Meet the 4 women entrepreneurs acing the fitness game in India

By Rekha Balakrishnan|11th Jan 2020
A number of women-led fitness startups are doing good business by focussing on different aspects and choices.
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It’s a new year and a new decade and most of us have set ourselves some serious fitness goals.


There are many options to choose from if you want to get healthy in the new year. With the rise in technology and the evolution of consumers, fitness is a burgeoning business in India, and is poised for massive growth, with a prediction of $2.5 billion by 2025.


fitness women

It comes as no wonder, then, that there are a number of players in the market wanting a slice of the fitness pie. Among them, there are also women-led fitness startups that are doing good business by focussing on different aspects and choices.


Here are four women-led fitness startups making a difference in the market.

Shilpa Shetty – the Shilpa Shetty app

Well-known as a hardcore fitness enthusiast, actor Shilpa Shetty launched her own app – the Shilpa Shetty app - last year. The app was launched with over 15 programmes including a 21-day weight loss programme that includes ‘Daily Yoga Routine’, ‘Flat Belly Program’, ‘Post-pregnancy Weight Loss’ programme, and bespoke target-based programmes, yoga routines, and diet plans. She also co-owns a wellness chain, called IOSIS. Shilpa does not believe fitness is only about having a kale smoothie or incorporating avocado into your diet. Her meal plans centre on ghar ka khana (healthy every day home meals) that are an intrinsic part of most Indian households.


She told HerStory in an earlier interaction,


“I am not giving you the guarantee that you are going to lose 10 kg in one month. But if you embark on this journey I guarantee you will change and modify your lifestyle. You will understand why we are asking you to eat in a certain way, and when not to eat. You will understand and be educated along the way. And then you will convert your lifestyle into a healthier one. You will automatically lose weight depending on your BMI.”

Taru Chaddha – RedMat Pilates

After delivering her second chlild, Taru Chaddha was on the lookout for something that could help in post-pregnancy weight loss and recovery. She tried her hand at several fitness formats but found most to be of the cookie cutter type, with the quality of fitness questionable. She stumbled upon Pilates and found it worked. She is 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. Taru started off small, by teaching willing women in her condominium’s small clubhouse.


Today, she has three boutique Pilates studios, RedMat Pilates, in Gurugram and New Delhi. 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.

Sheetal Shah – Core Pilates

A successful professional from Mumbai, Sheetal Shah gave up her career to raise her children 20 years back. Her journey with Pilates began with a certified training course from Balanced Body Inc in 2013. After completing her course, she started Core Pilates from her home studio. She has assisted several clients from homemakers to athletes, to improve their fitness, flexibility, stamina, and overall health. Her unique personalised approach is inspiring and helps her clients connect with her.


Her specialty is to be able to help anyone; be it a beginner, an athlete or an expecting mother, to achieve their goals while falling in love with their workouts. Core Pilates offers training in Mat Pilates, Reformer Pilates, Bodhi Pilates, Chair Pilates, and Motr Pilates.

Fitternity – Neha Motwani

Having a busy work schedule that included frequent travel, Neha had very little time for fitness. There was a constant challenge to find an interesting way to pursue fitness. She was not alone; there were many people facing the same problem. She started Fitternity, a fitness discovery portal that allows users to book real-time sessions seamlessly and pay-per-session. The platform also provides users with options of membership portability and dynamic pricing - addressing the fear of wasted long-term memberships and need for variety.



(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)


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