Apollo refuses to show Mission 2018 accounts to AITA

Apollo Tyres reiterated that it would not show the details of its spending on the 'Mission 2018' project to anyone.

updated: October 16, 2008 09:45 IST
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New Delhi:

Apollo Tyres on Tuesday reiterated that it would not show the details of its spending on the 'Mission 2018' project to anyone but refuted suggestions that the company was trying to take control of tennis in India.

The All India Tennis Association, last month, accused Apollo of launching a misleading advertising campaign, making tall claims. The AITA demanded to see the company's spendings on the project.

Neeraj Kanwar, Vice Chairman and joint MD of the Apollo Tyres, said the company has invited AITA to have a look at the work being done in their academies.

"We have invited them (AITA) to come and see the work we have done. But we do not believe that we need to show our accounts. We are answerable to our shareholders, we are a public listed company and are transparent," Kanwar said.

Sunam Sarkar, the Marketing Head of tyre giants, said Apollo do not intend to rule the sport in the country.

"Let me make it clear this (Mission 2018) is in no-way related to running the sport in the country. That is not our objective. The objective is to provide facilities to kids who have it in them to become champions," Sarkar said.

"We are not creating any parallel league."

Kanwar added, "I am giving you an army of champions and it is for you (AITA) to select them or not."

Speaking about their project, Kanwar said an initiative like 'Mission 2018' was the need of the hour.

"We really wanted to do something for the sport in the country. The sport has had its ups and downs. We had the Amritrajs, the Krishnans and now we have Leander (Paes), Mahesh (Bhupathi) and Sania (Mirza).

"If you see the history, they have come on their own. The sport was missing a corporate coming in, supporting and giving a direction...that is what we have done," Kanwar explained.

Kanwar was happy with the efforts being made by them and said that instead of taking 10 children for training every year he agreed to take 21 children in the first year.

"We ran camps in five cities. I had given them a budget for 10 kids only. But after trials Mahesh said 'I can't pick just 10 they all are good'. And now we have 21 kids training in Bangalore," he said.

"We want to spend 100 crore and the money is not going in for the tournament or sponsoring tournaments. It is only for training of kids and it will give me great satisfaction if by 2018, we could have Indian players in top-100," he said.