By Amaresh Ojha, Co-Founder, Gympik.com
Founded in December 2012, Gympik.com is owned and operated by Gympik Health Solutions. The company recently raised $135,000 in seed funding from angle investors.
Entrepreneurship was the last thing on my mind when I took up an engineering degree more than a decade ago. I was a child who was compelled to dive headlong into studies; getting high scores and working hard to get enrolled in a good engineering college. But the challenge of being away from home, looking for colleges, and trying to meet my every needpushed me to step out of my comfort zone.
Hailing from a middle class family, stability and a well-paying job were of utmost importance. When I got an offer from Sun Microsystems immediately after college, it was a dream come true for me and my family. My folks believed(and so did I, at the time) that I wouldbe hooked there for the rest of my life.
Soon, however, the itch started a few years into my career as a software engineer. I observed and soon began to realize that a good idea and passion was all that the founders of the big tech companies had when they started out.
The fitness industry in India faces a strange paradox. On one hand, there's a burgeoning demand for its services as an increasingly unfit country looks to shape up. India, today, is not only home to one of the largest populations of diabetics (10 per cent of total population) and people with hypertension or high blood pressure (10-33 per cent across men and women in different demographics), but it also houses a rapidly increasing number of obese folk (5 per cent of India is morbidly obese), many of them living on a diet of junk food and no exercise. Hitting the gym — often in the complex they live or office they work in —should be the logical solution. However, a combination of difficult economics and human sloth has twisted the industry into a tight spot.
I work out five days a week and going to the gym is a part of my life nowadays. For me, fitness is a passion and Gympik is a venture born out of that very passion.
It was only after I ventured deeper into my passion that I started to recognize the core problem of the fitness and wellness industry in our country today. We do have portals to find hotels, clubs, cars, and doctors even, but there is nothing when it comes to selecting the right gym, or a dance class, for example.
I thought it’s time to chase my passion of creating a healthier world in a bigger way. The journey of Gympik started with this real life problem and now we have more than 4000 fitness centres and 3000 fitness professionals listed with us, and the numbers are growing exponentially.
With the growing population, the disposable income, and, not to mention, the incessant growth of the fitness need in urban India, Gympik is the silver lining around the dark cloud of lifestyle-oriented problems.
Your passion may be different. Of course, it would be rare to find two people who share the exact same passion, but the reality is that each and every one of us is passionate about something or the other. You probably have already identified your passion or, maybe, you are yet to discoverit. When you do identify your passion, and align it with whatever you’re doing, a magical synergy happens that will effortlessly carry you to rarefied heights. Work becomes joyous and pleasurable. Hours fly by, unnoticed. Exhaustion and fatigue take a backseat as you power your way towards greater achievements.