An exclusive interview with Saurabh Bothra, CEO of Habuild, One of India’s fastest-growing wellness platforms
Saurabh Bothra, CEO of Habuild comes from the Orange City of India, Nagpur. A Bachelors in Technology from IIT- BHU, this 31-year-old Yoga expert comes with a vast experience especially in the field of Yoga. A fitness enthusiast from childhood, Saurabh has participated in many health and fitness motivational talks over the years such as TedX and has set a World Record for largest virtual yoga class.
Before giving life to his habit-building platform, Bothra travelled across the country teaching Yoga to students in many engineering colleges honing his skillsand getting ready to build a community of fitness enthusiasts.
With a penchant for Yoga since a young age, Saurabh has first applied the habit-building program on himself before preaching others about the possibility of achieving something if done every day. He continues to follow the habit of doing Yoga 7 days a week / 365 days, motivating friends and family apart from the 2 Million + community members he’s associated with through Habuild.
His love for Yoga is evident through the initiatives he took up and executed even before Habuild was launched. Initiatives like establishing a Satvik Mess and a book Library for students at IIT-BHU where he was a student himself.
Additionally, he was a co-ordinator at a project funded by World Bank in collaboration with NPIU (Govt. of India, MHRD) in 2016 where 2 lakh students did yoga and meditation across India. Not just this, he was the convenor of Kashi Yatra, the cultural festival of IIT Varanasi.
Saurabh embodies the work Habuild does. He breathes Yoga, practices it, and truly believes in the ideologies of the company he’s building along with his other co-founders.
Can you tell us about the journey of Habuild and its evolution into one of India’s fastest-growing wellness platforms?
Saurabh Bothra: Well, we didn’t set out to become one of India’s fastest-growing wellness platforms.
Our main goal was pretty simple: we wanted to bring yoga and wellness to homes where technology and apps might not be the first choice. As we worked toward that goal, we found ourselves growing really fast.
Our dedication to spreading yoga and making it easy for everyone resonated with many people. It was heartwarming to see how many people wanted to start a fitness and habit-building journey – all they needed was a friendly, accessible platform to take that first step towards a healthier and happier life.
We take pride in the fact that our growth comes from a sincere desire to help people live healthier, more balanced lives. It’s solid proof that keeping things simple and accessible really strikes a chord with people.
What inspired you to start Habuild, and what was the vision behind the platform when it was founded?
Saurabh Bothra: COVID-19 – the global pandemic, has opened our eyes to many different things! In my case, it opened my eyes to the daily routine of my mother. I am sure very few of us know how women manage their professional and/or personal lives.
For me, the lockdown was a first-hand experience of actually seeing my mom handle almost all of the household herself! I wondered if she ever paused for a moment and thought about doing something for herself – maybe go for a walk in the garden or just do some yoga to feel better.
But you know what I realized in the lockdown – most women, including my mom, have this wrong notion that doing household work is kind of an exercise.
Sure, doing chores keeps us moving, but it’s not the complete package when it comes to staying healthy. I also realized that women juggling work and personal life had a tough time including exercise in their routine.
This was our ‘eureka’ moment at Habuild. We suddenly saw how we could make life easier for people who juggle their daily responsibilities and work!
And our mission was clear: to make wellness as achievable as possible for them.
Kindly brief us about your company, its specialization, and the services that it offers
Saurabh Bothra: At Habuild, we mix the best of old-school knowledge with modern tricks to help you form fantastic and long-lasting habits!
Our program is designed to be super practical! We have these short but impactful exercises and yoga poses that do wonders – not just for your body but for your mind too!
For those who love to dance, we’ve got ‘Dance & Stretch’, a fun and energetic cardio workout that’ll make you look forward to getting active.
The best part is that we keep things really simple. Most of our services are available through WhatsApp, making it easy for people to engage without opening any complex-looking apps.
What makes us unique is our approach towards people’s fitness journeys. We’re all about using habit-building principles to help our members stay consistent in their wellness journey. We don’t just want health to be part of their routine; we aim for it to become their second nature. We want good habits to become as natural as breathing for them.
