Among the best wrestlers, Sangram Singh is a multitalented star. After making the nation proud with his victories in Commonwealth, he has turned his attention to the world of showbiz. He started his journey in the entertainment industry as a contestant in the popular reality show Big Boss season 7. Now this iconic sportsperson has turned producer and is launching his own show Hausalon Ki Udan. In addition, he has adopted a school and is sponsoring education of 155 students.
In a candid conversation with Cafemutual, Sangram gives us a glimpse of his life, investments and…
Tell us about your journey…
My interest in wrestling developed while watching my brother- a state level wrestling champion. But when I expressed my desire to learn this sport I was mocked by everyone. People believed that I would not be able to fight as I was suffering from severe arthritis. This incident hurt me deeply. I still remember the trainer laughing at my face when I requested him to teach me wrestling. His words ‘Agar tum wrestler ban sakte ho toh phir to koi bhi wrestling seekh jayega. Idhar main India ke liye gold medal winners ko tayyarr karta hoon’ (if you become a wrestler then any tom, dick and harry can become a wrestler. I train champions here, people who will win a gold medal for India) hurt me deeply.
Here I am today having won two gold medals for the country while they are still preparing to get one.
Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
I got my first show through Colours TV team, when their team visited Delhi Akhada to select wrestlers for a show 100% De Dhana Dhan. Initially, I was amused but later I decided to participate. I really enjoyed working in the show. Now, I am hosting and producing my own show Hausalon Ki Udaan, where I am bringing together all the top sportspersons in the country so that they can inspire youngsters to take up sports as a career. When I proposed this show to channels, they mocked me. However, I did not give up. I have always done things that I wanted to do. I believe in creating opportunities for myself.
I am also producing and acting in a Shyam Benegal film, based on India’s first Olympic bronze medallist K. D. Jadhav. I have lost 23 kg for the role. In addition, I will be featured in Pakistani singer’s video.
How did you manage your finance when you started with your career?
I never had a lot of money. I was barely making ends meet when I came to Mumbai. In those days, wrestling did not pay so much unlike today, where we have professional fights. There were some days when I did not have money to eat and I had to go to sleep on an empty stomach.
How important do you think it is to invest?
It is very important as in case of emergencies, your investments come to your rescue. In fact, I ensure that 20% of my income goes into investments. I spend 50% of my income on household expenses and remaining 30%, I give to my family. This is how I have been investing and this has helped me buy a penthouse and a Mercedes. Further, I own a sports property, which I fund through my past investments.
What did you do with your first pay cheque?
I gifted new clothes to my parents.
Who advises you on finance?
My CA and my fiancée Payal (Bollywood actress) because she is very good at it.
You have been in this profession for a very long time now, what is your suggestion to the people in this profession on managing their money and finances?
Nothing is temporary or permanent. I believe everybody should take advice from good people and start with making small investments. Also, I feel that you should never invest your entire money in one place; you should always diversify your investments in small amounts.
Your take on mutual funds…
In the past, someone had convinced me to invest in markets. I kept investing and making fool of myself. I bore a huge loss and learnt the most important lesson of my life – research before making any investment. The rosy picture these people present should not sway you. Initially they talk sweetly, get our hard-earned money stuck and then vanish.
Yes, I do invest in mutual funds but before investing, I research thoroughly.