One of the two latest entrants in the I-League, Jindal Vijayanagar Steel (JSW) on Thursday said it was committed to improving the standards of the league.
"Commercially speaking, there's enormous potential as far as the I-League is concerned. We appreciate the efforts being made by AIFF. At the same time we are optimistic that we can do our bit as well to simultaneously increase the standards of the I-League and our team," said Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW.
In a significant development, the All India Football Federation last month ratified the decision of the Bid Evaluation Committee to provisionally clear JSW (to be based in Bangalore) and Mumbai Tigers (to be based in Mumbai) to play in the 2013-14 edition of the I-League.
Asked how do they plan to earn revenue, Ghouse said, "We are working on our business model and are looking at various options which would help us to be commercially viable and sustainable in years to come."
And about players signings and recruitment of staff, he said, "The process is on and we are working hard to be ready in time for the pre-season to kick-off. It's an ongoing process and we will surely make an announcement as and when we are ready."
Talking about the philosophy of JSW, Ghouse said, "Sports stay an integral part of our culture and we have been promoting it at the youth level for long. We intend to carry forward the same philosophy and build upon it. There's an abundance of talent in India that needs to be nurtured to excel in the near future."
He said community development will be on top of their priority list.
"As a Group, the JSW Foundation is into a lot of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities and we will be using their expertise over the same. We will start in Bangalore and then spread it on a pan-Indian scale."
As far as sports merchandising was concerned, Ghouse said, "I feel it's still early days for sports merchandising in India. We will eventually venture into it but not right now.