Gone are the days when children would play outside with their peers in mud. With the advent of smartphones, tablets and laptops, children have become confined to the walls of their homes with their eyes stuck to the gadgets for most part of their waking hours. While it’s true that these technologies have helped children broaden their knowledge and explore oceans of opportunities, on the flipside, it has had a significant negative impact on their physical and mental health.
Many health problems like weakened immunity, decreased IQ, and a number of eye-related problems have become very rampant among children nowadays. Back in those days, these kinds of health problems were not a thing, such that hardly few parents knew that problems like these ever existed. However, gadgets aren’t the only things to be blamed for. Air quality in metropolitan cities is so alarming that children run the risk of developing many respiratory diseases and other skin-related problems if parents let them play outside.
But, parents can’t keep them locked inside their rooms for so long as children need physical exercises to live a healthier life. Even though there are multiple options like yoga, fitness centers and aerobic exercises, unlike adults children easily get bored with the repetitive nature of these activities. What they need is something that is engaging, fun, and at the same time helps them stay physically fit all in an environment that is safe and sound.
Future Fit’s Gymnastics academy is the answer to that.
Confluence of fitness and fun
What started with one small center at the end of 2013 in Gurgaon, soon grew to an enterprise comprising 14 centers and 12 top school partners by the end of 2019 under the leadership of Vitika Banerjee and Nidhi Mathur as Co-Founders. Future Fit helps children achieve their fitness goals through gymnastics. The academy’s state-of-the-art training facility, which is one of the largest privately owned gymnastics facilities in India, offers gymnastic classes for all children from toddler program for preschoolers to teens, in the age group 4 to 14 yrs. By delivering various forms of gymnastics training like rhythmic, tiny tumblers, artistic gymnastic and also basic fun cardio for kids, the academy keeps the children highly involved and thereby helping them bolster their mental and physical fitness. “We always strive to focus on strengthening our expertise in delivering overall fitness through mother of all sports-Gymnastics,” says Vitika Banerjee, Co-founder and Director of Future Fit.
Stellar facilities for future superstars
After opening its first facility in Gurgaon, the academy expanded its centers across multiple cities like Delhi, Noida and Kolkata. Today, in a matter of just seven years, Future Fit has grown on to become the largest chain of Gymnastics training academies in the country. Being the only gymnastics academy in India to have centers with adequately large size indoor gymnastics floors, Future Fit’s facilities have all the necessary equipment and training aids aligned perfectly to international specifications that are manufactured by vendors approved by Sports Authority of India. Furthermore, all the centers are very hygienic and fully air-conditioned with perfect shaping and matting, such that it creates an upbeat environment for the athletes. Another impressive factor about Future Fit academy is that it houses some of the best gymnastics professionals/ coaches in the industry, who have achieved many laurels at national and international levels. These coaches ensure in every possible way that children get the most out of gymnastics by offering them the best-inclass training. “If you are looking for a place where your child can become more active, physically fit, and improve their balance, focus, flexibility and body conditioning levels, then Future Fit is the place for them,” elaborates Vitika. “Our professional, safetycertified and knowledgeable team will ensure that your child is learning in a fun and safe environment, challenging both their mind and their physical fitness.”
On that note, to be able to build a hugely successful gymnastics academy as such practically from scratch is no easy feat. It takes a whole lot of determination, out-of-the-box thinking and business calibre.
And, Vitika has these in abundance.
Prior to co-founding Future Fit, the 47 year old cofounder worked at many notable Indian and international brands in C-suite leadership roles. With more than 24 years of work experience across diverse fields like sales, marketing and brand strategy, Vitika has successfully led innovation and business transformation projects for multiple companies across the world and pulled off many incredible achievements. Given her broad experience in innovation management and business leadership, Vitika knows what it takes to build something from nothing and scale it swiftly. In addition to founding Future Fit, Vitika also started her brand strategy consulting firm, Fourth Dimension Experience Inc. (4DXP), which works with SME and start-up businesses to support them in their requirements to craft compelling insights. Currently working with a number of businesses from ground-up startups to large MNCs like Philips, Colgate Palmolive, and Marico, among others, 4DXP today, is recognized as a strategic marketing consultancy specializing in brand, marketing & communications strategy across industry domains & consumer segments.
But, to quit a lucrative job to start a venture, especially when someone is at the peak of their career like Vitika, can be extremely scary. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, things can still be quite intimidating. More than anything, what situations like these demand from an individual is a great deal of courage and strong belief in one’s own intuition. Vitika vividly recalls the day she decided to quit her job as CMO: “I clearly remember that day, which was on my 40th birthday in 2014. While I was unsure of what I wanted to do next, I was quite sure of what I do not want to do: to constrain myself and my abilities in a salaried, time-bound, content-restricted corporate job.”
When asked what’s her secret sauce for success, the co-founder responded saying that there is no such thing as super sauce. She further added: “but some of the things that keep me driven and rooted are as follows, Always keep trying. It’s okay even if you keep failing because you are still “trying”; only when you stop trying, you truly fail.
Take charge and get your work done. While no substantial project can be achieved without the support of team members, you cannot pass the buck on your work and accountability the ball is always in your court, so keep the ball so you can be in control of the inputs and influence the output. Nobody can be held accountable for your work.
Create and engage in an environment with people that are ready to disagree with you. You hardly learn anything from people who just nod their heads for everything you say.
Don’t be obsessed with credits. As long as the work is done, it doesn’t matter who gets the credit, whatsoever.
And finally, stop measuring people with the same yardstick. Everybody is unique in their own way. So, respect, recognize and reward diversity.”
Down the road, Vitika plans to scale the academy further by expanding into other cities in India. At present, with more than 1500 children attending the gymnastics programs, Future Fit aspires to collaborate with more schools and parents to train more children and help build a community of healthy and dynamic youngsters. “I am proud of the fact that starting at 40, I was able to build two sustainably profitable businesses from scratch with a great potential for the future. What makes me even more happy is that I have been able to accomplish all these
things while bringing up two wonderful daughters who make me proud everyday,” says Vitika with a twinkle in her eye.
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