The new-age entrepreneurs choose cycling over golf.
Corporate Tales / Entrepreneurship on 2nd January 2020
Golf has been the recreational sport for the elite class of India for a very long time. From entrepreneurs to young professionals, people took on golf to relax, enjoy and network. However, according to a Reuters report a few years back, the popularity of golf has been steadily dwindling, giving way to recreational sport such as cycling. So what triggered this shift? Or more importantly, how is that information even relevant to us?
Cycling like any other sport is very similar to the dynamics of the corporate world. Young working professionals hope to see their efforts convert into results which would leave them with a sense of accomplishment. This, in turn, will drive them to achieve higher goals in their career. So is this the reason to choose cycling over golf? Well, not really.
Manish Gadia, a banker by profession and a wildlife photographer by passion says that ‘A lot of corporates use cycling as a way to unwind during weekends and the numbers are only growing by the day’, Manish also happens to be the founder of MMO, the MTB club from Mumbai.
Be it the adventurous zeal of mountain biking or the joys of endurance that a road bike provides, cycling always has been one of the best methods of recreation and stress relief. Cycling as a platform is ideal for networking too; staying fit is a bonus.
‘I like the idea of a little workout and de-stress before the day work begins’ says Vikash, Customer Journey Leader, B’Twin India, based out of Bangalore, who cycles to work almost every day. ‘Shooting up the heart rate at every flyover and sweating it out to reach my office within 30 minutes. Post the shower, I am all fresh, active and smiling ready for every challenge that is thrown upon me.’
The art of Discipline
Cycling as a sport requires a lot of discipline to ensure that you are always performing at your best; similar to a business firm, proper nutrition, sleep, training and ride planning are extremely essential.
Abdul Rab Kazi, Business Manager of Everest Cycle Co. and Founder of Everest Cycling Culture Cycling Group from Navi Mumbai echo the same thought, ‘In business, one gets all sorts of challenges. Cycling teaches you to keep pedaling, keep breathing and keep pushing forward’.
Pushing your limits outside your comfort zone
When one is cycling, they are constantly made to push their body and mind past their expected and ordinary limits. This proves that the human body can perform well beyond what we think we can. Often, the ride throws unexpected hurdles such as extreme weather, break downs, fatigue at you. Managing a business is not different. One needs to constantly push outside their comfort zone to overcome obstacles and keep moving towards the assessed targets. We often think our limits are smaller and lesser but when we actually reach our limits we realize that those limits have also progressed with us. It can be thought of as a person looking at the horizon on a boat. He believes that there is a limit to his road, little does he know that the limit is infinite.
“When man and machine collide, extraordinary things happen”
Cycling is one of the few sports in which man and machine work together in tandem to bear magical results. This combination requires a keen understanding of not just the bicycle you ride, but also how your body responds to every given challenge. The same applies to business, we have heard of corporate burnouts, haven’t we? Not knowing how to achieve the balance between how much to push and when to let go, will always result in a crash. Getting this algorithm correct, one can do wonders.
Consistency is key
Being a cyclist, one needs to be consistent with training schedules, preparation and performance. This consistency only comes out with a very clear understanding of the intent. Similarly, a lot of young entrepreneurs arrive on the big stage with loads of capital without focusing on building a sustainable business. The outcome is often dismay. ‘Consistently in doing the small things right sets the tempo for bigger things to happen.’
‘Never give up, no matter what’, a motto every cyclist strives to abide by, however, steep their endeavours may be. The ‘never say die’ attitude is what pushes a cyclist to get on that saddle and do the unthinkable. The same rule applies to entrepreneurs, and perhaps, that’s why they can relate to cycling. Each cramp or a flat tyre is a trophy to take back home, each injury and a crash is a memory to remember by. At the end of the journey, there is always an interesting story to share.
Rajesh Nagwani, a cyclist from Mumbai says that cycling has helped him not only realise his dreams but make new contacts and explore newer locations.
Cycling is a sport and every sport has competition. It is the competition which pushes the rider to an extreme extent. The competition, however tiring, is one of the main reasons that propel fun, excitement, exhaustion and in a sense, winning in a race. The same applies to business where everyone has competition and success can only be obtained by being better than them. It is the competition which sets the standards and to win, one simply has to outperform them.
‘Speed thrills and that got me going. As I moved towards competitive cycling, it slowly changed my perspective towards how I see life. At work, planning and processing abilities improved resulting in 2X productivity!’, says road cyclist Himanshu Kumar, Senior SAP consultant at Capgemini, based out of Noida who has picked up road biking as an extension to his existence.
All across the world, this pattern is omnipresent, it’s just that India too is waking up to this mindset transformation, that is not just eco-friendly but help beat the traffic snarls too.
Bottom line, both cyclists and entrepreneurs have one thing in common, they are always quick to get up from every fall to bounce back stronger. Setbacks and failures only make the journey more fulfilling. Employed or retired, it is time now for you to make the choice, cos it’s never too late to start anything worthwhile.