What people call serendipity sometimes is just having your eyes open.
– Jose Manuel Barosso
In a case of serendipitous encounters, Raul first met Rahul Bajaj, founder Golf Garage, on his visit to Noida Golf Course to try out the clubs.
In our recent chat with Raul, he took us through ‘how Nico Sport came to be’……and the rest is history.
“I want to tell you about Rahul Bajaj.
Rahul Bajaj founded golfgarage.in, a website that sells used golf equipment to make the sport of golf more accessible. He is an Asian Games medalist who was forced to give up his professional golfing career when he developed some eye problems. Through sheer grit, determination and resilience, he channelled his talent and love of golf into this new venture, into training kids and toward bringing more people to the sport of golf, a sport one plays close to nature and where one truly competes with oneself.
I did not know this remarkable back story of Rahul Bajaj when I first met him.
We first met because I wanted to buy some golf clubs and went to the Noida Golf Course to try out the clubs. While I tried the clubs, Rahul gave me some tips on improving my golf swing which were incredibly helpful and beautifully explained. He then left for another bay to help a 14 year-old. As he walked away, the golfer next to me said, “You know who that is, right? I would blindly follow what he says”. When I shared that I didn’t, he went on to tell me about Rahul’s journey, winning a medal at the Asian Games only to have his career interrupted by the deterioration in his eyesight.
About 10 minutes later, Rahul returned to my bay and asked, “Do you mind if I share something with you?” I was only too keen to get more advice on my swing and acquiesced gladly.
He asked me, gesturing at my T-shirt, “Why do you wear this crap?”
It wasn’t what I was expecting at all, I have to admit!
Rahul continued, “I know you helped launch Nicobar. You guys use such fabulous fabrics that feel good on the skin… why are you wearing this crap material in your golf shirts?”.
It wasn’t the advice I was expecting, but he was right.
I’d just never thought about it.
That was the moment I started to think about whether Nicobar can bring alternative materials to sports clothing, so I have Rahul to thank for more than just an improved swing!
That chat was the first step in a quest to design a clothing line that I hope stands for at least three things:
- Mindful fabric choices
- A design ethos that is relevant on-court and off-court
- Detailing and a design story that makes one smile, and lifts one’s day
Rahul and I have gone on to become friends and doing on-course lessons with him remains a favourite activity of mine. While they appear to be golf lessons, they are often life lessons and a worthy time investment in deepening a friendship. A round of golf may take 4-5 hours, but the actual time spent hitting the ball is no more than 20-30 minutes. The rest is time walking with your four ball, talking, laughing, connecting and, as I do more and more, observing the colours and sounds of nature.
Sport has enriched my life in so many ways; it has given me friendships, travel, a renewed appreciation for nature and the spirit of improving through competition in my life.”