The wellness industry has seen significant changes in recent years. How has Habuild adapted to these changes and trends?
Saurabh Bothra: We have a bit of a different take on the wellness industry. We’re not the type to follow every fitness trend that comes along. In fact, the only big shift we made was going online because that’s where the world was heading. We consider ourselves category creators. Let me explain why.
See, most of the wellness industry adapts to new and emerging trends and changes. We took a different path. Our focus has always been on those who might not have the opportunity to follow the latest fitness trends.
Good health should not be a temporary phase – it should be an integral part of our lives. That is why we prefer ‘..what’s best for everyone’ over ‘..what’s trending now’
Habuild emphasizes holistic wellness. Could you explain how the platform addresses various dimensions of well-being, including physical, mental, and emotional health?
Saurabh Bothra: Our core philosophy revolves around habit-building. There’s this famous quote that says, ‘It’s not the Destination, It’s the journey’. At Habuild, we implement this saying by prioritising the ‘process’ over ‘outcome’.
It’s as straightforward as that. We start with one core habit: Exercise. Once our members start incorporating exercise in their daily routine, other healthy habits naturally fall into place. For eg. We send them ‘Water Reminders’ every 30 minutes to 1 hour, motivate them to have early dinners and go to bed on time. We do this consistently until it becomes a habit.
As the days pass, this habit-building process naturally promotes physical, mental and emotional well-being. If you’ve ever tried to change any kind of habit, you would know that it’s not at all easy. That’s why we don’t market ourselves as the solution for instant results or specific outcomes. Our promise to our members is simple: consistency of practice. So, we focus on becoming 1% better each day.
What are your future plans and innovations for Habuild, and how do you see the platform evolving in the coming years?
Saurabh Bothra: Our plans for the future at Habuild are actually pretty straight – we aim to keep things as simple as possible. Simplicity is often the toughest thing to achieve, but it’s at the core of our vision.
In terms of innovations, we’re constantly looking for ways to include more habit-building concepts and tools into the journey. We are looking forward to personalizing the journeys of our members as much as possible.
We understand that everyone is unique, with different goals, preferences, and challenges. By personalizing each person’s journey, we can address their specific needs and help them achieve their wellness goals even more effectively.
We’re also planning to expand our offerings, which means more tools and different types of exercises to cater to a broader audience.
Our aim is to make wellness available to everyone, no matter their preferences or background. So, you can count on seeing some exciting developments as we keep growing and evolving on this journey together.
What are some of your upcoming launches and events? Throw some light
Saurabh Bothra: Well, we’ve got something pretty exciting coming up – our 21-Day Yoga Challenge.
January is that time of year when many people set resolutions and commit to making a change. If you go through some statistics, you’ll see how 80% of them give up on their New Year Resolutions within a month!
We want to change that and here’s how we are planning to do it :
With our 21 Days Yoga Challenge, we are not just getting people started with yoga, but also helping them stick to their resolutions.
The fun part is that we are in it together, online. This year, in the month of June, we created a World Record as the ‘Largest Virtual Yoga Class’ where 1,34,057 people attended. This time in the 21-Day Yoga Challenge, we are looking forward to breaking our own record.
We want to make 2024 a year of not only personal growth but also shared well-being because we’re BETTER TOGETHER.
It’s a chance for people to connect, unite, and support each other on the path to a future with healthier habits.
Any quick habit-building tips for beginners
Saurabh Bothra: So, my go-to habit-building tips for anyone who is just getting started are:
Start with something simple: Begin with a habit that’s super easy, like a short daily walk or sipping an extra glass of water. Small steps are the secret to big wins.
Have a support system: Surround yourself with people who cheer you on. Friends, family, or a like-minded community can make the journey fun and less scary.
Trust the process: Building habits is like a marathon, not a sprint. Stay patient, even when things get tough. Small daily steps will surprise you with big results over time
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