Alekhya Nadendla’s Bon Soul: A fitness solution for travel weary professionals
The underlying ethos behind the conception of Bon Soul was a place that would make life simpler with a ‘need-to-know at your fingertips service’. Bon Soul is an online network of spas and salons that goes beyond being just a listings site, but provides its users with recommendations for their next visit, ratings and new or interesting treatments to try.
HerStory speaks with Alekhya Nadendla, Founder of Bon Soul, about her journey to bring comfort a tap-and-swipe away.
[HS] Let’s talk about the journey behind Bon Soul. What was your inspiration and motivations to start Bon Soul?
[AN] I was working for my father in the family business, actually. But working along with him involved a lot of travelling. And, I’m the kind of person who loves to work-out; I am into fitness, and I like going to different fitness classes. When I had so much travelling going on, I would only get to attend 4-5 or 10 classes a month. So I thought: how about if I can buy a day of fitness wherever I go instead of you know, actually paying for a full month and wasting most of it.
When I called fitness classes, I was thinking of it more holistically, you know. I was thinking of a more comprehensive wellness in what I wanted to get into. So that’s when I wanted to start this. It started off with fitness centres, and when we were mulling over the idea, it kind of went into a whole holistic idea of wellness. It’s everything… it’s not just fitness centre, it’s about relaxing and wanting everything. So spas, salons and fitness centres are what we went into.
[HS] How did you come about such an interesting name?
[AN] We had lots of names to consider. I actually thought of bookmyclass.com. But when we thought about it as a whole, where we wanted to add fitness, salons and so many other things to it, we felt bookmyclass wouldn’t work. We were very particular on.com than .in, even though there were lots of domains available for .in. We even had someone from Bombay who suggested 500 times. Eventually, we settled on Bon Soul. Think of it as what we do… that is make souls happier. We’re going to make them feel good. So, Bon Soul is nothing but a good soul, which is happy.
[HS] Tell us about your education.
[AN] I did my engineering in VIT, Chennai. And then I wanted to get into smart housing because there was this craze then about automatic lights, fans and curtains. [Laughs] But I wanted to add on something before I got into smart housing, which was a degree for design. I went and did my engineering design in Parsons the New School for Design in New York, and worked in Miami for about 8-10 months. Then I came back started working with my dad. Now, I’m pursuing my MBA from ISB, Hyderabad.
[HS] Do you think Bon Soul will become the Zomato of spas and fitness?
[AN] I really don’t want to be a Zomato or some other website of spas and fitness. If I want to be a Zomato, then I can only be second to what Zomato is. And they can come up with their own thing; all they need to do is hire some people. [Laughs]
Yea… you know, probably it could be at the scale of Zomato, but I would not like to use that word because being compared to another website makes you feel second. Zomato is going to be better than itself any day, so I can’t be the Zomato for spas. But definitely at that scale.
[HS] You’re currently located in Hyderabad. What are your future plans for scaling?
[AN] We’ve started plans on covering Bangalore and Chennai, actually. We’ll be following Bombay, Delhi and other metro cities in the next two- and-a-half months. Our next move would be getting fitness classes in these cities. Eventually, we could cover spas and salons all over India too.
With the comfort of spas and fitness so close to the palm, check out their minty green and user-friendly site at BonSoul.com. Keep a watch out for when your city is added to the database, so you can enjoy the ease of booking appointments, and trying out the coolest new spa treatments.