Indian women’s hockey team players showcasing sportsmanship by participating in a pre-match hockey stick handshake against South Africa in the Olympics

The Indian Women’s Hockey team were competing for the first time in the semi-finals in Tokyo Olympics. The entire country was rooting for them. It was a phenomenal tournament for them as all the supporters and doubters were left awestruck by their scintillating performances. Even though they narrowly missed out on winning the bronze medal, their performances were filled with grit and determination, inspiring thousands of individuals worldwide.

QNET India applauds the Indian women’s hockey team for their achievement in the Olympics and shares its perspective on five lessons from their journey for QNET entrepreneurs.

QNET celebrates the journey of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team in the Olympics 2020

Indian women’s hockey team led by Rani Rampal during a match in Olympics 2020, an inspiration for QNET entrepreneurs

The 2020 Summer Olympics was monumental as the Indian women’s hockey team made their first appearance in the semi-finals of the tournament. Not many would have foreseen their successful journey.

The Nabhvarna arrived in Tokyo games village prepared to make a mark. Although, their campaign was off to a rough start. The Indian team lost to the eventual gold medallists, the Netherlands, with a dominating scoreline of 5-1 in the first game. The Tokyo Olympics was proving to be a difficult tournament, as they followed the game against the Netherlands with two more losses against Germany and Great Britain.

With an imminent departure following three consecutive defeats, the pressure was on the Indian team to perform. However, the team fought back with a spirit of fortitude, winning back-to-back games against Ireland and South Africa.

The match against Ireland was a defensively resolute performance as they did not allow Ireland to register a single goal in the game. Navneet Kaur registered a late goal to give the Indian Women’s team their first win in the tournament.

Although to ensure qualification into the quarter-finals, they had to win against South Africa. Anything short of a victory would not be enough for them to qualify. The match against South Africa was a nail-biting encounter, which saw the South African team levelling the score three times after India had taken the lead.

The match ended 4-3 with a game-winning performance from Vandana Katariya. She scored a hat-trick and the last goal of the game to send India into the quarter-finals. A remarkable achievement, given that both the games were a must-win for India.

A tough fixture in the Quarter-finals against Australia in Olympics 2020

Indian women’s hockey team player dribbling the ball in the centre of the field with an Australian player attempting to tackle during the Olympics 2020

After losing their first three games, nobody would have predicted that the Indian women’s hockey team would qualify for the quarter-finals. But up next, they were to face Australia. The Hockeyroos were in scintillating form, winning all five of their pool games, including a resounding 6-0 win against China.

The two-time gold medallists were favourites to win the game. However, the game surprised everybody, with the Indian team producing their best performance in the tournament. They were forced to defend a constant onslaught of attacks from the Australian team before claiming the winning goal in the second quarter of the game from a penalty corner.

It was a proud moment for the entire country as the Indian women’s hockey team qualified for their first-ever semi-finals in the Olympics.

Impressive performances of the Indian women’s hockey team in the semi-finals of Olympics 2020

Indian women’s hockey team players standing in a single file before their match against Great Britain in Olympics 2020

After a great game in the quarter-finals, they were to go up against Argentina, who had qualified for the semi-finals with a 3-0 win over Germany. India had a great start to the game when Gurjit Kaur converted a penalty corner.

However, Argentina fought back with two goals. They held onto the lead to ensure a victory and book their place in the finals. A heart-wrenching defeat for the Indian team after fighting hard throughout the game. A win in this game would have created history for the Indian women’s hockey team with a first-ever finals appearance in the Olympics.

The next game was for the bronze medal against Great Britain. They had earlier lost 4-1 in the pool games against the British team. The thrilling bronze medal game started with an advantage for Britain. The Indian team were trailing 2-0 at the end of the second quarter. But with a fighting spirit, the Indian team fought back to score three quick-fire goals to lead 3-2 before half-time.

However, Great Britain proved to be too tough a proposition as they scored two more goals to put themselves back in the lead. The match ended 4-3 for Great Britain as the Indian team missed out on a medal by a whisker.

