Taru Chaddha’s RedMat Pilates offers fitness training through three studios.
One woman’s fitness goals laid the foundation for what’s today a series of three boutique Pilates studios, RedMat Pilates, in Gurgaon and New Delhi.
After delivering her second child, Taru Chaddha was on the lookout for a workout that could help in post-pregnancy weight loss and recovery. She tried her hand at several fitness formats, but says,
“I found most to be the cookie cutter type, and the quality of fitness trainers questionable. That’s when I stumbled onto Pilates,” she recalls.
As she got more involved with the fitness routine, she realised what worked in Pilates’ favour was the scientific approach that tied with an individual’s health history, fitness level, and specific fitness goals. Also, the level and quality of training available internationally made it more accessible.
Once Taru got hooked onto the fitness routine, the idea of starting her own studio took root, and this is what, she describes, became her calling.
The fitness expert started her career the conventional way - first in the Process Outsourcing industry, and later as a banker. After the birth of her two children, and starting out on her own, she added new qualifications – she is now a certified Pilates Instructor from the STOTT School in Canada, and level 2 trained in Neurokinetic therapy - a practice that looks into injury recovery through correcting muscle dysfunctions.
Gearing up for the opportunity
There were three pain points to address, and Taru got cracking on them.
“There was a lack of quality fitness trainers who understood body types, health history, fitness levels, and fitness goals and then tailored a programme basis that. A dramatic increase in lifestyle issues like weight gain, posture issues, stress and hormonal changes made fitness imperative. Lastly, I felt there was limited appreciation of specific fitness needs for women.”
The aim, then, was to find a fitness solution that could be tailored to help people with different needs (weight loss, toning, recovery from injury, lifestyle issues like neck/ back/ knee pains, sports performance improvement), and at the same time that was more specific to the needs of women, as they undergo a lot more physical changes, says Taru.
Warming up to the idea
Taru started off small, by teaching willing women in her condominium’s small clubhouse. “People liked my approach, energy, and passion for the form. My husband, who is also my angel investor, encouraged me into trying out a studio format. I researched a bit, and decided to go ahead with my first studio,” she says.
“Gurgaon was the perfect place to start since we had been based here for a while, and there weren’t many fitness options available then. I had started my practice on an off-the-shelf bought red-coloured fitness mat. It is there that, through my practice, I found the true potential of what my body could do. It was my happy space, hence the decision to name the company after it,” she adds.
Getting into shape
RedMat Pilates has internationally-trained instructors, and injury, rehabilitation and diet specialists on board. The studio offers group and personal training sessions for mat, machine Pilates, and barre as well as diet counselling.
“We cater to different age groups, fitness levels, body types and health history. So, this would include teenage girls looking to correct their posture issues using Pilates to someone in their 20s looking to tone up before her wedding day, to a new mum wanting to get back in shape post-pregnancy, to someone in her 40s who is keen to take up active running, to women in their 50s and 60s wanting to stay in shape to enjoy a healthy old age,” she informs.
RedMat Pilates was initially bootstrapped and stayed so until its first studio. Post that, it has done a ‘family and friends round’, and more recently, an angel round. It currently has three studios - two in Gurgaon and one in Delhi - with a team size of 10 that includes trainers and administrative staff.
“On the business front, my husband, Vishal is my mentor and chief-everything-officer. He is from the startup space, runs an accelerator, and so understands their pressures and requirements very well. I lean a lot on him to make sure the ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff is under control. There is a lot that goes into running a studio other than teaching,” says Taru.
Fitness is the future
RedPilates is looking to building itself as a high-quality fitness and wellness brand for women. “We want to make sure we take the brand across Delhi NCR and then onwards to other cities starting with North India.We are laying a lot of emphasis on the use of processes and technology as we scale up our operations. We are bringing in technology for customers to be able to book and cancel sessions, and waitlist themselves on the go using our app. We are bringing in customers’ static information, and their health progress tracking on cloud so that trainers are able to access and plan focused interventions on a day-to-day basis.”
Tips for the fitness conscious
On a parting note, Taru outlines five important fitness tips:
- Prioritise and make time for yourself.
- Even a 20-minute regular exercise routine will lead to noticeable results.
- Shift the mindset from looking fit to feeling fit. Fitness comes in all shapes and sizes.
- Pay attention to what you eat and avoid the diet fads. Eat everything, but portion control is important.
Strength training should be a necessary part of your fitness routine. More muscle mass means better calorie burn, and stronger bones and tissues.