Hardik Pandya on enjoying a successful partnership and innings with his wife and son – Harpers Bazaar India

Hardik Pandya radiates confidence in every match. His teammates know he will get things over the line effortlessly. Building successful partnerships—be it as captain of the IPL team Gujarat Titans (he led them to glory in their debut appearance last year) or as a husband and father off the field—comes naturally to Pandya. He exudes energy and confidence and is popular among young fans.
It's not surprising to see multiple companies rope the icon as their brand ambassador, the latest being Yu, a chef-crafted instant food brand. Just like how a billion Indians root for Pandya each time he’s on the field, they know it will be a successful partnership.
The ace Indian cricketer, in an exclusive interview with Harper’s Bazaar India, talks about the highs and lows in the partnership with his wife and son, how he is selective about brands that he associates with, how food plays a role in his game, his mental conditioning, and more. 

Harper’s Bazaar: What about Yu Foods do you feel resonates with you the most?
Hardik Pandya: The first time I tried a Yu product, I couldn’t tell if it was a packaged product or freshly prepared, and this very first impression intrigued me. Meeting founders Bharat and Varun made me realise that Yu, a Make In India story, is on the path of disrupting instant foods by making them chef-crafted with zero preservatives or chemicals. It makes Yu a brand making instant foods healthier and more delicious without compromising on time or convenience.
HB: As an investor and brand ambassador for countless brands, what are the things you are extremely particular about before joining hands with them?
HP: I am selective about the brands I associate with. Some of the factors that influence my decision are the boldness and disruptiveness of the brand, the quality of the product, whether it is something I will purchase for my family, if my thoughts match the wavelength of the owners or founders, and so on. It’s a partnership wherein we work together for several years to jointly grow the business and, importantly, introduce products that are indeed “better” for the broader Indian market. 
HB: What advice would you like to give youngsters?
HP: Work hard in the field you are passionate about, and never give up. Achieving success is a journey where one needs to remain focused and hungry all the time!  
A post shared by Hardik Himanshu Pandya (@hardikpandya93)
HB: You’ve set new fitness standards by adhering to a strict diet, how much of it can/will change with Yu?
HP: Yu’s wide range of products is healthier compared to all other instant foods available in the market. Yu does not use artificial ingredients, chemicals, or preservatives—something I focus on in my everyday diet. It doesn’t get any better than this! 
HB: Is there any room in your busy schedule for food that can be made in an instant? Or do you have to make time for the food that only makes your game better?
HP: As a professional athlete, I immensely focus on my dietary intake. But at heart, we are Indians who love spending quality time with our families, especially over food. So yes, I consume (in moderation) my share of instant foods and snacks with my loved ones—it makes all of us happy and furthers the love and bond we share.
HB: You became the latest additions to the long list of famous couples to have gotten married in the past few years, how has this new innings been for you?
HP: I am truly blessed. My wife (Nataša Stanković) and son have completed my life. I travel a lot for my work and am always looking forward to the time I spend with them. I grew up in a middle-class family, and that helped inculcate family values in me—something I now maintain at our home with my wife and son. 
A post shared by Hardik Himanshu Pandya (@hardikpandya93)
HB: From an intimate wedding in 2020, to renewing vows this year on Valentine’s Day, what have you learned about the highs and the lows of this partnership?
HP: I feel blessed. The only low is I have limited time to spend with the two, but they are understanding and appreciative—after all, playing cricket for the Indian team comes with its set of responsibilities and commitment. Their support and love only motivate me to do better.
HB: How much do you think your mental conditioning has changed over the years?
HP: Every match, every series or tournament teaches you a lot. It helps you condition yourself better for the next game. These experiences also make you mentally tough and a better player.
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