sindhu’s journey? What sacrifices did she make? Where has she studied? How much does she earn through brand partnerships?
“I have reached wherever I have because of the sacrifices of my parents”
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PV Sindhu Journey to Success
PV Sindhu was born on 5 July 1995 in Hyderabad to P. V. Ramana and P. Vijaya. Her father PV Ramana was a part of the national team that won the bronze at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games and is an Arjuna awardee. She has an elder sister, Dr P. V. Divya, who was a national-level handball player. However, she was not interested in pursuing professional sports and became a doctor. Divya is settled in the US and has a son.
PV Sindhu Early years
Sindhu parents met while playing various volleyball matches and tournaments and got married. Sindhu would accompany her parents to practice and was drawn into the sport. She was six then.
Pullela Gopichand’s win in 2001 All England Badminton Championship inspired Sindhu and she chose Badminton over Volleyball at age of eight in 2003.
Sindhu started her training with Mehboob Ali at the badminton courts of Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunications in Secunderabad. As a child, she did not get many chances to play with the senior players, so she was advised by coach Mehboob Ali to do wall practice.
In 2005 She won her first major tournament in 5th Servo All India ranking championship in the under-10 category. Sindhu also won the singles title at the Ambuja Cement All India ranking at that young age of 10.
In 2007, a 13-year-old Sindhu won doubles titles in the Under-13 category at four major tournaments: the IOC All India Ranking, Krishna Khaitan All India Tournament, the Sub-Junior Nationals and the All India Ranking in Pune. This brought herr widespread recognition on the domestic circuit.
In 2008, Sindhu joined the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad. She would travel a one-way distance of 30 km every day from Marredpally to Gawchibowli twice a day making for 120kms of travel every day. This meant waking at 3 am every day to reach the academy by 4 am.
In 2009, Sindhu won the gold medal in the Under-14 category at the 51st National School Games in India. In the same year, Sindhu won a bronze medal at the 2009 Sub-Junior Asian Badminton Championships held in Colombo.
In 2010, Sindhu won the silver in the women’s singles at the Iran Fajr International Badminton Challenge. She then became part of the national team of India in the 2010 Uber Cup.
In 2012, Sindhu won Gold in Asia Youth Under-19 Championships
P. V. Sindhu ended 2013 on a happy note by winning Macau Open Grand Prix and the Arjuna Award, one of the highest honours for any sportsperson in India.
In 2015, she played at the Denmark Open and reached the final by defeating three seeded players, Tai Tzu-ying, Wang Yihan and Carolina Marin. In November 2015, she bagged successive women’s singles title at the Macau Open Grand Prix.
The biggest moment of Sindhu’s career came in the year 2016 when she went on to become the first female athlete from India to win a silver medal at Rio Olympics. Along with Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar, she made every Indian proud in the Olympics. She was graced with India’s 4th highest civilian honour, The Padma Shri Award, in 2016.
PV Sindhu Education Qualification and Job
Sindhu attended regular school, Auxilium High School in Hyderabad till 9th grade. She missed her class X board exams because of badminton tournament in Moscow.
She wrote supplementary in Class X and passed. She holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from St. Ann’s College for Women, Secunderabad. She completed her MBA from the same college.
From July 2013, Sindhu has been employed with Bharat petroleum as an assistant sports manager with the Hyderabad office. After the Rio Olympics medal, she is promoted to a deputy sports manager in Bharat Petroleum.
Contribution of PV Sindhu Parents
“My daughter has made a lot of sacrifices. I have witnessed firsthand the amount of hard work she put in for the past 13-14 years. This medal is a culmination of all that. Not many would know this, but for the past six months, she has not even touched her mobile phone, just so that she can be more focussed. That’s the kind of discipline she has,” Sindhu’s mother Vijaya
V Sindhu’s heroics are also down to a pivotal part her parents played in grooming her to be a winner. Sindhu comes from a sports family, both her father and mother are former national-level volleyball players. But it hasn’t been an easy road to the pinnacle of success. Her parents always stood by her, gave her confidence, and the right motivation to realise her dreams. They have dedicated their lives for Sindhu’s success.
Her mother Vijaya was working in Railways but quit her job to give her full-fledged attention to Sindhu and her sports training. Sindhu’s mother ensured that her daughter was always fit and firing. She acted as a mother, dietitian, and a fitness guru.
