Sapna Talreja, an IT professional, fitness enthusiast and motivator to many for leading a healthy lifestyle, is the founder of HappleyFit. Before fulfilling her dream to be an entrepreneur, she worked with renowned companies like Persistent Systems, Zensar, Fulcrum, and Clarion. It was in 2016, that she decided to become a full-time entrepreneur with her start-up venture, ‘SchoolDigiApp’- a collaboration platform designed for the education domain. It was her own journey to fitness that was the driving force for her setting up HappleyFit, a platform for achieving a holistic, healthy lifestyle. We interviewed her to get an insight into her life as an entrepreneur and to find out what keeps her ticking.
How did you become an entrepreneur? Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Ans: Entrepreneurship comes naturally to me, coming from a business family. Somewhere at the back of my mind I always had the desire to become an entrepreneur and provide something new and unique – something that had not already been thought of! Joining the corporate world provided me exposure and the chance to try new avenues. I volunteered for and played multiple roles-developer, analyst, client coordinator, tester amongst others. Problems challenge me and I will not sit idle till I find a solution, be it a code or any other issue that needs solving. I step into the other person’s shoes to understand every nuance from their perspective before I move to the next step. As an individual, I am passionate and committed to what I believe in. With a high level of integrity, I am honest and expect honesty from others as well. Honest feedback is something I appreciate and take seriously. My main strength however, is that I am in a very happy and contented zone in my life, having found peace in fitness and healthy eating.
What was your driving force for starting HappleyFit?
Ans: My lifestyle choices and sedentary work pattern resulted in me having a lot of health issues. Looking for solutions, I came across a lot of contradicting information about what one should or shouldn’t do to lead a healthy life. Additionally, most of the programmes available exhibit a lack of expertise or a ‘one size fits all’ approach when dealing with fitness. The result of these programmes instead of making a person healthy has exactly the opposite effect! It was therefore, my own personal experience, which I noticed is the experience of many others out there today, and the lacunae in expert, customized fitness regimes that was the driving force for my starting HappleyFit.
Tell us a bit more about HappleyFit?
Ans: HappleyFit is about staying healthy by eating home cooked, cultural and regional food with nutritionist guidance, clubbed with regular exercise. We advocate a wholesome Indian diet instead of ‘Fad Diets’. Our programs are realistically designed and are sustainable, where the results do not disappear! Plans are designed considering seasonality and accessibility. The benefits-can be easily followed; have zero side effects; affordable.
How can our readers benefit from HappleyFit programme?
Ans: Our live sessions and regular social media posts have been an immense hit! They have motivated many to take a serious view of their health. We provide each individual with customized, realistic and practical advice, while at the same time debunking myths by creating awareness of how one can follow a healthy lifestyle! We are invested in encouraging people to lead a healthy lifestyle and have come up with a number of programs catering to these needs. In addition to following our social media handles, we have a number of online paid programs which can help someone looking for a sustainable healthy lifestyle programme with goals like weight loss, healthy eating habits and those with medical conditions. Some of our most popular programs include:
- HappleyFit Fitness Program
- HappleyFit Nutritionist Program
- HappleyFit Live Group or Personal Workout Programs
You can visit our Plans page for more details on these plans.
What has been the most rewarding part of your role with HappleyFit?
Ans: The most rewarding part has been to have inspired people to change and lead a healthy lifestyle. Many have started working out, planning their meals, which includes home-cooked food, no fad diets, and no quick solutions! I am contributing to a lifestyle that is sustainable, hence happy! Through my personal experiences, I have become a confidant and motivator to many and watching them live a fit life has been my success. A bigger success is that those who were inspired by me are now inspirations themselves! Integrity and the ability to deliver quality results without compromising health is what HappleyFit hopes to achieve.
Who is your idol?
Ans: One of my earliest and constant idols has been my father. He had a never say die attitude, which I have imbibed. Losing him suddenly at a very young age, was a big blow. But the few years I spent with him left an indelible mark on who I am as a person today. Our company has been named after him-Vasudev Fitness Private Limited.
Who inspires you?
Ans: My family has been my biggest inspiration, their belief in me is what keeps me going. Having lost both my parents at a fairly young age, my eldest sister, Soni took over the role of a mother by default. Her sound advice is what helps me keep my business on track, while her appreciation and encouragement for everything I do, even the smallest of milestones makes it all worthwhile. My jiju, Sudhir, too, is a big inspiration to me. He has been a father and brother figure and his positive attitude is something I am constantly working towards implementing. A great listener and business mentor, he always lends a keen ear to what I have to say! I can’t think of what I would have done without the support of these two stalwarts!
Do you think your mindset has anything to do with your success?
Ans: Yes, definitely! It’s your mindset which plays a huge role in defining who you are as an individual. It determines how you react to a challenge and how you overcome it. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and you always learn from it. It’s your experience which makes you a mature individual and helps you take the right decisions for your business.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Ans: To me there are two key elements to running a successful business – your team and satisfied customers. I am strong believer of Zig Ziglar saying – “You don’t build a business. You build people, and people build the business.”. At HappleyFit, we are like a family, we give each other enough space to give their best, while respect and transparency is what we practise. Our customers are our brand ambassadors! We are convinced that honesty and good service are what counts in the long run. On our side, we always listen and appreciate feedback from our clients, keep improving ourselves and we are fine with saying ‘no’ rather than taking on something we’re not good at. It is our ability to say no that has helped us to earn our client trust and to many we are not just ‘fitness consultants’, but ‘family fitness consultants’.
How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: We like to solve actual problems-we keep listening to our customers and their constant feedback, observing issues people are facing and identifying what are the gaps and how we can improve it. Till date, it’s all based on the personal experiences of our team and the actual problems faced by our customers, which has helped us to keep innovating
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
Ans: I have some very simple bits of advice, which is what has helped me when I started out as an entrepreneur and has kept me afloat since then.
- Always follow your passion
- Look for solutions for actual problems-no matter how small, as long as the solution will create a major impact
- Identify gaps in the market and fill these gaps ASAP
- Keep things simple
- Always focus on quality
- Don’t let the competition deter you
- Let your customers drive your business
What are your future plans?
Ans: Having achieved a fair amount of success in the B2C segment, we are planning to venture into the B2B space. This will open doors for us to create a healthy lifestyle environment at the organization level and motivate employees to do the same.
What can our readers do to know more about HappleyFit or to contact you?
Ans: You can learn more about us on HappleyFit. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get daily tips on staying healthy. You can also drop us an email at [email protected] or [email protected] – would love to hear from you.