Dipa Karmakar is that gem who has taken the gymnastic world by surprise and finally brought media coverage to a fascinating sport that is sadly under-represented in India.


At the tender age of 23 she is in the league of athletes such as Sania Nehwal.

Daughter of weight lifter, who found her interest in gymnastic in her childhood days, Karmakar has made her parents proud at every step she has taken. Today, she is the first Indian woman to qualify for the Olympics, first Indian female gymnast to win a medal at the commonwealth games, first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics after 52 years and the list could go on.

Dipa has not only qualified for the Rio Olympics but she is also an inspiration to many people who want to succeed in life even after facing hurdles .

Things which every entrepreneur or startup should learn from Karmakar:

1. Value Good Mentoring and Never Forget it

Dipa Karmakar has acknowledged time and again the contribution her coach, veteran Bibeshwar Nandi, has had in her success. From helping her fight flat feet as a kid to urging her to stretch her limits, he has mentored and guided her towards the right direction. By being a willing student, Dipa has succeeded in doing what few have been able to do before her. Having a good mentor is important to pick us up when we don’t know where we are going and encourage us when we are going strong is invaluable in any venture.

2. You may win or lose a Battle: But Winning the War is all that matters

Dipa finished fourth at the 2014 Asian Games but remained unfazed about it. In fact, when she was asked about the same she pointed out that the gold and silver winners were the top two gymnasts at the Olympics while the bronze winner was a World Championship winner as well. Therefore, she was happy that she had been able to give the cream of the crop among international gymnasts a hard and bitter fight.
As entrepreneurs, there are pitches you often lose to others. Instead of letting that affect you, it is important to detach from the winning-losing game and savour how you came to fight the big league on your own in the first place. The harder the fight, the more you learn.

3. Know your Competition

As is evident from the above point, Dipa is keenly aware of her competition, and she takes it one step at a time. Never lose sight of the competition is the mantra.

The most important rule of any sport and this applies to the business as well. Before entering into the market it important for the business owners, to learn about its competitors, so it’s easy for them to compete with them in healthy manner.

4. There is no shortcut to the big league

There is none. Even if your startup is born with a silver spoon nothing will be retained unless you pump in the hard work necessary. You may have heard of Dipa NOW, but she has been training since she was six!
She is a gold medalist at the 2011 National Games, a bronze medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, finished fourth at the 2014 Asian Games and won another bronze at the 2015 Artistic Gymnastics Asian Championships. And you have heard about her only NOW! That’s how hard the road to success is!

5. Without risks nothing is possible!

A Produnova in vaulting is when you do a double vault and land on your feet. It is such a dangerous move that it is called the vault of death because you can snap your spine if the landing is not right. Only five other gymnasts in the world can do/have done a Produnova and Dipa Karmakar is one among them.
She started training for the Produnova only months before the qualifying tournament and managed to nail it. Today she has the financial backing of the government (Rs. 30 lakhs) that few Indian gymnasts can hope. Had she not taken the risk she would not have been where she is today.

6. Dedication towards work:

At the age of 6 Karmakar started practicing gymnastics. But do know, when Karmakar first enrolled in gymnastics classes she had a flat foot which is not good for gymnast. This flat foot affected the springs in her jump and it was the hardest part for her to fix. But her dedication towards her sport and her will to do something big never stopped her. She worked really hard on her foot and the end result you all know.

So being an entrepreneur, it is essential for you to be dedicated towards your goal and strive for it.

7. Winning should be the ultimate goal:

Karmakar teach us very important lesson,winning should be your ultimate goal. Whatever you do your main focus should be on winning it by hook or by cook.

There was a time when she was a part of the Indian gymnastics contingent at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where Ashish Kumar won India’s first-ever Commonwealth Games gymnastics medal. And this was the time when she told herself, ‘I will win it for India in Glasgow four years down the line.” And she did it.

8. Fight your own hurdles 

Karmakar had flat feet when she first enrolled in gymnastics classes.

“I still remember Dipa coming to me as a flat-footed kid, which is not good for a gymnast. It affects the spring in her jump,” her coach told .

“That was the hardest part to fix for Dipa. We had to work very, very hard when she was a little kid to get the curve in her feet.”

As entrepreneurs, there are pitches you often lose to others. Instead of letting that affect you, it is important to detach from the winning-losing game and savour how you came to fight the big league on your own in the first place. The harder the fight, the more you learn.

About Author

Sangeeta Ghosh

Sangeeta is an engineering graduate and is passionate about painting and music. She is always blooming with new ideas and is a real go to person when you are searching for one. Exploring good dining places across the city is her favourite off-field indulgence. At KnowStartup, she is an integral part of the editorial team.

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