Saurabh Aggarwal, Co-founder at FITSO, is a dreamer; he believes in his passion, and works hard to turn his dreams into reality. Where everyone takes fitness as a task to be completed in a day, Saurabh unfolds each day working for a platform that aims to make this world a healthier and fitter place. An alumnus of IIT Delhi, his love affair with the startup ecosystem began with Flipkart. He eventually weaved his love for sports and fitness into a career with the launch of FITSO. He talks to us about his different chapters of life.
Why did Jogo become FITSO?
We initially came up with the word Jogo, which means game or sport in Portuguese; we were absolutely fascinated with the word but later we discovered, when you search with this name, there are countless mobile games available online.Our application was nowhere to be found on Google Play Store; so we discussed with the Google team, and we figured out, it was time for a new name, and that’s how FITSO came into being.
Why did an idea of launching a fitness app come to your mind?
I am an athlete; sports and fitness are integral part of my life. In fact, all three co-founders are health and fitness aficionados. We have witnessed a big vacuum in the sector of fitness and health; people often desire to get healthier and embrace fitness as a way of life; unfortunately, there is something that lacks in this whole system, which eventually demotivates people and they drop out of regimens. You will often see people joining gyms, all motivated to get fitter, but within weeks they drop out of it. So, we have been trying to find a solution, which can keep people on track and help them complete their journey of fitness. This was the initial concept that helped shape FITSO.
What is your role in the company?
I am involved in cracking business deals and raising funds; basically I deal with all kinds of activities that involve people-discussion and people-management. I occasionally don the hat of an HR too.
During your initial days as CEO, what challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them?
Setting up the right team was the biggest challenge; and then convincing them to work on this idea was quite a task. Secondly, getting the initial user-base and to convince them about your product was a difficult phase.
How big is your team right now?
Right now we are 12 people.
Define a usual day in your life.
I wake up in the morning and I try to work-out for a while; post that I reach office by 8 – 8:30 am. All great work starts from then till about 9 pm in the evening. I return home and have dinner with my wife; that is when we talk about how our day was. And soon, I am asleep to wake up to a brand new day.
What sports are you into?
I am atriathlete and a mountaineer; I took part in a race called IronMan in Sweden back in 2014, and then I went to climb Mount Everest last year.
So did you manage to clime the Everest?
I was climbing when the earthquake hit Nepal last year. I was ascending from the China side, and we were at an altitude of 20,000 feet when the earth shook.
When did the fitness bug bite you?
For me it started during my college days back in 2007, probably during the winters when I went for my first trek to McleodGanj; that was my first interface with the mighty mountains, and it left a deep impact on my mind. Since then, I have grown as a person and I have welcomed countless adventure activities in my life.
What were you up to before FITSO happened?
After graduating from IIT Delhi, I started working with Flipkart. After quitting Flipkart, I went to the mountains to indulge in adventure sports. I learned mountaineering, paragliding, and skiing. Post that I started training for IronManrace; I went for it to Sweden in August 2014. In 2015, I raised funds to climb Mount Everest, and I finally went to climb Everest last year in April. After that FITSO became the most important thing in my life.
What would you have been doing, if not this?
If not this, I would probably have been in the business of adventure sports, mountaineering, running a stall or perhaps running a travel company. I might also be doing expeditions or be a tour guide.
As an entrepreneur, what has been your greatest recipe for success?
There are three things that count – optimism, determination andperseverance. There is nothing like overnight success; I don’t believe in such things even if people say so.Lastly, smart work will take you places.
Who is your guru?
There have been manyrole modelsin my life. YashishDahiya, CEO ofPolicy Bazaar is one of them; he is also on the advisory board of our company, and a fellow triathlete.He guides me on how to manage work-life balance. Elon Musk inspires me for being a risk-taker; he has done things that seemed impossible. Then for IronMan, I was inspired byAnuVaidaenathan who is the first IronMan from India.
Any takeaway for budding entrepreneurs?
Always believe, nothing is impossible, and daydreaming is good. No one can stop you from dreaming so just don’t stop; only you can take the second step to achieve it. But if you put a limit on your dreams then nothing can happen.