Naini is a writer at Forbes India, who likes to dabble in storytelling across all forms of media. She writes on various topics ranging from innovation and startups to cryptocurrency and agricultureâanything and everything that makes for an interesting story. Before her stint at Forbes India, she worked for close to a year at Outlook Business. With five years of work experience, she co-produces Forbes Indiaâs video series âFrom The Fieldâ and hosts the podcast âTeenpreneursâ. She also emcees at events and moderates panel discussions from time-to-time. Naini is a part of Forbes Indiaâs digital team, also handles Forbes Indiaâs Instagram account and helps plan events. An avid learner, she has completed her PGDM in Journalism from Xavier Institute of Communication and Bachelorâs of Mass Media from Sophia College for Women in Mumbai. Be it at work or home, you will not find her working without her headphones and work playlist. She loves trekking and travelling, experimenting in the kitchen, watching films and reading.
Virat Kohli topping the 2019 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List is an indication of the popularity of cricket in India. However, other sportspersons too are earning accolades and reaping the benefits of fame. Seven non-cricketers have made it to the list this year.
Wrestler Bajrang Punia debuts at No 94 with earnings of ₹2.4 crore. Currently, World No 2 in the 65 kg freestyle category, Punia—who won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in December—is prepping for the 2020 Olympics. Footballer Sunil Chhetri returns at No 85, with earnings of ₹6.1 crore. He had debuted on the list in 2017, ranked 100 with earnings of ₹2.3 crore. Olympic medallist Mary Kom also makes a comeback. The boxer is ranked 87 with earnings of ₹3.9 crore, a 36.8 percent jump from the 2016 figure of ₹2.85 crore.
Mary Kom Image: Amit Verma
“I think there has been a definite shift in the visibility and viability of Indian athletes outside of cricket. You can’t compare it in terms of numbers and earnings, but they have managed to make their own space,” says Sharda Ugra, senior editor at ESPN India and ESPNCricinfo.
However, it was a tough year for badminton players. PV Sindhu’s earnings dropped from ₹36.5 crore in 2018 to ₹21.05 crore, resulting in her ranking slipping from 20 to 63. But she remains the highest paid non-cricket sportsperson on the list. Saina Nehwal’s earnings also took a serious hit: From ₹16.54 crore in 2018 to ₹3 crore this year. Srikanth Kidambi who was on the list since 2017 has dropped off this year.
Sunil Chhetri Image: Nishant Ratnakar
Golfer Anirban Lahiri and tennis player Rohan Bopanna’s earnings also saw a significant drop. Lahiri’s fell from ₹11.99 crore (2018) to ₹5.3 crore (2019) while Bopanna’s is ₹1.87 crore (2019) from ₹3.27 crore (2018). Boxer Vijender Singh and golfer Shubhankar Sharma, who were on the 2018 list at ranks 96 and 98 respectively, don’t find a place this year.