Fitness: in the fitness of things
It took only a few phone calls to experts to be convinced about HT's choice of fitness as one of the growing new sectors. The sector will be big in the coming days simply because what has been achieved is miniscule and the sector has been largely unorganised so far.
It doesn't yet have industry status either. The other major reason is that almost everyone, cutting across age groups, realises the importance of fitness nowadays. Whether for good health or for good looks.
The major reporting challenge for me was to find two highly successful professionals under the age of 29, a parameter set for all the sectors by the editorial board. Most entrepreneurs in the fitness industry told me that as the industry is only just taking off, it would be a tough task to find immensely successful people that young. "It takes at least a decade to make a mark in this field," said a young entrepreneur who has taken his father's fitness equipment manufacturing business to new heights. "And I think I am one of the few who have succeeded."
He was 30 and had tangible results but I was looking for a more inspiring tale. I might have been able to convince the editors to overlook the fact that he exceeded the age limit by a year. But I knew that though he has taken his father's business to new heights, our young readers were more likely to be inspired by a rags-to-riches story, someone who hails from humble background and made it big.
Prashant Sawant and Mayur Kadam symbolise the industry well because they are throbbing with health and have achieved success despite unenviable academic achievements.
As Prashant Talwalkar told me, the minimum requirement is a good body and a passion to pump muscle. Of course, as the sector becomes organised, you need communication skills and certification.
The story happened at the same time when I moved houses to Borivli, a rather undeveloped spot close to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The green environs, the open spaces and my newfound awareness made me practice what I write. I started jogging again to the utter surprise of my family.