‘iFitin Was Born As A Result Of My Struggle With Excess Weight’
Poonam J Khot has served in the Northern, Southern and Eastern Sector as part of various battalions of Indian Army Service Corps. After 11 years and 4 months of service, she took premature retirement in July 2016. And nearly a year later, in May 2017, she kicked off her entrepreneurial journey with iFitin.
Khot is also a “Certified Fitness Nutritionist” from ISSA, “Kids Nutrition Specialist” from NESTA and a “Certified Yoga Instructor”.
Journey to entrepreneurship
The entrepreneur recollects how post retirement, she started struggling with the excess weight that had accumulated because of the sedentary lifestyle. She wasn’t used to seeing herself like that because her army background always kept her very fit.
That’s when she resolved to take her fitness in her own hands and joined a gym nearby. She started preparing for marathons, joined aerobics classes and got into yoga whole-heartedly.
“During this time, I came across many people who would give me free advice on how to lose weight or to be healthy. Surprisingly, 99% times the advice seemed to be contradicting. I started searching for information about nutrition. I read books day in and day out. Got myself enrolled for courses in ISSA, NESTA and Yogic Eating. With these courses, I came closer to the actual meaning of nutrition.”
“With this newfound knowledge and my fitness regime, I lost 10 kg in 4 months. People then started asking me how I did that. I started answering their concerns and “iFitin” was born.”
“After dealing with many women clients, I realized that when the body is fit, the mind finds itself in an ever-blissful state. So everything else in life fits in place.”
Khot caters to clients from all over the globe, including the UK, Germany, USA, Kuwait and almost all the states of India.
Special moments of her journey
Talking about some defining moments of her journey, Khot shared how her health plan helped one of her clients with Polycystic Ovarian Disorder to conceive. She also recalled the case of a 57-year-old client, who was grappling with excess weight that was affecting her knees. The woman took one of Khot’s health programs and in 21 days, she lost 1.5 kg. She regained her confidence too.
Finding her true calling
Ask her about challenges in her entrepreneurial journey and Khot says she can’t recall any particular challenges. “May be this is what was destined for me and hence, the whole universe showered the energy for a great take-off,” said Khot. She, however, added that she finds it a daily challenge to make people eat.
“People think that I ask them to eat too much and with that they will not lose weight or inches, rather will gain it. Therefore, I have to literally beg them at times to eat well.”
Technology and entrepreneurship
She admits that all social platforms are filled with fitness and related posts which increase people’s awareness about the issue. “It also makes the fitness journey easy as everything is available at fingertips,” she said.
“At present,we function on WhatsApp, FB Messenger and on mails. We have clients from various places, telephonic conversations and Skype calls comes as a great help. We will look towards integrating it with automation,” she says about how she has incorporated technology for Ifitin.
Helping people strive for fitness requires a lot of motivation but owing to her army background, it was easy for her to keep people motivated.
Army background and entrepreneurship
“Due to my army background, the clients trusted and accepted me instantly. Many of my clients come from army background, so in a way it also provided me some good clientele.”
“In terms of skill-set in women from army background, they have self-resilience, out-of-box thinking to get the work done, discipline, and adaptability. Most importantly, they are always ready with a “Plan-B” for success.”
Integrating iFitin with automation
The ex-army officer envisions integrating iFitin with automation so that it can benefit millions of people around the world. Simultaneously, she wants to train more women entrepreneurs who also can start their entrepreneurial journey with the extension of iFitin.
Why the name “iFitin”?
Khot reveals that she often hears a lot of ladies talk about shedding some kilos so that they can fit in their favourite clothes. And that’s what encouraged her to keep the venture’s name as “iFitin”.
Fitness pivotal to overall well-being
She is an ardent believer of the fact that it is very important for women to look after their health. This will keep them energetic, build immunity and a positive attitude towards life, keep lifestyle disease at bay and also keep them calm during challenging situations.
“Women’s bodies keeps changing with every passing year. With different set of hormones in play with changing age, with a different threshold to handle daily stress and with many set social norms and responsibilities, a woman’s health always comes secondary,” she said.
At the end of the day, being healthy is not only about your body, it’s about your mind and attitude, explained Khot.