Techtro Football Club is quite a famous name right now , may not be on television yet , but surely a well known name around social media platforms. We were fortunate enough to get inputs from the founder of Techtro FC, Mr. Neeraj Kholiya who started from scratch and is currently operating his very own Techtro FC.
Here are some of the insights from the interview:
What is Techtro all about? Walk us through your journey.
Techtro was originally started in 2014, as a Youtube channel. I started this channel only for uploading tech videos, back then the craze of tech videos was on its peak. A little backstory to it, in 2014 an incident happened which proved to be the path breaker for me. So I was obsessed with Cricket like every other Indian kid and one fine day our PT Teacher Ankur Sir at the Army Public School, LBS Marg Lucknow picked me up for a football trial. I got lucky as I was selected for the school team and later got appointed as the captain too. As dramatic as it sounds, it was definitely a very subconscious shift in the paradigm for a teenager. Thus from my school days I had some drive for football.
Coming back to the main part, so Techtro’s journey as a football platform begun when I was randomly searching for some Indian Football clips. I found negligible videos related to Indian Football ‘ON-Line’. That’s when it clicked that I should upload content related to Indian Football on my channel as well. I started live streaming, made some highlights of the national team games and also some skill videos which went quite viral. Even the players would love it and share their feedback at times. Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, has had a huge share in this journey as well. At the end of that particular year I had 22 thousand subscribers on the channel.The turning point came in during the U-17 World Cup (2017). It was a much hyped event, as India was hosting the world cup for the very first time. I started preparing a year prior and made around hundred and eighty videos within the span of a year and a half. Also, the videos were just made of the under 17 team.
The time came, when India was actually playing in the world cup and I wanted to witness it all live. Being a 17 year old kid back then, travelling all alone to Delhi was a big thing for me. And after all the long wait, I was finally right there in the stadium with India and USA battling it out right in front of my eyes. That’s how my eternal journey as a fan began.
What difficulties did you face while you used to do commentary during the telecasts?
Live streaming was an integral process of my journey. When no one else was interested in telecasting the Indian National team matches, I grabbed this opportunity with wide arms. I live streamed the AFC U-16 Championship, Cotif Cup just to reach out to the Indian Football enthusiasts. Even after the world cup I got many messages, regarding the highlights. I knew that my channel might get terminated, but still for the sake of the fans; I uploaded the highlights. And one day, inevitably the channel got terminated. I was broken and even had my 12th boards ahead. The person who motivated the most during that period was Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem. I won’t be exaggerating even when I say that if this person was not their at that particular time then the channel might not have reached where it is at the moment.
You ran a football fanpage at the first place, what made you form a football club?
Following those footsteps, one thing came to my mind ‘let’s open a football club , let’s help and contribute in a different way’ because everyone one was making social media pages and Youtube channels for promotion purposes.There is one famous phrase in Hindi which says “चला तो चांद तक वरना शाम तक” . So I had some Youtube earnings in my hand and I decided to open a club , at that time when I used to say about this thing to anyone, people used to laugh at me questioning whether I was in my senses. Right now we know how much money it takes or the efforts required for putting things in picture. Considering my age people used to comment like you are just 19 year old and you want to open a club , so on and so forth . But I decided that I can do it , so keeping everything aside I scouted players and I started the pre-season and trainings. I would love to thank Hyve that they were the one’s who sponsored us our jersey for the first time. I immediately called my friend Kartik from Delhi .He played in the I-league 2nd division the previous year so I asked him for his support because I was not into coaching thing whereas I got Aiff – D license right now but earlier at that point of time I was just a normal guy. He helped me as he came to Lucknow and assisted everyone. I got a lot of players , like most of the players were from Lucknow and I was familiar with them because we all stayed in the same city since the last 6-7 years. I pretty much knew who all are good and who all have the potential . Again, I want to thank Decathlon as these guys were really helpful to me when they sponsored us the equipments for the club .
A lot of helping hands joined on the way Lesly sir from Dubai , Josheph sir from UAE , Vikrant sir from Delhi , Naveen sir from Lucknow , Vivek sir from Lucknow , Vikas sir from Lucknow , Kundu sir from Odisa, Sanket from Bengaluru, Vyom from Uttarakhand and the whole TECHTRO-IFTWC family as the list is way too long. I feel fortunate enough to have received help in terms of technical , financial and moral support. My Biggest Strength were my players : Bharat , Sachin , Prashant , Ajeet , Himanshu , Ranjit and thr whole squad. We had a family bounding which helped us take each other up the ladder.
Whats the reason behind this name ‘Techtro FC’?
In 2014 when I started this Youtube channel with the name Techtro as the major chunk of my content was about Tech stuff. As ISL started I got hooked to Indian football and decided to put up content related to it. Being a 14 year old kid I was not aware of the Copyright rules and thus my channel even got terminated for a couple of times. But nonetheless the name Techtro continued and it has been an eternal part of the journey. Thus I decided to stick to the name while starting my own Football club. So yes, that’s the story behind the name.
How are you planning to take the club further? Let us know about your inputs regarding the future of the club.
It has been a year and a half into Techtro FC. I wasn’t the only one, many people helped me through this journey. I would definitely take pride in saying that this is not my club alone but it belongs to the whole Indian football fans community. I have a dream that one day, a person from Kerala as well as a person from Assam would take pride in the sense of their belonging to the club. Speaking of the future, I’ve been jotting down the plan and it will be out soon. Many successful European clubs have followed such model and similarly I’d like to open academies all over India.
What will be your approach to get a place in the top tier league of the nation ?