Sindhu credits her success to her father PV Ramana. Ramana instilled sporting discipline in Sindhu from an early age. A dedicated player since the beginning, Sindhu never took her training sessions lightly. She would travel a one-way distance of 30 km every day from Marredpally to Gawchibowli twice a day making for 120kms of travel every day. This meant waking at 3 am every day to reach the academy by 4 am.
Ramana accompanied her to training every day. He eventually decided to move closer to the academy so that less time was spent travelling and Sindhu could focus more on her game.
A. Chowdary, Joint Secretary, Badminton Association of India, mentions how Sindhu’s father would massage her feet when she would get tired from all the practice and would go wherever she went. “When everybody was fast asleep they woke up for a cause. Ramana gave up everything for Sindhu. He used to follow his daughter like a shadow where ever she went to play. He was seen in Nellore, Ravulapalem, Bhimavaram, Chirala, and Vijayawada during the State tournaments and national events. Ramana’s wife Vijayalakshmi sought voluntary retirement from the Railways to take care of her daughter’s career.”
Choker, Silver Queen
From Olympics in 2016, Sindhu won six finals (including World Championships) and lost 11 finals. Finally, in Aug 2019, she won BWF World Championships. After two final losses, many would call it being third-time lucky! But Sindhu made sure her performance was such that there was no sharing the credit with luck. Her final losses since 2016 Olympics:
August 19, 2016: Lost to Carolina Marin in Olympics final.
November 27, 2016: Lost to Tai Tzu Ying in Hong Kong Open.
August 27, 2017: Lost to Nozomi Okuhara at the World Championships.
November 2017: Lost to Tai Tzu Ying at Hong Kong Open.
December 2017: Lost to Akane Yamaguchi at World Super Series Finals in Dubai.
February 2018: Lost to Beiwen Zhang at India Open.
April 2018: Lost to Saina Nehwal at Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
July 2018: Lost to Nozomi Okuhara at Thailand Open.
August 2018: Lost to Carolina Marin at World Championships in Nanjing, China.
August 2018: Lost to Tai Tzu Ying at Asian Games in Jakarta.
July 21, 2019: Lost to Akane Yamaguchi at the Indonesia Open.
PV Sindhu Endorsements
PV Sindhu is the country’s highest-paid non-cricketer on the brand partnership. She is also among the most marketable athletes globally according to the latest Forbes report, which has greats like Serena (Williams). After her Olympic feat, Sindhu had signed a landmark deal with Baseline Ventures, a sports management company,
Sindhu has about 14 brands that she endorses. As per reports, Sindhu took home around ₹40 crore in 2018, through brand associations. She endorses Li-Ning, PNB MetLife, Vizag Steel, Bank of Baroda, Apis Honey, Johnson & Johnson, Moov, Gatorade, Panasonic Battery, Bridgestone, Mission sports, JBL and Myntra. Interestingly, her first two brands Vizag Steel and Bank of Baroda are still with her.
According to industry sources, after her recent Gold win at BWF World Championships, her brand value is expected to rise dramatically, and her fees may set new records.
PV Sindhu Prize Money after Rio Win
It rained rewards for PV Sindhu after she won India’s first silver medal in Badminton at Rio Olympics 2016. She got reward worth 13 crore. The 21-year-old shuttler from Hyderabad was honoured by several state governments and private organisations for her remarkable achievement. The decision to award these Olympians from outside the state is to inspire the girls across the country to pursue sports and bring laurels to the nation
- AP Govt 3 crores
- Telangana Govt 5 Crores.
- Delhi Govt 2 Crores
- MP Govt 50 Lakhs
- All India Football Federation 5 Lakhs
- Bharat Petroleum 75 Lakhs
- Salman Khan 25 Lakhs. Salman Khan was the brand ambassador of the Indian contingent at Rio
- Badminton Association of India 50 Lakhs
- Mukkattu Sebastian, An Indian Businessman settled in UAE announced 5 Million USD(2.5 Million USD for Sakhsi, bronze medalist in Rio)
- Olympic Association of India 30 Lakhs
- Haryana Govt 50 Lakhs
- Railway Ministry 50 Lakhs
- About 2000 Square Yards of Land in AP and Telangana.
