New Delhi: For Deepak Malik, table tennis is an integral part of his life. His journey so far has been a roller coaster ride. From travelling six hours a day to attend a two-hour training session in Delhi; to supporting his own training and travel expenses by taking up coaching assignments, the Rohtak paddler has come a long way.
Speaking about his journey, Malik said that all his hard work is now paying off as Stupa Sports Analytics (Stupa), an Indian Sports Tech Startup, which he has co-founded with his wife Megha Gambhir, has been signed up by USA Table Tennis (USATT), the national governing body for the sport of table tennis, to assist their national team, including players and coaches, with an in-depth match and practice analysis.
"It will help each player identify trends and patterns of his/her game as well as of his/her own opponents. Stupa''s first-of-its-kind analytics product will help prioritise improvement areas and provide technical, physical and tactical feedback for each identified player to USATT enabling them to build customized training programme," said Malik, who is a national medallist and a former national coach.
“I am delighted with whatever we have achieved. We have experienced the facility of this product practically as we have seen transformative change within the game of some leading Indian players who have used it. Many games like cricket, tennis have products which give deeper insights, but Ping-Pong still relied on manual method. So Stupa will change all that in table tennis,” said Malik.
Talking about Stupa, Malik said, "I always thought of getting in depth of an athlete’s performance and a Hollywood movie Miracle gave me an idea of studying video analysis report of a player six years ago. It surely enlightened me about how technology can be put to its best use to maximize the benefits. I was again fortunate enough to have my wife Megha Gambhir with a tech and software background. She later established the firm STUPA Sports Analytics in 2018 while incorporating my thoughts and ideas. She even left her well established and reputed job in EY to develop the company. And now our work has been recognised by the ITTF’s Sports Science Congress and Japan’s Sports Science and Medical Committee. Megha, who is the CEO of the company, was invited to Hungary and Japan to present the product. In addition to these, our client Manav Thakkar was crowned the World No 1 at the Canada Open 2020, and we’re glad that we are still part of his voyage."
Meanwhile speaking about the collaboration, Virginia Sung, CEO, USATT, said, "We see great value and potential in bringing analytics tool for the benefit of our national team. Stupa's tool is very effective and provides data driven insights to the players & coaches. Their upcoming Artificial intelligence model will certainly bring a change the way Table Tennis is coached, played and viewed."
"USATT has a refreshing perspective and their foresight in trying to bring a transformative change through technology is commendable. We are honoured to work closely with them," said, Megha Gambhir, Co-founder & CEO, Stupa Sports Analytics.
Vishal Sharma is a sports enthusiast and a writer based out of Delhi. An avid traveller, he is also very passionate about music.