The Quarterly Interview # 34: Biplav Gautam

The Nepalese-American Biplav Gautam graduated from the 7th edition of the FIFA Master, back in 2007, and since then has built a solid career in the sports industry, primarily in Asia, where he has been based since graduation. Bip, as he’s known among his friends, is one of the better connected and most influential alumni within the Asian-based community, and has been a stronghold for the development of the FIFA Master Alumni in the region.

Before joining the FIFA Master, Biplav worked in banking, in the USA, but had always been involved with sports-related side hustles until he decided that sport was his passion – and he was going to pursue it. After graduation, he joined the Asian Football Confederation as a Development Officer. Subsequently, he founded a Sports Technology start-up with one of is FIFA Master classmates, was the Club Director for a top division football club in Nepal, and for the last six years he has been at Sportradar helping lead the company’s business development objectives in Asia. “My main responsibility is to forge partnerships with sports leagues and federations in the Asia-Pacific region across Sportradar’s many verticals which includes Data, Audio Visual, Integrity, Digital Media and Betting”, he explains.

When asked to name his biggest achievements, Biplav says “the ones I am most excited about are the major partnerships with Asian sports leagues and federations my team at Sportradar and I were able to secure including ones with the AFC, BCCI, CBA and K League, just to name a few. Also, when I served as the Club Director at Machhindra Club, a top flight football team in Nepal, we did some really ground-breaking marketing work”.  

From the FIFA Master, he has many great memories: “The field trips to many of the cathedrals of sports including Wimbledon, Old Trafford and San Siro were also memorable”, he recalls.

FMA Quarterly: Do you still remember why you did the FIFA Master?

Biplav Gautam: I saw the FIFA Master as an opportunity to get my foot in the professional sports industry and also experience living and studying in Europe, a part of the world I had never really explored for an extended period.  It certainly provided me with both those experiences and much, much more.

FMAQ: How important was the FIFA Master for your career?

BG: The FIFA Master was the launching pad for my professional sports career. I was directly recruited by AFC after graduating from the program.  Furthermore, the alumni network has been incredibly valuable to me and for my work. Our alumni are well embedded in Asian sports and many currently hold influential roles and are in a position to provide substantive support. Fortunately, we have a very friendly and helpful alumni network that are usually very supportive of one another.  I can categorically say that the majority of the successes I’ve had in my current role have been directly or indirectly a result of a link or assistance received from someone in the FIFA Master alumni network.

FMAQ: Are you still in touch with classmates or other alumni? How important is that network for you?

BG: I am in regular contact with my classmates. We had a 10-year reunion a few years back and are planning to hold a special 15-year reunion in 2022. I am quite close to alumni in other editions as well and always make an effort to meet as many as I can on my travels. A great perk of the alumni network is that whenever I have some moments to kill while transiting from one destination to another, usually there will be an alumnus or two around to pass the time with. Today some of my best friends are FIFA Master alumni and I’ve gone to many events, functions, road trips and vacations with them.

FMAQ: What advice would you give to the current students of the FIFA Master?

BG: It might not be the most appropriate phrase during the Covid-19 period, but I once heard someone say “One firm handshake is more impactful than collecting 50 business cards”. I absolutely agree! Focus on building meaningful relationships – it will go a long way in helping you build a fulfilling career in the sports industry.


Biplav Gautam, Nepali, American
Head of Sports Partnerships, APAC at Sportradar
Married to Shreejana; father of Riddhi (12 y.o.), Hektor (8) and Rheeya (4)

FIFA Master Class: 2007 
Favourite sport: Soccer, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Football
Favourite team: Aston Villa FC, UCONN Men’s Basketball
Favourite sport’s personality: Jack Grealish, Kemba Walker, Usain Bolt
Favourite sport’s moment: UCONN winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship (1999, 2004, 2011 and 2014), Usain Bolt at the Olympics/World Champs.