Kolkata: To bring in professional management, the R.P.-Sanjiv Goenka group has appointed the former head of Rajasthan Royals cricket team, Raghu Iyer, as chief executive officer of its fledgling sports business.

The Kolkata-based group with interest in power and retail recently took control of the Pune franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) annual cricket tournament.

The group’s IPL team is to be called Rising Pune Supergiants, which will be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s captain for one-day internationals, chairman Sanjiv Goenka said on Monday.

From the beginning, Goenka was keen to get Dhoni to lead his team and had bid aggressively so that he had the first mover’s advantage at the time of choosing players.

Iyer was with Rajasthan Royals since its inception in 2007. Previously, over the past two decades, he has worked at television networks such as Discovery and Sony Entertainment.

Goenka on Monday said he also wants his football franchise Atletico de Kolkata, or ATK, to be run by professionals.

ATK, an Indian Super League (ISL) franchise, was launched by Goenka in 2014 in partnership with two Kolkata-based businessmen, former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and Spanish La Liga club Atletico Madrid.

Goenka, who has a controlling stake in ATK, wants the football franchise to have the same governance standard as his IPL team. He said Iyer will manage all his interests in sports, including football.

Though he has partners in ATK, Goenka said his controlling interest will make sure he will be able to implement changes in the management of the football team. ATK had won the inaugural season of ISL, but in 2015, it was eliminated in the semi-finals.

In a recent interview, Goenka had said ATK’s performance as a business entity had improved in 2015 over the previous year, but there was more to be done to get the best out of it.

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