“Being a woman, the first thing that innately comes to us is empathy and the ability to connect to a person.”
Nitu Bajwa Malladi, Nutrition and Fitness Coach describes herself as mother, a fitness freak, a former mountaineer and amateur chef. She shares her story with Shree Lahiri on how she managed to shed loads of fat and took up fitness as her goal in life. Then she worked in a fitness centre and now has branched out on her own, giving consultation in fitness and wellbeing. Read on, to find out what she has to say…
1) Tell us a little about your business venture. How long ago did you start up? What has been your motivation/inspiration and what do you aim to achieve?
I have been in the fitness industry for over 2 years now. Initially I was associated with an online health portals a fitness consultant where I managed a good client base, ranging from doctors, working professionals, business heads, house wives, young professionals, pilots ,CEOs, bankers etc. Recently, I branched out on my own with my brand ‘Nitu Bajwa’. The motivating factor being the ability to help and assist people with their health and fitness goals, making them achieve their dreams of a better health, through my expertise. What really thrills me is the part where I can help them understand and achieve their health goals, hand-holding them. The connect one makes with an individual during the consultation gives me immense satisfaction and motivates me. I am a firm believer of educating people/clients about their lifestyle and how easy it is to make sustainable changes in it – to maintain good health and fitness levels. It’s my way of giving back to the society I am a part of.
2) How has your experience been so far, with setting up an entrepreneurship business?
Things have been on a roller coaster pace till now, with tons of work. Setting up the tech support and website – it’s like giving birth to a child, where you have to be mindful of every tiny requirement the infant has, till she grows up to be independent. It’s been a good learning experience till now – with so many aspects, right from making sure that client service, finance, legal, tech support everything is in place. I have taken professional assistance to get all these in place form venture.
3) How easy/ tough has it been for you, as a woman entrepreneur, to set up your business? What are your plans to scale up?
I would say it’s been super easy! Being a woman, the first thing that innately comes to us is empathy and the ability to connect to a person; and these two aspects are extremely important in my business. I am working on associating my brand with a few other brands in the fitness sector, and there are plans to expand. There are many things in the pipeline, like to get in more coaches on my platform.
4) Do you think being a woman entrepreneur worked to your advantage or brought challenges to your path?
Fitness industry till now was a male dominated one, but with time a lot of female experts have created their own niche. Today it’s a very balanced field, where the gender has no importance, what makes a difference is how knowledgeable one is about the latest developments and researches, how well one can guide and help the clients and above all, your personal fitness levels – you got to walk the talk. My biggest advantage being my age, having brought up two kids and gone through the stage of a very unhealthy lifestyle which integrated into a healthy one. I have been through the different stages and that helps me a lot to identify and solve issues with others.
5) What would be the top 3 things to watch out for, if you’re a woman looking to start her own business?
A man or a woman, the three things that I rate highest to start your own business are – vision, hard work and integrity. Rarely, you would find businesses not working inspite of these three aspects in place!
6) How has the support of friends and family played a role in your being a successful entrepreneur? How do you balance your professional and personal life?
My family has been very supportive of my venture, and without their support it would have been very difficult to pull it off! My husband has been in the corporate field for many years and his expertise came in handy, while getting all the legalities and the website work in place. I work 5 days a week and the weekends are strictly for family and ‘me’ time. My kids are in a growing stage and they require my undivided attention. I am also into dramatics, trekking and I love cooking….these things help me unwind and spend quality time with my family and friends.