Sachin Tendulkar to PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik: Meet the man who gifts BMWs to sports stars

Hyderabad’s V Chamundeshwarnath, cricketer-turned-administrator, has given away at least 17 vehicles over 15 years.

Written by Nihal Koshie | New Delhi | Updated: October 19, 2016 10:46 am
Sachin Tendulkar, Sachin Tendulkar comments, Sachin Tendulkar Rio, Sachin Tendulkar BMW cars Rio winners, PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Pullela Gopichand, Dipa Karmakar, Rio 2016 Olympics, Rio Olympics, Rio, Olympics V Chamundeshwarnath (not pictured) gifted BMW cars to Sakshi Malik, PV Sindhu and Dipa Karmakar. (Source: File)

A DAY after gymnast Dipa Karmakar said it was difficult to drive and maintain a BMW in interior Agartala, where she stays, the man who gifted her that luxury vehicle transferred Rs 25 lakh to the Rio Olympics fourth-place finisher’s bank account.

It may have been a rare instance. But then, Dipa’s benefactor, who has arranged at least 17 such vehicles as gifts for several sporting achievers, isn’t known to say no. “I realised that she may have a problem owning a BMW. She is a poor girl from a remote area,” says V Chamundeshwarnath, or simply Chamundi to friends.

If you aren’t a part of Hyderabad’s social circle or are unfamiliar with state-level sports officials or politics, you wouldn’t have heard of Chamundi. He’s a former Andhra batsman, who has played 44 first-class games. After retirement in 1991/92, he became a cricket administrator, Team India’s manager for the 2009 World T20 and an influential badminton official.

Away from the sporting arena, Chamundi has links with top corporate houses and is a “nice man” to know for those looking for big business breaks. A compulsive networker, Chamundi is best known for his proximity to mega cricket stars — first Mohammad Azharuddin, now Sachin Tendulkar.

These links, business and cricketing, are what helped the 57-year-old arrange those four-wheeled gifts to India’s Rio stars — P V Sindhu, P Gopichand, Sakshi Malik and Karmakar.

The initial plan was to gift the cars to Sindhu and Gopichand, both from Hyderabad, by pooling resources from a group of NRIs, film producers and a city-based industrialist, he says.

“My friends and I had enough money to gift two BMWs. Sachin helped me by getting a discount from BMW and we were able to hand over the keys of four cars. It was Sachin’s idea to give four cars instead of only two,” says Chamundi, explaining how Sakshi and Dipa got on that list.

According to market rates, the on-road price of the four cars is over Rs 1.25 crore. But the man, who loves to be referred to as a “talent promoter”, has been gifting such vehicles for more than a decade-and-a-half.

When Gopichand won the All-England title in 2001, Chamundi presented him with a Hyundai Accent. Two years later, when Sania Mirza won the Wimbledon girl’s doubles title, she got a Fiat Palio — again, the promoter was Chamundi, while Tendulkar managed a discount.

In 2012, the two were again in the frame as Saina Nehwal was given a BMW for her bronze at the London Olympics. During that function, Chamundi made a promise to Sindhu. “I had promised that if she wins an Olympic medal, Sachin would present her with the keys of a BMW, too. The idea of getting Sachin to present cars is to motivate athletes to do better,” says Chamundi.

Kidambi Srikanth, badminton World No.10, was given a Ford Ecosport when he beat the legendary Lin Dan to win the China Super Series event. Chamundi wanted Lin Dan himself to present the keys to Srikanth when he came to India for the Asian Badminton Championships before the Chinese star pulled out of the tournament.

“Even now, people are not promoting non-cricket sports,” says Chamundi, adding that he and Tendulkar had contributed Rs 1 crore to cash incentives for India’s Para-Olympians recently. “I have spent money from my own pocket. If I don’t contribute, what right do I have to ask my friends and well-wishers?” he says.

However, Chamundi is no stranger to controversy, too. He was removed as secretary of the Andhra Cricket Association in 2009, following allegations of financial wrong-doing. He was also named in a sexual harassment complaint filed by a group of women cricketers from Andhra. “Those cases are over, all that was done by my rivals in the cricket association,” he says.

Soon, Chamundi moved to badminton. He co-owned the Indian Badminton League team, Mumbai Masters, at one point along with Sunil Gavaskar and film star Akkineni Nagarjuna. Currently, he holds the dual posts of Hyderabad Badminton Association president and Telangana Badminton Association vice-president. The state association is headed by K T Rama Rao, the IT Minister of Telangana and son of its Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

“I don’t have any business interests currently,” Chamundi insists. “I am a former sportsperson and now a sports administrator and like to promote talent. Not many people know this, but when Saina didn’t have funds to travel abroad for a tournament as a 12-year-old, I gave her a cheque of Rs 25,000. I gave Mithali Raj a Chevrolet car even before she became the Indian women’s cricket team captain.”

