Amaresh Ojha, CEO – Gympik
Being a fitness enthusiast took him to the direction where the concept of Gympik was awaiting. Amaresh Ojha founded Gympik with an objective of thought of doing something on his own rather than following the crowd in general. Gympik is one of India’s leading fitness discovery platforms. It provides the best options for people who want to make fitness a lifestyle choice and be the better version of them.
An alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Amaresh has a compelling work experience with front-runners in the IT field like Sun Microsystems, CISCO and Intuit. He manages and focuses on technological decision making, innovative business strategies, collaboration and expansion. Founded in 2013, Gympik receives over 1,00,000 monthly visitors. It has more than 9,000 fitness centers and 5000 fitness professionals signed up, making it one of the largest online fitness discovery platform in India.
Here are some more insights about Mr. Amaresh Ojha and Gympik shared with the team of ABT.
What was the inflection point that led you to the path of entrepreneurship?
There was no inflection point. It was a well thought and well-planned action that made Gympik what it is today. Of course, it took a while to figure out the right approach to make things fall in the right place. Entrepreneurship is not easy as pie, yet its fun, encouraging and motivating when you see your firm flourishing to the hilt and that’s the kind of enthusiasm and courage of my own convictions that motivated me to keep the stunt going.
Tell us about the first 90 days at Gympik
Oh, that was crazy and of course, fun too! Every day we spent at office was more of a trial and error kind of days when we used to focus more on brainstorming about different ideas than following the conventional approach towards making quick money.
What is the market challenge that you are addressing?
Gympik aims at solving one of the most critical situations in India, i.e. making health a choice & not an option. Since, there is lack of clarity on what is the right way to achieve fitness; people mostly are confused when it comes to take the right decision, be it taking personal training services, nutrition & diet counseling or even choosing the right fitness center. In India, where most of the people suffer from diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure, we, at Gympik, are striving to make health reachable and accessible to each and every part of the country so that people make a conscious effort to take health seriously.
What is your philosophy, when it comes to doing business?
It’s simple and straight forward— for me my employees are my strength and I consider them as the assets of my organization. My vision is to make Gympik a place where people enjoy every bit of their work and grow professionally. We are a family if you talk about the work culture in Gympik. The core of our foundation is integrity, equality, transparency in communication and flexibility. Our employees face different challenges every day, they get to learn a lot, have fun on the way and try to achieve their potential in the fields.
Have you managed to raise any funding? How are your funded?
Yes, we did! We are a well-funded start-up and in future, we hope to grow in terms of launching different verticals which can take Gympik to the zenith of success.
What are the challenges that you face as an entrepreneur, how do you overcome them?
Initially there were a lot of issues related to giving a proper shape to the ideas, finding the likeminded people who were ready to take a plunge and dive into the world of uncertainty, truly believe in concept and contribute their time and effort to make it work. Of course, at the onset, getting enough funding was a far cry and I had to invest my savings to make it happen. I started with a small setup where I had to be the all-rounder to keep the venture going.
Thanks to a couple of friends, I knew from my previous jobs. They trusted me enough and joined hands to share some of the major responsibilities at Gympik. Within a year, we raised a seed funding from a group of angel investors. Hard work and destiny played their hands and now Gympik is present in 20 major cities with more than 12000 fitness & wellness centers and 9000 personal trainers listed from all over India. We get more than 3500 unique visitors on this platform every day and the conversion rate has become much higher than before.
If you were to do one thing differently, what would that be?
I would like to sharpen the greatest weapons of all, the education system of India, and make it more of an experiment and learn kind of activity. It’ll encourage the young generation to soar high, bring in the best of ideas to materialize and make India a better place.
What does the road ahead, look like?
The coming years are going to be an exciting and full-on implementation of amazing ideas that we have been working on for past few months. New verticals, integration, collaborations and much more are on the cards. Apart from Corporate Wellness Program, we have a few comprehensive and all-encompassing projects which we are developing to integrate technology and constitute a holistic approach towards the entire program.
In India, the total retail market for fitness as a category is valued at Rs. 4,579 Cr (US$ 0.76 bn), growing at 16-18% and is estimated to cross Rs.7000 crore (US$ 1.18 bn) by end of the year 2017. Fitness centers are burgeoning as disposable per capita income rises and sedentary lifestyles lower immunity amongst today’s youth. Moreover, global corporations, the ICT industry, BPOs and KPOs specifically, have already provided the impetus to the industry by installing in-house fitness centres and health clubs within their office premises. So we have recently launched a cloud-based B2B software – TRAQADE a one stop solution for Fitness Centre Managers to manage their customer journey online and to facilitate them to manage daily operations.