Pallav Bihani, founder and CEO of Boldfit responded to Interview Times Questions for an interview, below are the answers he responded to Interview Times Questionnaire,
Q1- Can you brief about yourself to our readers?
I am Pallav Bihani, Founder & CEO at Boldfit — one of the fastest-growing online health & fitness brands in the Indian e-commerce space.
I was born and brought up in the beautiful city of Bengaluru. My childhood years involved education and fun with friends in a world minus tech and complexities. I attended the prestigious Bishop Cotton Boys School in Bangalore, where I was groomed by some of the most amazing teachers and principals, which shaped my personality and helped me become the humble-yet-extremely confident person he is today.
Even though I was never an extraordinary achiever or topper in school, it did not stop me from being an ambitious youngster who had a keen interest in entrepreneurship. From a young age in my teens, I would write and sell music CDs and video games to my classmates and neighbours. Also, computers, tech & gadgets would fascinate me a lot. People would often call me to fix their computers and home gadgets and I would do a great job at it. Thus I had an early-age hands-on experience in the world of computers and tech, but little did I know back then that several years later, I would use the knowledge of technology and digital to sell my (company’s) products through the internet!
After passing high-school, I pursued Bachelors of Business Management from Centre of Management Studies, Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College, Bangalore. I was a substantially overweight lad in college, due to which my collegemates would often mock or poke fun at my body weight. I promised to self that I must turn around my fitness, and thereafter I started following a healthy lifestyle and got a proper fitness regime in place, which over time resulted in a 30 kg weight loss! Amid this memorable journey of personal transformation, I happened to learn a lot about the significance of fitness, supplements and proper diet and nutrition; all of that learning helped me professionally later on when I decided to launch my own venture Boldfit.
Immediately after completing my Graduation, I joined in my family business of medical equipment and pharmacies at Sasvat Group. During my stint there of around two years, I learnt about marketing, people management and business and product development, under the sincere guidance and mentorship of my father Mr. Bijay Bihani (who is also the Founder & MD of Sasvat Group). However, while still working for Sasvat, I was getting continuously bitten by the entrepreneurship bug and having ideas of starting-up my own company in the fitness space.
In January 2019, after doing some research about the fitness industry in India, I finally decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge; thus I arranged for a loan of rupees ₹5 lakhs with the support of my father and opened Boldfit’s online store, with only two Yoga mats as products. To my pleasant surprise, these Yoga mats soon became the bestselling mats on Amazon India in their respective category, and from that point onwards, there was no looking back.
From that point till day the present day, I have been leading a small and compact team of 5 full-time employees and freelancers at Boldfit, and I am actively involved in different verticals of the business such as purchase, operations, imports, marketing, products’ testing and much more. My day-to-day responsibilities at Boldfit also include (but are not limited to) fine-tuning the company’s marketing activities, developing new products and interacting with vendors and customers. My vision of making Boldfit the largest D2C fitness company in India within the next 5 years.Q2- When did you have an idea of establishing Boldfit?
I started Boldfit in the year 2019.
During my teenage years I was constantly overweight and I myself went through a personal weight loss transformation of over 30 kilos. During this time, I developed a keen interest and passion in fitness.
Right after college in 2016 I joined my family business and had a great run but I always felt that my passion lied in fitness. In 2019 I got a loan of 5 lakh rupees from my father and started Boldfit. This was the Boldfit’s first and only infusion of capital. The startup’s first product was a yoga mat and that was only the beginning of great things to come. After the great success of our yoga mat, I launched several more health and fitness products which are best sellers on various marketplaces from time to time.
Q3- You started with a capital for 5 lakhs and within couple of years your turnover is close to 30 Crore. What do you think has been working the best for your company?
Aggressive launches along with speedy customer support has helped us to gain and retain our customer base but more than the services provided, we believe in the value of our products which is the prime reason that we were able to expand at such a rate. Our direct to consumer model was instrumental in our growth.
Q4- What is the USP of Boldfit?
We procure ingredients from some of the best places in the world, for example we get the highest quality grass-fed whey from the United States & our pea protein is sourced from Madagascar. Finest quality of ingredients coupled with right pricing is what has helped us gain an edge over the market. Innovative products like BoldFit’s SuperWhey has helped us fulfil the gaps left by the market and satisfy the needs of consumers. Our direct to consumer business model has helped us substantially in gaining the trust of our customer base as the chances of tampering and mixing are negligible.Q5- What are the best products one must try at Boldfit?
Innovative products like BoldFit’s SuperWhey has helped us fulfil the gaps left by the market and satisfy the needs of consumers. Our direct to consumer business model has helped us substantially in gaining the trust of our customer base as the chances of tampering and mixing are negligible.
Q6- Did you saw a rise in sale of your products in CO-VID as all the gyms and yoga centers were closed and people had to maintain their fitness from home?
Fitness industry took a huge loss commercially due to closed gyms and fitness centres that have directly impacted the lives of millions of athletes and coaches. From an awareness point of view, I have seen a huge amount of increase in the awareness and efforts put in by people by starting to workout at their homes or joining online boot camps as demand for BoldFit’s nutraceutical supplements and home workout equipment have seen a huge surge. People have quickly improvised to the situation and made the best out of it which is very motivating for me to see and deeply excites me as India moves forward to the next stage of fitness. We can definitely project a great future for the fitness sector in India given the increased awareness.
Q7- What advice you want to give to people who are obese and do not have the time to get to gym?
We all have the same 24 hours and no matter how busy we are we can take out a simple 30 minutes daily for our body. A light exercise like even a walk for 30 minutes for 4-5 days can add so much value to your overall health. Afterall health is indeed the most important element to live and make the most out of life. We may have millions in the bank but what good is it if we cannot get out of the bed when we are old? A light exercise habit and healthy conscious eating with awareness can fix our health and lifestyle dramatically.Q8- A company’s biggest strength is its employees. What are the things you do to keep your employees happy?
Our employees are our biggest strength and all that we have achieved is because of them. For me my employees are not just employees but they are my family and we have always lived in the same manner watching each others back. We’ve got some tremendous growth in the last couple of years and even our employees have grown with us. A healthy team environment is critical for an organization’s success. These are our early days and we want to set a culture for those who come in when our team expands as we reach out to many more customers and geographies.
Q9- Any future plans for your organization?
We’ve been growing at a rapid rate and have a very strong vision for the times to come. We are looking to launch a range of Vegan supplements and also an Ayurveda range. We get a lot of mails from our customers for these products and we feel this is the right time. Being D2C also does not limit our mind and we are looking to enter international markets in 2021.