Actually it’s a long wait for me right now , we all know that a journey of thousand miles starts with a single step. Likewise last year was my first step and I have to take multiple such steps to reach to the top tier. Being a dreamer myself, I dream big but in actual reality we need many years if our plan works in the right direction and also if we get right investments or sponsorships. I would like to state that definitely we can make it to the top tier in next 5-6 years because we have passionate people in the system who are working towards it . Everyone in this initiative is working without taking any salary. I am confident that they will never regret about it because we have same dreams and same passion to do something for the Indian football in a unique way which will be known as Techtro Football club nationwide.
Everyone works for a purpose or reward, so what do you think will be your reward in doing this? What gives you the motivation, or what’s the kick behind doing this for Indian Football?
The sole purpose behind this initiative is to promote Indian football as much as I can. The main contribution would be producing the future stars through my academies and club pan India. I have definitely got the best team which encourages me and also pushes me to learn many new things from this initiative.
Speaking of my earlier days, two of the most crucial men who helped me through all odds and who entrusted their belief in me were my football coach, Mr. Ankur Pandey and Sandeep Sir. Besides them many big names like Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem , Anant Tyagi and also India’s Women’s team goal keeper Aditi Chauhan helped me on numerous occasions for the Techtro FC.
Last but not the least, one of the most important person who I’ll never forget is Mr. Ranjit Bajaj. He is the one who truly inspired me and made me believe that I can do it.A 19 year old guy thought of playing second division just because of one person that was Ranjit Bajaj. He was very kind to sponsor my club 7 days tour to Minerva Punjab Academy, Chandigarh where me and my players learnt and experienced a lot of new things.
How much experience have you gained from this entire journey and how do you think it will help in moving forward ?
It has been an amazing experience so far. Not even in my wildest dreams I ever thought that I would be leading up to such a beautiful journey. When I started on Youtube, I was live streaming – doing commentary one day and writing an article the other day. This has helped me gain immense knowledge about football as a sport. I have worked at every front possible till date, be it clicking photographs, analyzing videos or managing the whole ecosystem for the club. There’s no job that I haven’t stepped into. Such diversification has helped me as I can mold myself for any role. I am sure that this will definitely help me on an individual basis as well as in this initiative too.
How can anyone interested in establishing a career in professional football join the “India ka Club”?
At the moment we are working on a medium through which we can connect to aspiring professionals. Mr. Ayyoob who is our Technical Website designer is putting those extra steps in so as to deliver our platform as soon as possible. We would love to connect to each and every single one of you. We would be guiding them not only from the perspective of the club but we’d love to prescribe you an holistic approach for your sport. We are trying to do our best by counselling many through our social media handles. Also, we are trying to extend our support not only to the players but also to clubs. So if you feel you have the potential feel free to contact us and we would help in every way possible. I believe that as we started from Lucknow and now we’re moving to places, slowly and steadily we are on our track to open our own academies.We even have a girl’s team and probably we are trying to bid for IWL next year. We have developmentary plans for next 5 years for youth players, for club level as well as players for girl’s team too .
If anyone wants to contact with us our social media handle there ping me personally also you can connect with us through our website also so slowly slowly we are trying to making a chain in our social media handles .
Lastly, what message would you like to give the Indian football fans?
I would like to conclude this with a message for every Indian football fan. This initiative, ‘Techtro FC’ is not just mine but it belongs to all you fans, the reason being your support means everything for us. Be it monetary or morally, your support is one of the most important pillar. We would like to call you out to join us in the Fan’s Own football club campaign which we will be launching soon. This will be your chance to own a football club even by sitting at your home. At the end of the day this is not my dream this is our dream, we want to witness India play in the Fifa World cup and this is the dream of every individual football fan in India. I would urge yo guys to join in and contribute as we can reach unscaled heights with your support. we can be one of the best clubs and this campaign can make our dream come true.
Interview by : Vyom Sharma
Author’s Take –
”’Neeraj Kholiya”’ (born 08 November 1999) is an Indian Vlogger,Commentator,Football Promoter,Writer,Editor,Football Player and Youtuber from Pithoragarh ,Uttarakhand. He is known for his passion for Indian Football He got Lime Light because of his channel ” TECHTRO – Indian Football HUB ” . In 2019, Neeraj Started his very own Football Club in Lucknow named Techtro FC became the first Football Club to ever Nominated for I-League 2nd Division from Uttar Pradesh.
In Youtube he have Nearly 91k Subscribers in TECHTRO – Indian Football HUB and In [ Indian Football Team For World Cup he have Nearly 94k Subscribers. He is the Founder of TECHTRO and he have recently Merged with IFTWC which makes TECHTRO – IFTWC the largest Followed entity who Promote Football in India. They have Combined Following of more than 5 lakh. He is also The Founder of Techtro FC and Chairman of Techtro Sports Trust .
== Early life and education ==
Neeraj is a Pahadi,born on 08 November 1999 in Dehradun, Uttarakhand to Bhupendra Singh and Deepa Kholiya. Later on, his family moved to Lucknow. He did his schooling from Army Public School LBS Marg and Perusing bachelor’s degree from Lucknow University .
== Career ==
He started his Internet career with a Tech Youtube Channel named ”’Techtro”’ in late 2014 were he used to upload Tech and Educational Videos but he was a Football Player also so he use to follow football often . In 2016 when promotion of |FIFA U17 World CUP was going on. He thought to promote football players and contribute to this campaign so he started making videos of the Young Players and Doing Live-stream , Commentary ,analysis and all. in Just 1 year time He made more than 180 videos and did several live-streams of the exposure tour of India U17 team . By the start of FIFA U17 World Cup Neeraj had gain a lot of popularity among the fans had 20k subs which made him most followed football channel in India at that time . But due some Issues his Channel got terminated but again in 2018 he step up and made a new Channel Named TECHTRO – Indian Football HUB and Rest is History now.