Sanjeev Kotnala: Let’s Bid In The New IPL: The Idea Premier League

18 Feb,2015

By Sanjeev Kotnala


February 16 was an iconic day in the short history of IPL and an Idea called Yuvraj. A player discarded by the Indian selectors. A decision with polarised reactions. A decision much debated and challenged among his fans and distractors. Yuvraj is not some unknown entity. He is the temperamental idea that failed to find permanent home. He was the key to India’s 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup campaigns. He is a known gamechanger, a survivor. He still holds a promise of taking charge and coming to rescue when required.


Surprisingly, Yuvraj was released by RCB who last year bought him for just Rs 4 crore, yet they earnestly bid for him way beyond the expected value. Finally, Gary Kirsten had a different understanding, value and faith in this idea and Yuvraj created history with a Rs 16 crore bid by Delhi Daredevils. A team broken bruised and re-established many times over just like the city it represents.


The Idea called Yuvraj now moves to a team that is not looking its best on paper. Dependency and expectations from him will now rise to new levels. And he will have to re-prove his worth. In the same auction were other ideas like Sarfaraz Khan and KC Cariappa finding bidders in KKR and RCB.


So, do you have a set of ideas that are constantly juggling in your mind? Ideas like Yuvraj, they always sound great but you have not been able to bring yourself to bet on them. Ideas like Sarfaraz you could unleash at some later stage and are willing to commit at this early stage. Cariappa, an Idea that you have already recognised as future, and you are willing to experiment.


This led me to define a format at corporate level. I present skeleton of the new IDEA PREMIER LEAGUEâ„¢. I am available to further define and customise the process for a willing corporate connecting with it.


In Idea Premier League you do not have the liberty of keeping a stable of 25-plus ideas incubating. You cannot leash 11 of them at a go. You do not lay a short T20 with competition. There is no policy constraint that may require at least three foreign ideas (not subscribed by you) to be whetted by research. The purse remains a constraint. The future brand value and long term ROI the only things that help you remain in the game. And you have to look at an instant and a long-term perspective at every bid.


So, consider playing an Idea Premier League before the next financial year. Franchise owners are departments or teams within your organisation. Each with a fixed innovation and experiment budget pre- allocated. What they bid are the ideas, processes and projects up on the auction table.


The year-end results in the new possible value placed on the Ideas by an internal expert evaluation team. They pick the winners who get the pre-defined trophy and the prize in cash or kind.


In this process Idea Premier League department (the franchise owners) in the next season (financial year) would at will discard some existing playing Ideas to create the funds to bid for the ideas. Budget penalties are part R&R in IPL. It is no longer a mere game (even IPL is a business) hence the franchise owners will substantiate with reasons their decision to drop any playing IDEA. More so another team (like DD) may see it (YUVRAJ) differently and they may have the belief to go bid and make a game out of it.


Sanjeev Kotnala is Head Catalyst at Intradia and believes the best way forward for an organisation is to enhance its interanal team’s potential and capabilities instead of depending on external resources. He is a management- marketing-media consultant and also conducts specialised workshops in the area of IDEATION (Harvest and Liberate) and Innovation (InNoWait). To contact email or tweet at s_kotnala visit The views expressed here are his own.


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