Saturday, August 6, 2022

Pine Labs Launches Second Innings Program In Association With Natekar Sports And Fitness

* Onboards six former Indian athletes from diverse sporting backgrounds

Leading merchant commerce omnichannel platform, Pine Labs today announced the hiring of six former Indian athletes under its ‘Second Innings’ program, an initiative to reskill and employ retired sportspeople in India. The company has partnered with Natekar Sports & Fitness (NSF) which is led by its founder Gaurav Natekar who is a former India number 1 tennis player, Arjuna Awardee, double Asian Games gold medalist, and son of the legendary Indian badminton star Late Nandu Natekar.

Pine Labs and NSF will be mapping each of these hired athletes to the right job within the Pine Labs organisation and provide the necessary skill development training as well. These new hires will be entitled to the same perks as existing employees, and they will also be a part of the Pine Labs Annual Review process.

Commenting on the initiative, B Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs, said, “This could not have come at a better time. In the month when India celebrates 75 years of Independence, and the country’s sporting heroes vie for the top honors at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, I am delighted to announce the launch of the ‘Pine Labs Second Innings’ program. It is our initiative in partnership with Natekar Sports & Fitness to empower retired Indian sporting heroes who have given their all in the service of their state/country. We strongly believe this needs to be the start of a bigger movement and should not just stop at Pine Labs. Happy to have some real Champions join us this month.”

“The Indian sporting ecosystem has seen tremendous strides in the past few years. However, one area that has concerned me tremendously is the lack of job opportunities in the private sector for the thousands of Indian sportspersons and athletes who give their heart and soul to play for India but are unable to make the grade for various reasons and are then left stranded once they retire from active sport. I am delighted that ‘Second Innings’ an initiative by Pine Labs in partnership with Natekar Sports & Fitness will be aiming to address this huge issue. I strongly believe this initiative has the potential to be a path breaking program which will not only create more jobs for our sportspersons but will also inspire more youngsters to take up sport. We are confident that all the stakeholders in the Indian sports ecosystem including the ministry, federations, NGOs and sports organizations will support the program to ensure its success.” said Gaurav Natekar, Founder, Natekar Sports & Fitness (NSF).

"Appreciate the opportunity given to me. I have been working with the sports industry for a decade. During pandemic I lost my job, that is when I started looking for a non-sports job, and I was browsing on LinkedIn, and I came across Pine Labs post (2nd Innings program). Sounded interesting to me and applied.

One day I received a call that I was shortlisted, and I was happy, excited, confused (What am I going to do here.)

Appreciate the way we were welcomed and for the arrangements done for the training so far." said Rakesh Basavaiah, track & field athlete from Bengaluru.

The ‘Second Innings’ initiative by Pine Labs has the potential to transform into a big movement, driven by the startup community and one that aids government efforts in strengthening the aspirations of the sporting talent in the country once they are past their prime in sports.

About Natekar Sports & Fitness (NSF)

Natekar Sports & Fitness (NSF) is a firm founded by a family of sportspeople who have represented India on the international platform in their respective sports and have a combined experience of over 100 years in the sporting industry. They include the late Nandu Natekar, a doyen and legend of Badminton in India, his son Gaurav Natekar, multiple times national champion, Arjuna Awardee and double Asian Games gold medallist, and Gaurav’s wife Arati Ponnappa Natekar, a former India number 1 tennis player and multiple times national champion. Today, NSF works with some of the biggest companies in the public and private sector on sports advisory, consulting, infrastructure development, and management. To know more, please email and visit

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