A boy at the tender age of 16 starts a gaming company and spearheads it for more than 13 years before selling it to Walt Disney. Vishal Gondal has indeed seen it all during his decade long stint with his first gaming startup. From the lows that pushes an entrepreneur to the depth of self-pity to the glorious highs that makes you feel like an invincible.
Today Vishal is at the helm of yet another startup that in all likelihood is going to push him to the same extremes of lows and highs. As a founder and CEO of GOQii, today Vishal and his team has created a tech solution that wants people to prioritize about their health. His company has created an GOQii app that solely aims to increase people’s health & fitness quotient. This app can be integrated with several well-known fitness wearable brands.
So from building a successful gaming a startup to again starting afresh, today Vishal is back into thick of the entrepreneurial game.
Below Techpluto has brought some of the important extracts from a recent interview that Vishal Gondal recently gave to a popular startup website. The interview sheds light on Vishal’s entrepreneurial passion, lessons learnt from previous startup stint and GOQii’s future plans.
His experience as 16 year old starting a gaming startup
Vishal Gondal: I started IndiaGames during the late 90’s when the term “startup’ didn’t even exist and obviously there were no venture capital firms during those times. It was purely my passion and perseverance that helped my company to straddle through some of the most challenging times.
Back then it was tough to go to corporates and convince them that we can make engaging games for them. During those initial days, we were one of the first to start advergaming model, which today has become fairly common. But back then IndiaGames was one of the first companies to start this revolutionary model.
Factors that propelled him to start a fitness startup GOQii
Vishal Gondal: in the hindsight, I believe that GOQii’s geneses were somewhere laid while I was working non-stop for my gaming startup. Owing to my workaholic lifestyle my health took a terrible beating. I realized that I was eating too much junk food and had put on too much of weight. With a firm resolve, I made up my mind to reclaim my health. My goal pushed me to do all the sensible things: from downloading fitness apps, joining gyms to going to dietitians.
Conventionally, these things should have helped me to regain my health but it didn’t. I did feel like quitting but like always I chose to hang on. My obsessive habit of perseverance helped me to meet a remote coach who lived in my neighborhood. We both connected through Whatsapp messages, with his messages not only offering me the needed motivation by also simplified my health regime.
Thanks to this remote coach, who came into my life quite accidentally, my health graph started spiraling northwards. I think without him, I would not have been so discipline and sincere in pursuing the health regime.
The entire episode helped me realize that people can’t blindly depend on technology and apps to increase their health quotient. A human intervention is needed to help us stay motivated and guide us. With GOQii, I wanted to bring this missing human touch to people’s health and fitness pursuit.
GOQii’s vision and aim
Vishal Gondal: Goqii’s vision is to build a comprehensive fitness ecosystem that is aiming to make health activities as engaging and funny. Our ecosystem not only brings personal touch of fitness experts, but also seeks to reinvent people’s outlook towards health by engaging them in several gaming activities.
With these funny games, Goqii is trying to shed people’s perception that fitness activities need not always have to be boring and mundane activities. In fact, it can be funny and entertaining as well.
See most people already know what they are supposed to do to keep tab on their health. Be it quitting smoking/drinking, cutting down on junk food and doing regular exercises. But most people spectacularly fail in all these as they simply run out of motivation.
Goqii aims to close this motivational gap through our all-inclusive ecosystem.
GOQii’s biggest competitor
Vishal Gondal: Frankly, if anything stops people from using our fitness app then it is their laziness. People’s refusal to come out of their comfort zone is our biggest impediment. If you enquire with any of our genuine market competitors, they will say same thing to you.
One skill that is crucial for the success of any entrepreneur
Vishal Gondal: Focus and concentration. Since today we are increasingly living in the age of distraction, focus has become such a rare skill. I believe that if anyone can master this rare skill then then that person stands a great chance of achieving success not only in entrepreneurship, but in almost all fields.
Today many people look up to you for inspiration, but whom do you look up to for inspiration
Vishal Gondal: I look up to quite few people. Ronnie screwvala has proved to be very good mentor and guru for me. Paytm’s founder & CEO Vijay Shekhar is another mentor that I look up to.
Which industry would you venture into if GOQii is liquated tomorrow?
Vishal Gondal: This is tough one to crack. But since I have inherent passion for gaming, I’d be doing something with gaming for sure.
A important piece of advice to stay fit
Vishal Gondal: It is important for people to keep a tab on their health stats. Even today most people avoid doing blood tests or measure any of their body parameters. They do this only when they are struck by a diseases or are down with heavy fever. It is important to start measuring your health stats. It is only when you measure that you can really improve.
Note: The above interview was originally published on Inc42.com. Although most of the interview excerpts have been rewritten, but we’ve fully ensured that the meaning and essence of the interview remains fully intact.