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Yes to Cola, no to Bollywood: Saina Nehwal

By Uma Sudhir for NDTV

World No 2 in Badminton, Saina Nehwal, is shuttling her way towards becoming one of the top spots brands in India. Brand strategists say that she can now charge up to 30 lakh per endorsement - 500% more than what she used to get before her ranking shot up.

Unlike her coach, Pullela Gopichand, who refused to endorse aerated drinks at the peak of his career, Saina says she's wide open to offers, especially since she's somewhat of a Cola girl herself.

"Today's generation wants to drink everything. I am also one of them. Gopi sir took a very brave decision because he believes if we do anything, the public follows. I don't see it that way that if I drink, others will also start drinking it,'' she said.

Saina is now the most-wanted sports celebrity in India, outside of those men in blue. A few days ago, she walked the ramp dressed as a bride. She's also been offered a job with the Haryana Police. And while Bollywood may be showing some interest, Saina's going to just say no. "I don't want to do any movies because that's totally another profession and I am from a sporting background. So I just want to play my game. Totally no.''

The next one month will see Saina fine tuning both her game strategies and working on her fitness before she leads the Indian team at the World championship in Paris. A topnotch performance could see her returning to India as world number one -at which point, experts say, her brand value could touch a crore per ad.

Another young Hyderabadi woman, Sania Mirza, used to charge much more than that at the height of her tennis career.

The new kid on the block seems ready.

- NDTV Inputs

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