Cricketer Suresh Raina on entrepreneurship and life post-retirement

Raina talks of his second innings with his new business venture Maaté, a range of babycare products he has started with his wife, Priyanka

Published: Nov 14, 2020 06:24:58 AM IST
Updated: Nov 13, 2020 02:41:32 PM IST

suresh rainaSuresh Raina

Suresh Raina announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, after representing India for 15 years. The attacking southpaw, who’s led India to numerous victories, is ready for his second innings as an entrepreneur and philanthropist with his ventures Maaté (a range of baby care products) and Gracia Raina Foundation (GRF, named after daughter Gracia) in which wife Priyanka is co-founder. In an interview with Forbes India, Raina speaks about his plans for the ventures.
 
Q. What are your plans post retirement?
After wearing the Indian jersey for 15 years I am filled with gratitude. This is a new phase in my career, which I am excited to get into.

I would like to focus on my work with the GRF, which is working towards building awareness and active engagement in the areas of adolescent and maternal health. I am also working closely with some state governments to develop sports and cricket academies, as well as support schools to upgrade their facilities.

It is time for me to give back in an effective way by supporting grassroot-level sports development. It is important to make quality training and facilities available to the vast pool of talent that we have.
 
Q. What is the thought behind Maaté and GRF?
Like every parent, I am protective of my child, and with Priyanka always being so cautious about what she’s giving the baby, I learnt a lot regarding parenthood. Maaté was born out of that need, the authenticity that parents need with something they can completely trust.

GRF was launched with a simple goal of empowering women, in and on the cusp of their reproductive age, with knowledge and awareness that further enables them to make better reproductive and maternal health-oriented decisions.
 
Q. What is the USP of Maaté in a market that is overwhelmed with baby care brands?
Maaté curates premium, natural, baby wellness products. Traditional Indian wisdom is combined with scientific research by harnessing the potency of precious oils, herbs and extracts to give natural nourishment to young ones.

The essence of our collections comes from natural oils, which get absorbed deeply and nourish. Combined with herbs and plant extracts, our soothing formulations ensures a baby’s wellness and protection. We believe in having specific products for specific needs. In a market obsessed with one-stop solutions, Maaté’s range of products is specially formulated and tested to provide precise and targeted benefits. Artificial additives, fragrances, and colours are not added; we like to keep it pure and authentic. The products use all-natural ingredients like green gram, fenugreek, neem leaf extracts, oats, saffron oil, kokum butter and chamomile oil.
 
Q. How appealing is the business aspect to you? What have been the difficulties and learnings?
I am still trying to learn the nuances of business and marketing. It is something new, but I feel as long as you strongly believe in what you are doing, which is for a greater purpose, you don’t go wrong.

As far as the GRF and Maaté go, I am learning every day... the ventures are like my babies. I feel it is essential to associate with partners that have the ideology and personality traits I can relate to—honesty and sound family values.

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(This story appears in the 20 November, 2020 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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