The founder series explores the minds of business owners and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview these business founders to understand the life lessons that mold them into who they are today. We also learn more about their company, their products or services, how they are different from their competitors, and the problems that they are trying to solve for their customers. The information that these business owners provide to us helps inform other entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the business world. We all can take these lessons and apply them to our entrepreneurial journey. We want to thank every business owner who volunteered their time to participate in these interviews and share their knowledge with the community.
Great to meet you. Thank you for doing the interview. We want to know more about your journey, early struggles, success, and some wisdom that we can pass on to others who are interested in walking your footsteps toward becoming an entrepreneur. We know that being an entrepreneur is not all glory and fame, but there are hard times too. We believe that others who are interested in being a business owner can gain insight from other business founders like yourself. Again, we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview started!
Let us start off with some basic questions to learn more about who you are as a person.
Can you tell everyone your name, please?
Hello! I am Sajeesh Soman.
Where did you go to school?
St Francis D’Assisi, Borivali, Mumbai.
Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?
I wasn’t doing great academically when I began my Engineering, especially in Maths. I cleared my Maths paper after seven attempts. Many people advised me to drop out of Engineering, but I was persistent to complete it. I gave my best on every effort, sometimes losing out by just two marks but I was determined to clear it, and I did finish my course with a much better grade than everyone expected. I acquired an Engineering degree but what I indeed learned was a lesson for a lifetime. To sum it up in one word: PERSISTENCE. Since then, I firmly believe that anything in life is possible if you’re determined to achieve it.
We all have entrepreneurs whom we look up to in our industry. These business leaders help influence, shape, and drive our ambition to succeed. These entrepreneurs could be someone that we have worked with on a project or could be someone that we look up too from a distance. For example, Bill Gates is a big inspiration to me not only because of his work in Microsoft but his outstanding contributions to society.
Who would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why?
I have always looked up to and followed Elon Musk. For me, one thing that I find influencing about him is that he strives for excellence while building companies and creating products that will be beneficial for the world. What attracts me the most is the fact that he’s a passion driven Entrepreneur. He focuses on changing the world rather than making money.
Thank you for providing background on who you are as a person. I always find it fascinating to learn who a person is and their early life lessons. Let us move forward with the interview and discuss what you are doing now and how you are making a difference in your industry.
What is the name of your company?
Where is your company located?
What services or products does your organization provide?
Fitsaurus is an online platform focusing solely on Indian health & fitness. From diet and training programs to motivational fitness stories, we offer total fitness solutions with an aim to transform India into a healthy and fit nation.
What problem is your business trying to solve?
As I mentioned above, our goal is to create a fitness community that learns, adopts and propagates a healthy lifestyle. Staying fit needs discipline and that comes from motivation. For example, Obesity, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure are the major lifestyle ailments in India with Diabetes alone affecting 72 million people as of 2018. These problems can be avoided if an individual leads a healthy lifestyle. We have a Social Media following of over 100,000 of which majority are youngsters. We target the age group of 18–30 because they are the future of the country and encouraging them to take fitness seriously is our primary aim.
How is your business unique against your competitors?
We are one of its kind business in the market. We do not sell anything but create a brand based on thought leadership. The users we have are those who firmly believe in what we propagate, and we encourage them to become our brand ambassadors. We have many users who came to us seeking help on their fitness and lifestyle. Today their transformational stories are motivating others.
How did the idea for your business come to fruition?
I have always wanted to create a product that added value to the society, something that would positively help an individual. I began thinking about this and saw an opportunity in the health and fitness space in India which still has enormous potential. Within three months we had nearly 50,000 followers.
Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?
Final question. We want to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.
What three tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?
1) “Never give up on yourself” if you meet failure in the beginning or even repeatedly. It is only going to make you smarter and well equipped for the future. It could be your dream project and did not turn out as you expected but never give up on yourself. Instead, take lessons from it and come back stronger next time.
2) Always plan ahead. As an entrepreneur, you must envision your goal and prepare your way to success. When making a plan, look at it from every angle and have a backup plan to cover up something that could go wrong.
3) Start small and build upon it. The lower you start, the faster you can fix the problems because every startup encounters some trouble in the beginning phase.
4) One more I would like to add is, pick your team wisely. The company you build is only as good as your founding team. They are the backbone of your organisation, and a considerable chunk of success relies on how well your team performs.