A tough loss for the team but an empowering experience for all the players. They had overcome various challenges to make it to the tournament, and they all but created history by almost winning a medal.

As we reflect on their journey, QNET is proud of the achievement of the Indian Women’s hockey team. Consequently, we are looking at five inspirational lessons that QNET entrepreneurs can learn from the experiences of the Indian Women’s hockey team.

5 Lessons from the Inspirational Indian Women’s Hockey team for QNET entrepreneurs

Indian women’s hockey team players celebrate scoring a goal against South Africa in Olympics 2020

1. Overcoming societal pressure

The Indian women’s hockey team has created history with their performances in the Tokyo Olympics. Although, their journey started way before they stepped on the field. With many players from the team coming from conservative societies, they had to endure gender discrimination with limited playing opportunities. However, this did not stop them from subverting societal notions to fulfil their dreams of playing for the country.

Entrepreneurs also face many challenges, including the pressure of taking up regular jobs and settling with a conventional approach. Many of them are also forced to not pursue entrepreneurship due to various societal stigmas. In turn, leaving them discouraged and giving in to societal pressures.

As a consequence, the Indian women’s hockey team players provide inspiration to the QNET entrepreneurs to follow their hearts and overcome societal pressures.

2. Unwavering in the face of failure

Even before the tournament began, the Indian women’s hockey team had to endure many failures. They were ranked ninth in the world, and people wouldn’t even consider them as contenders for the medal. During the tournament, they had to overcome defeats, including a difficult start to their tournament with three losses.

But, this did not faze them as they fought back throughout the tournament to bounce back from losses and turn them into victories.

As an entrepreneur, failures are part and parcel of the journey. They will have to experience failures and rejections from many sources. However, this shouldn’t peg them down or douse their spirit, just like the Indian’s women hockey team, who came back multiple times in the tournament to make their mark.

3. Motivating teammates

While reflecting upon failures, the teammates might feel overwhelmed and demotivated. The teammates would also be experiencing a fear of failure. When the team’s morale is low, QNET entrepreneurs need to motivate their teammates and encourage them to continue taking action.

QNET entrepreneurs can take inspiration from the Indian hockey team captain, Rani Rampal, who led the team by example. She ensured that the team’s morale remained high throughout the tournament. The Indian team coach, Sjoerd Marijne, was also an inspirational figure for the team.

After their bronze medal match, he motivated them and said, “We did not win a medal, but I think we have won something bigger. We have made Indians proud again, and we inspired millions of girls that dreams can come true as long as you work hard for it and believe it!”

4. Playing for a purpose

The Indian team might not have won a medal, but they won all our hearts. Their performances showed character and grit, a resilient feature throughout the tournament that took them to the semi-finals.

A feat that was only possible because all of them were playing for a purpose. As they stepped on the field with their hockey sticks, they were inspiring millions of Indians to take up hockey. Furthermore, enabling others to appreciate the game.

Similarly, a QNET entrepreneur’s life provides an opportunity for an individual to inspire and empower others. It enables them to create a change by providing opportunities and resources with their entrepreneurial efforts. In turn, giving a purpose to their lives and the lives of their teammates.

5. Dreaming and achieving

Entrepreneurs set out with dreams and goals. However, many of them quit during their journeys due to overwhelming challenges. After overcoming multiple challenges, the Indian women’s hockey team is a testament that one must never give up on their dream.

With desire and persistence, anyone can succeed regardless of their societal challenges or difficult socio-economic backgrounds. For QNET entrepreneurs, the Indian women’s hockey team provides a source of inspiration to continue dreaming and taking action to fulfil their dreams.

As Sjoerd Marijne remarked, the Indian women’s hockey team did not win a medal, but what they achieved meant a lot more. They have inspired Indians by overcoming challenges and opened doors for new opportunities for many individuals. Most importantly, they have created a legacy for Indians to build upon.

QNET salutes their efforts during the Olympics through this article. Furthermore, we hope that this article has provided perspective and inspired QNET entrepreneurs to continue on their paths towards their dreams.

For more information on the QNET entrepreneurship opportunities, please visit the QNET India page.