The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), India’s first and only self-regulatory industry body for fantasy sports, has announced the appointment of Bimal Julka as its Chairman. In his new role, Julka will work closely with all the stakeholders to further strengthen the operating standards of the Indian fantasy sports industry.
Julka is taking over from John Loffhagen, who served as the Chairman of FIFS for over three years. Loffhagen will assume the role of a Strategic Advisor and support FIFS on collaborating with relevant international bodies in the industry.
With over four decades of service in the Government at both state and national levels, Julka is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer of the 1979 batch belonging to the Madhya Pradesh Cadre. He held the prestigious position of Chief Information Commissioner, Government of India, until September 2020. Prior to that, Julka has held several senior positions in the Ministry of Defence, Civil Aviation, Information and Broadcasting, External Affairs, Finance, Commerce and Public Relations in Govt. of India.
Anwar Shirpurwala, CEO of FIFS, said, “We are very fortunate to have Bimal Julka join FIFS as the Chairman. His impeccable reputation and principles of good governance precede him. Having such a senior dignitary, like Julka, representing fantasy sports will strengthen the industry’s credibility, and we are sure to witness new strides towards reformations and standardisation of the rapidly growing fantasy sports industry.”
Talking about the fantasy sports industry and FIFS, Julka said, “Fantasy sports is a new and disruptive industry that has great potential to strengthen and promote sports in India through meaningful fan engagement. While fantasy sports is seeing unprecedented growth in both users and operators, there arises an equal need to protect the users and promote responsible growth. I am happy to be part of FIFS and look forward to supporting and guiding the fantasy sports industry in achieving its full potential by affirming high standards and self-regulation.”
FIFS was founded in 2017 and currently has 35 members, who cumulatively account for over 99% of India’s Fantasy Sports market. Besides the members, FIFS advisory board includes 1 Ombudsman — Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri (Retd.), and four strategic advisors — Professor Ratnakar Shetty, Former BCCI Chief Administrative Officer; Amrit Mathur, Former Secretary Sports Authority of India; AN Roy, Retired Director General Police; Dilip Dixit, Former Additional Commissioner of Sales Tax and John Loffhagen, former Legal Head, IMG and Advisor.