For former investment banker-turned entrepreneur Amit Vasistha, his personal encounter with stress-related health scares led him to embark on entrepreneurship. He founded Get A Life Fitness (GALF), a viral campaign which led to his commercial venture of tech enabled wellness eco-system for businesses. Amit built MyGALF.com's online presence using GoDaddy's offerings, laying a foundation for his business to reach millions of people across India.
Let's learn more about his life journey and lessons in entrepreneurship in this customer feature interview!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Amit Vasistha, an Alumni of IIM Bangalore and INSEAD (France). I have led and transformed offshore businesses for various companies like Barclays, Aviva, American Express and Citi. A dotting father to 2 daughters, I have championed various women mentoring initiatives including UN HeForShe campaign. I am a passionate health enthusiast and hence switched over to establish and run a wellness start-up MyGALF in 2018. I am a practicing amateur triathlete and have completed Ironman70.3 in Kazakhstan.
Tell us about your daily routine.
I am an early riser. I typically start my day latest by 6am on weekdays, and 5am on weekends for my extended triathlon training sessions. Work happens generally between 8 AM -8 PM. Some days I plan my workouts after 8pm and call it a day by 10pm. On a weekly basis, I enjoy networking with new people and reading articles. While I am not an avid book reader, I am a keen learner of business ideologies and human behaviour. The best parts of my day are spent with my family and when training for triathlons.
The story behind MYGALF.com
Share with us your experience with entrepreneurship
I realised that I had the attributes of being an entrepreneur as a child - the ability to question status quos, risk taking and execution bias. However, having worked in corporate for years, it took some critical events in my life for me to realise my calling. Through this process, I gathered the courage to take the leap in becoming an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, the most important thing for me having that passion for a cause. This defines my sense of purpose and willingness to take risks.
What inspired you to start MYGALF.com? Any spark/motivation/inspiration/“Eureka moment”?
I lost my father and his whole generation at a reasonably young age due to stress and lifestyle linked illnesses. Besides diagnoses from doctors, it was difficult for me to decipher what really happened.
Even as I was fitness conscious, the anxiety and stress which I experienced in my mid-30s led to a health scare. This was a wakeup call for me, as I realised that poor stress and anxiety management can manifest into physical health issues. Since then, I worked on transforming my life and shared my transformation story through a CXO wellness campaign Get A Life… Fitness (GALF). After the campaign went viral, we converted it into a commercial venture of tech enabled wellness eco-system for corporates. Today, we have touched lives of lakhs of professionals all around India.
Can you share some information about MYGALF.com? When did you start?
In 2018, we commercialised GALF into an LLP venture to test our idea and Proof of Concept (POC). We gave ourselves 3 years to complete the POC and develop the first-generation platform with product-market fit check. We started generating revenue early. With the exception of 2020 due to COVID, we were able to deliver consistent revenue growth. This allowed us to rebrand into MyGALF and improvise our product. In 2022, we launched our strategic entity Get A Life Private limited, which was valued at USD5million given our ready delivery platform, client base and revenue pipeline. Govt Of India selected us in the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme program and invested 35 lacs for 1% stake through BITS Pilani – Goa Campus in our venture.
What sets MyGALF.com apart from similar businesses?
As a comprehensive one-stop wellness ecosystem for corporates, we take care of end-to-end employee wellness needs, removing that burden from HR teams. Our ecosystem consists of a marketplace (Wellness E-commerce) and Subscriptions (gamification, marketplace, diagnostics, insurance, wellness consultancy and sessions) starting at Rs 150* per employee per month. Companies can start for free, and our platform has no commercial entry barriers. We aim to help our customers become fitter through incentives and rewards.
Where do you see your business currently and what does success look like for you and your business in the short and long-term?
We are currently at a growth stage of MyGALF, and need to ensure the stability of our core technology infrastructure. As we look to the future, we hope to reach 1 million users on our platform and attain a businss revenue of 1.5 crores. Through this process, we hope to also raise 3.5 crores INR through strategic institutional investors and launch the 2nd generation of our developed tech product by Oct’ 2023. In the long run, we hope to keep growing our user base and revenue, and continue with our fundraising efforts while exploring integration of AI solutions for health related customised advisory and services
What’s the most valuable lessons you’ve learnt since starting?
Stay humble, keep innovating and keep moving.
How has COVID affected your business?
Revenue wise, 2020 was a tough year for us. However, the silver lining is that many companies and individuals woke up to the idea of making health a priority and embracing wellness as a lifestyle.
Working with GoDaddy: about MyGALF's website
Can you share some information about your website? When and how did you create it?
Our main site domain name is MyGALF.com. We purchase it from GoDaddy and it's also hosted on GoDaddy server. The WebApp and Mobile App was developed by GoDaddy Platinum Developer.
Why do you think it’s important for your business to have a website and how does it contribute to your business?
It's a must-have! Based on our experience, it is a very important first step when starting a business and giving that business an identity. Given that 95% of our transactions happen online, it's clear that our business is mainly digital. Hence, our website and app are the heart of our delivery capability.
Many small businesses think it’s not necessary or hard and costly to build a website. What do you think about the process?
Absolutely not. It’s generally a small ticket investment in overall scheme of things. As compared to the velocity and size it can bring to the business. This is just a fractional investment with far reaching brand and revenue impact possibilities
Why did you decide to work with GoDaddy?
I attended a GoDaddy seminar in Mumbai in 2018 and was very impressed with the ease, quality and leadership. The hard-nosed focus of GoDaddy to help MSMEs in India with pricing sensitivity is really admirable.
Which GoDaddy products do you use?
Web Hosting, Domain and SSL certificate.
Inspirations from running MYGALF.com
What is the most heart-warming encounter/experience you’ve had with your business so far?
In the first year of our business, we completed an assignment with our first Corporate Client. While walking up to the HR Director's office, the employees came up to us in tears to thank my team. They told us that MyGALF has changed their lives. That’s when I realised the true power behind the purpose of why we do what we do. It gave us confidence to further develop our business and brand.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out?
If you have an idea, make a concrete business plan with firm dates and accountability. Set aside a budget and start execution by testing your idea. Time to reach market is of immense essence for a start-up. Next, look into securing a domain name and associated social media handles. These are the very basic and most important actions one can take as a start to building your business.
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