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  1. T
    Timna
    Oct 19, 2016 at 1:39 am
    No IT raids? Because it will expose IT thugs are actually are raw controlled and is used for haring like PERVERTS.
    Reply
    1. J
      Jitender Arora
      Oct 19, 2016 at 2:19 pm
      The players who are in their initial stage of career may or may not be able to afford such luxury cars. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;It could be better if they were able to give them the gift which they needed actually ( like a small home or sports equipments or providing them a good job )
      Reply
      1. T
        THM
        Oct 19, 2016 at 8:09 am
        I am happy for the sportmen.They really deserve the car
        Reply
        1. N
          NArayan
          Oct 19, 2016 at 11:05 am
          Nice article....but incomplete without a pic of this guy...lt;br/gt;the author needs to attend cles on basics of writing an article...
          Reply
          1. N
            NArayan
            Oct 19, 2016 at 11:05 am
            Nice article....but incomplete without a pic of this guy...lt;br/gt;the author needs to attend cles on basics of writing an article...
            Reply
            1. T
              thistooshallpass
              Oct 19, 2016 at 2:18 am
              Shady character, this fellow. Perfect example of crony capitalism.
              Reply
              1. K
                kssudhan
                Oct 19, 2016 at 3:09 am
                manitor and goon of dubious way of grtting closer to higher upslt;br/gt;false and fake personality and cets closer to VIP and ames wealth by hook or crook lt;br/gt;Not a true sportsman its loots loots and loots
                Reply
                1. H
                  HILARY
                  Oct 19, 2016 at 5:53 am
                  There are more deserving causes to which this man could apply his charitable disposition.
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Niladrinath Mohanty
                    Oct 19, 2016 at 2:05 am
                    First the news was spread to look like Sachin Tendulkar has presented the cars with his own money. Sachin has always appeared to me a miser. Second point from where does Mr. Chamundeshwarnath get so much money to make these expensive gifts. This should be investigated.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Murulidhara H
                      Oct 19, 2016 at 4:17 am
                      Fiction story. Good to read while travelling especially in a train!
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        NItin
                        Oct 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm
                        Good move but why not think of Paralympic winners? why not bring them in front and give them some limelight.
                        Reply
                        1. P
                          Parth Garg
                          Oct 19, 2016 at 4:40 am
                          Good gesture by Chamundi. He is far much better than Tendulkar who took false credit for this gift of a car.
                          Reply
                          1. P
                            praveen
                            Oct 19, 2016 at 7:23 am
                            He is is power broker - trying to develop himself into profession like Legendy Sh. Amar Singh.
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              Ravishankar Balasubramanian
                              Oct 19, 2016 at 2:05 am
                              How people were fooled to think that Sachin had gifted the cars to these people. That is what the headlines said and people went gaga over the gesture.lt;br/gt;Sachin owns the blame only to the extent where he didn't speak out against the undue credit, he didn't praise the good soul of Mr.Chamundi.lt;br/gt;But it is the media and media all the time which said great gesture and the headlines read "Sachin gifts BMW to athletes".lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Come on media, we are coming for you. Pillar4 will nail you in future.
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                RR
                                Oct 19, 2016 at 5:06 am
                                OK. I was thinking that Tendulkar gives BMW. Thanks for letting the world know that Tendulkar was shamelessly taking the credits of the actual person whom the world never knew.
                                Reply
                                1. B
                                  bonaku
                                  Oct 19, 2016 at 9:12 am
                                  May be you should start reading the news properly.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    sana
                                    Oct 19, 2016 at 4:05 am
                                    I realised that she may have a problem owning a BMW. She is a poor girl from a remote area,” says V Chamundeshwarnath!!!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Shame on this cr guy. All his charity cannot forgive him his condescension for these athletes who rise above challenges to make their state and country proud.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      SKC
                                      Oct 19, 2016 at 1:35 am
                                      Chamundi and Sachin are big billionaire, great people. Give Bharat Ratna to chamundi also..very good article.
                                      Reply
                                      1. I
                                        Indian
                                        Oct 19, 2016 at 3:38 am
                                        Much better than the so called Indian politicians who makes loot worth crores meant for poor and preach hism , patriotism , etc.
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Syam
                                          Oct 19, 2016 at 8:59 am
                                          Kindly do not criticize anyone as everyone pla their part with doing a good thing, if anyone can see with that vision ! Be proud that a Indian is gifting a Indian for their contribution in sports. That is it. Respect the values of every sports star . . .At the end of the day Indian Sport star's and the sporting spirit are the winners. :)
                                          Reply
                                          1. V
                                            vbandhakavi
                                            Oct 19, 2016 at 3:17 am
                                            All the media (both printed and electronic) always project it as though Sachin has paid for these cars from his pocket. It was known at least in Hyd that Sachin did not part with any of his money. All he did was use his "God like stature" to get some discount. To my knowledge, so far he has not done any such significant display of generosity. Even when he spent MPLAD funds (govt of India) for adopting a village in AP it was reported as if he was spending his money. All he did was give a couple of crores from MPLAD funds and now he is not even looking at that village. The problem lies with Indian public who go beyond respecting him as a great cricketer and start projecting him as a god in other spheres of life.
                                            Reply
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