Virat Kohli and his manager Bunty Sajdeh have parted ways. (Instagram/@buntysajdeh)
Virat Kohli’s association with Cornerstone and its founder Bunty Sajdeh has come to an end after more than a decade
The 2023 World Cup has brought to an end one of Indian cricket’s longstanding partnerships. Virat Kohli and his Jerry Maguire, Cornerstone founder Bunty Sajdeh, have parted ways. The reason for the split is not known at the moment but it’s reliably learnt that Kohli will float his own company very soon and is in the middle of registering it.
“Yes, Kohli and Bunty have parted ways after a very long and successful partnership. Over the years, there are a lot of other cricketers who’ve parted ways with Cornerstone. Rohit, KL Rahul, Ajinkya, Shubman and others. But Virat and Cornerstone were inseparable. Now, that relationship is over too,” an industry source tells CricketNext.
Back in 2020, Karan Johar-owned Dharma Productions ventured into the talent management space in partnership with Cornerstone called Dharma Cornerstone Agency (DCA). However, Kohli’s partnership with Cornerstone continued separately and the newly formed JV had no role to play in it.
“The standing joke all along used to be about how it was Kohli who ran Cornerstone, not Bunty,” say those in the know.
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More than a manager and founder of the company which was taking care of Kohli’s commercial interests and brand value and presence off the field, Bunty was known to be Virat’s 2 am friend and was often by his side at major cricket events. Together, they signed lucrative deals with top companies, including the Rs 100-crore signup with Puma.
There were, however, whispers of Cornerstone prioritising Kohli’s interests over other athletes on board. The former India skipper joined Cornerstone more than a decade back and has enjoyed a very close bond with Bunty since then.
In the process, Cornerstone had to let go of the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Shubman Gill and others who felt that the company remained merely focused on Virat and not the rest.
The company still has plenty of star athletes like PV Sindhu, Sania Mirza, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, India U19 captain Yash Dhull on board but the count is nowhere close to what it used to be before. Rohit, Rahul, Rahane and Gill have moved on and Cornerstone’s portfolio, now in partnership with Dharma, is Bollywood heavy with Sara Ali Khan, Janhvi Kapoor, Tiger Shroff and others on their roster.