- Grade 1 Government Job in both Telangana and Andra Pradesh. In Jul 2017 PV Sindhu was appointed as Deputy Collector in Andhra Pradesh government. Details here. But is it fair?
- A BMW Beemer worth 2 Crores.
- Mahindra to gift her their top in the line SUV
- 3-4 Builders in AP have announced Flats as a gift to Sindhu and her parents.
Biopic on PV Sindhu
Currently, biopics are being made on both badminton superstars of India, Sindhu and Saina. The biopic on Saina Nehwal is in the making with Parineeti Chopra playing Saina.
Sonu Sood is producing the biopic on Sindhu, says he bought the rights to this film because “It’s not just a biopic, it’s a responsibility”. Elaborating, the actor says, “She is the reason why a million little girls in India will dream of becoming world champions. So, in that sense, it’s a movie that has the power to move the entire nation.”
The actor, who’s playing the role of Gopichand in the biopic, says the film is still in the scripting stage. “Now that she’s World Champion, we plan to incorporate that in our film’s climax.”
India Badminton Girls
Badminton, once associated with just two heroes of India, Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand ,is today being dominated by the heroines. PV Sindhu’s historic BWF World Championship victory proves that yet again. But it all began with Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who made the hitherto cricket crazy nation sit up and take notice by winning a gold medal in women’s doubles at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in Delhi. The duo followed it up with a bronze medal at World Badminton Championships 2011, ending a 28-year-old medal drought for India at the showpiece event.
Saina Nehwal’s meteoric rise brought the spotlight back on Indian badminton and inspired many young kids.PV Sindhu carried on the dream.
Who next after Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu? In Badminton, India has slipped from the highs of 2017. The grip of Indian women appears to be loosening. Nehwal was in the top 10 between 2009 and 2016 and has returned there again this year. Similarly, Sindhu has been a fixture in the top 10 since late-2016. In the last 10 years, the number of Indian male players who broke into the top 50 exceeded the number of Indian women players that did so in each year except 2012. But the men’s side still waits for its Nehwal or Sindhu—a player who is there at the business end on many occasions. Interesting article, The plateau facing Indian singles badminton
Saina Nehwal vs PV Sindhu
Is Saina better than Sindhu? Does Sindhu have the upper hand against Saina? The knee injury Saina sustained in 2015 changed things drastically for her. During that time Sindhu kept on doing well.
The Women’s singles final at the Senior Badminton Nationals held in Guwahati on Feb 2019, saw Saina Nehwal take on PV Sindhu. An aggressive Saina beat Sindhu in straight games 21-18, 21-15
Saina had left the academy and trained under Vimal Kumar and then she again came back to the Gopichand academy after three years. Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are training at separate academies of national coach Pullela Gopichand ever since their epic Commonwealth Games summit clash in Gold Coast, eager to ensure that neither of them gets a whiff of the other’s strategies and improvisations.
The girls, who train together at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad, say they are like family, despite the “healthy competition” with each other. Talking of the relationship with Sindhu, Saina says, “We are good friends. When we’re on court, we both give it our all and try our best to win the game, but when we’re off the court, we get along well. I feel on-court rivalry is important to improve our game.” Sindhu nods in agreement, “When we’re playing against each other, our focus is only on winning. But once the match is done, we chat like friends do.” While Saina is looked upon as the ‘senior’ of the lot,
But why are we even comparing the two players? Why does there have to be a “better” player between these two incredible athletes, barring on occasions when they take on each other? They are both Indian players and at any multi-nation tournament, like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games or the Olympics, they win medals to add to India’s overall medal tally. Is it not enough to celebrate the brilliant individuality that both Saina and Sindhu bring to the badminton courts?
P V Sindhu Interview
You have won two big titles now, the World Tour Finals and the World Championships, does that add extra pressure?
Responsibility is always there. We just need to get on the court and give our best rather than feeling pressurized. If you think we have to win because everybody is expecting a lot would add extra pressure. It is better to go in with a mindset that you need to give the best just for yourself.
And it would’ve called for many sacrifices too? Especially in the run-up to the World Championships?
I toiled very hard to prepare myself for the Worlds. I did not change my food habits as junk food is not for me. But the only sacrifice I made was to subject my body to a lot of strain.
What do you think of P V Sindhu’s journey? Is Saina better than Sindhu? How many awards will she get on Winning the Bronze Medal in Tokyo 2020.