Dr. Tejal Kanwar, CEO and co-founder of Kleinetics
Dr. Tejal Kanwar is the CEO and co-founder of Kleinetics, an exuberant physical fitness-system servicing company. She has positioned this unique company by placing children’s fitness alongside reading, writing, and arithmetic transcending beyond mere play to a form of literacy. This addresses the dire need of fitness education in a country on the verge of a health crisis.
Dr Kanwar completed her post-graduation and attained a Doctorate in Medicine (M.D.), Obstetrics and Gynaecology Residency Program from King Edward Memorial Hospital, Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, Mumbai.
In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Dr. Kanwar says, “ We strive to ensure that each child receives the same high-quality experience from the hundredth coach just like the first; regardless of geography.”
Tell us about Kleinetics and what is it that you offer?
Kleinetics is a fun physical fitness-system with a mission to bring about a quantifiable difference in children’s fitness and stamina, by packaging a scientific system as group-play and athletics.
Piloted in January 2016, the first kids’ session was launched in my own colony, with my kids as the early test subjects. We later diversified into gated residential complexes, playgrounds, clubs and schools. Since then, with nearly 60,000 kid-hours of group-play delivered, there has been no looking back.
We place children’s fitness alongside reading, writing, and arithmetic as an equivalent form of literacy.
We strive for:
- Building a strong foundation of fitness and correction of form;
- Inspiring athletics at a very young age with FUN, adventure and discovery of new movement;
- Preparing kids to compete in various sports, building their confidence and helping them excel
How did the idea strike you?
Unlike many start-ups, Kleinetics didn’t come from one eureka moment. It was clear to all of us that ‘going down and playing’ was no longer enough, moderate to vigorous exercise of at least for 60 mins daily, was the need of the hour. Now, surrounded by multiple screens and gadgets, the kids have little energy, they are developing stiff joints, back pain, soft bones due to lack of weight-bearing exercises. As a practicing gynaecologist, over eighteen years, every time I had an adolescent patient, whose illness would have been preventable with simple lifestyle changes, there was always an intrinsic motive for actionable change towards prevention rather than treatment. It was clear to all of us that something had to be done which went beyond awareness creation.
The collective wisdom of my co-founders and experts, helped build the science and theory behind the product, and led to quite a few pilots and trials over almost a year.
What are your expansion plans?
Even in Mumbai, with its millions of school age children, we have barely scratched the surface, and a lot of work needs to be done. Logically, of course, servicing the other metros and tier-2 towns would be on the roadmap, even as we try to find effective ways to deliver this even in the most economically-challenged populations, where the need is even more acute.
Meanwhile, we are building tech for making Kleinetics available even without a live coach, as well as to be able to measure fitness levels accurately without specialised equipment. The ultimate destination is to be able to build immersive experiences that make the loads of time kids spend playing mobile and console games into a seamless fitness experience. Today’s entertainment arcades could be tomorrow’s kid-gyms!
We are building a highly energetic advisory board of moms and dads, along with subject experts, with a purpose to exchange ideas and to get better and better at how well we deliver more.
Balancing life with business – how hard or not is it? What helps balance it best?
Work and life are not exclusive each other. Work is very much a part of life.
Though the well-knit group of trainers and sincere staff at work and a loving family at home does help, daily challenges and imbalances are always going to be there. I may have to miss my kids’ function if there is an emergency at work.
Being realistic, picking small wins, finding answers to the next steps and never letting myself get stereotyped especially, gender stereotyped has helped. For example, I am not much of a cook though I am OCD about eating healthy. The family that I have been married into, the men help around with the chores, my father-in-law and my husband are as much support as the ladies of the house, and hopefully my son will learn from them too :-)
Ultimately, practicing what we preach is of utmost help. Kleinetics trains kids in strength, endurance, agility, flexibility and other fitness skills. All these are applicable in entrepreneurship.
One needs the endurance to survive difficulties, mental strength to be able to not give up in adversity, and agile mind to solve problems with lightning speed, and being adaptable and flexible for new ideas. This learning is an ongoing process.
The daily fires need to be dealt with without losing clarity or sanity (which I try very hard not to).
What challenges do you face on a regular basis?
Entrepreneurship is zero glamour! Perseverance and being able to take onus of everything that is going wrong is what it takes.
Ensuring consistency in delivering the syllabus had been a challenge for us. We strive to ensure that each child receives the same high-quality experience from the hundredth coach just like the first; regardless of geography.
As an obstetrician and surgeon, I have been trained to save little lives and bringing them into this world. Being meticulous and disciplined, having to rely only on myself in times of crises in the business was akin to finding the best solution in a challenging operation, all by myself.