Let us start with “you” the fitness guru. Tell us something about your background?
I have done my Masters in Food Science and Nutrition. I did two years of PhD. Nobody knows I was a lecturer in nutrition as well. But my passion has always been fitness, cycling, trekking and hiking. When I was doing my PhD, I got really bored and decided I did not want to sit in a lab. That’s how I got into fitness. That time aerobics had just started coming to India. Then, in 1994, I started my own academy, because nobody in India knew how to teach aerobics, weight-training with attention to anatomy, physiology and all these things.
Do you have any childhood experience or memory that led you into this profession?
I was an active person since childhood, but that time there was no concept of fitness. So, nobody could dream about that. It just happened that I found what I loved. And since I found that, I never looked back.
You are an advisor to celebrities and the queen of one of the top-most gym chains across the country. How did you build this empire?
It is just focus, hard work and passion. If you have the passion, but lack the focus and hard work, you won’t be able to achieve anything.
You also need an action plan. You have to know what you want to do — like from six gyms I want to expand to 50 gyms and how. You can’t just sit and dream about wanting 50 gyms. In my case, when I started in 1994, I didn’t know aerobics, so I got a panel. You have to remember, you can’t do everything alone. You have to have a support system. If you don’t have a good team and if you are not a good team player, you won’t be able to achieve anything. So, that “I, I, I” should always change to “We, We, We” (smiles).
It takes a lot of hard work and vision. It doesn’t come easy and you have to really find good people who are with you all the time.
Tell us about your innovative kids’ gym.
It didn’t catch on well. I don’t think India is ready for kids’ gyms yet.
What does the future hold for you?
We are planning 50 more gyms over a period of time (smiles).