Entrepreneur of the Year entrant – Janki Deole
Janki Deole was the first person from India to study for a sports psychology degree in the UK and went on to set up India’s first professional sports and performance consultancy.
The Staffordshire University alumni holds a PhD, MSc and BSc in psychology from the UK with a speciality in sport, exercise and performance.
“I am the highest qualified sport psychologist in the country and my contribution has been key in the advancement of sport and performance psychology in India,” she said.
Janki co-founded Samiksha Sports Pvt Ltd, a pioneer in the field of sport psychology in India. It is the first and regarded as one of the most trusted consultancy services in India in its field.
She has worked with athletes, boxers, weightlifters, cricketers, archers, divers and other sporting champions helping them to perform at the peak of their sport and to handle the pressure of competing.
Janki has also developed programmes for sports coaches and inspired schoolchildren to enjoy exercise and sport through a life skills scheme.
She honed her skills while doing a PhD in Sport Science and Psychology at Staffordshire University. Although she visited Stoke-on-Trent during her studies she was based thousands of miles away in India and benefited from the flexibility of distance learning.
She first became an international student in 2005 when she enrolled on a degree in Psychology, Sport and Performance at Middlesex University. She went on to take a Masters at Loughborough University.
Janki began her PhD journey at Staffordshire University in 2013, completing the Doctorate in 2019.
Now Janki has entered the Entrepreneur of the Year category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.
Gayatri Vartak, the co-founder of Janki’s business, said: “It gives me immense pleasure to recommend Janki. I have known Janki since 2011 as a fellow sport psychologist.
“Janki evidently came across as a passionate young woman with a dream to build and grow sport psychology in India. It was her determination and willingness to give it everything to not only become a competent sport psychologist but the belief to make it a successful business that drove me to partner with Janki and co-found Samiksha Sports.
“Her entrepreneurial spirit and her ability to dream big has been key in achieving Samiksha’s success and recognition.
“I can proudly say that today Samiksha Sports is synonymous to sport psychology in India. Without Janki, this was impossible.
“Furthermore, she has left no stone unturned to make Samiksha the brand that it is today. She is a true leader who is always open to feedback, believes in empowering people and works hard to achieve the vision she has for the company.
“Janki has often mentioned about the contribution of her time in the UK in not only helping her become a proficient sport psychologist but to instill the entrepreneurial spirit into her.
“Janki is India’s highest qualified sport psychologist and a pioneer in the field – an inspiration for Indian women to work in the sports industry. She is a role model to the future aspiring sport psychologists. I strongly recommend Janki for the entrepreneurship award.”