Tuesday, the Premier Handball Competition (PHL) confirmed the Maharashtra Ironmen as the fourth club for the much-anticipated debut season of the franchise-based league. PunitBalan of the PunitBalan Group owns the Maharashtra squad.
Punit Balan has gained a reputation for his brilliance and solid financial acumen as an Olympic sports enthusiast and owner of teams in several athletic competitions. He is also becoming a visionary with investments in sports, entertainment, and real estate.
“Having stakeholders who are similarly committed and have a vision for Handball in India is a wonderful match for us at PHL,” said Manu Agrawal, CEO of Bluesport Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. We are delighted to welcome Mr Punit Balan and the PunitBalan Group to the team, and we believe that this collaboration will not only help to restore Maharashtra’s rich sporting legacy but will also allow the sport of handball to be developed into a commercially viable product in Maharashtra, where it is already widespread.”
Punit, a passionate sports fan and young idol, has made significant contributions to the financial sustainability of Army Goodwill Schools and Parivar School Society in Jammu and Kashmir through the IndraniBalan Foundation.
Sports are an essential part of Maharashtra’s culture, and Punit will now strive to improve handball in the area and push the sport to the next level in collaboration with PHL. He also owns teams in several sports competitions, including the Tennis Premier League, and he has a stake in a sports employment company.
“I have always believed in strategic collaborations with competitive and dynamic partners to bring about change and progress,” Punit Balan, CMD Punit Balan Group, stated. Handball is one of the most thrilling games, with a unique blend of speed, agility, technique, talent, and teamwork, and it has a large fan base in the Western market.
“I feel that if properly pushed and supported, it would have the same appeal in the Indian market.” Furthermore, being an Olympic sport with many participants from the military services, handball is an obvious choice for our group. “We will aim to revolutionise this new-age sport through PHL,” Balan stated.
Bluesport Entertainment Pvt Ltd—premier league’s licensee under the aegis of Handball Federation of India—had earlier launched three teams: Garvit Gujarat, Golden Eagles Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan Wolverines.
The Maharashtra Ironmen will be among the six teams to feature in the inaugural edition, slated to take place later this year as PHL gets set to revolutionise Indian handball and give it a complete makeover.