Two years ago when I first walked into the 7th-floor office of GOQii to meet Vishal Gondal, the first sight was that of some youngsters playing loud music and doing Zumba. I was told it’s a regular routine at the office. If it’s not Zumba then its Tabata or skipping or indulging in some physical activity while at office. Then I saw some weights, exercise ball, kettle bell lying around. My first thought was it was a small startup, few people so it’s just one way to probably relax at work. But, the best part is this fun atmosphere continues even after 2 years of being in operation and with close to 100 odd employees.
No wonder that it is rated among the top 10 best startups that one should be looking at to work for in 2016 by a leading news website. The website rated it based on the new exciting business in the wearable space that GOQii is operating in. But, GOQii apart from the business that it operates is a cool startup to work at for varied reasons.
GOQii founded by gaming geek Vishal Gondal in 2013 with the basic premise to get people to follow a healthy lifestyle by making small changes in their life. GOQii which operates in the wearable space combines a fitness band with personalized coaching to help people lead a healthy lifestyle. This ideology was not meant only for their ‘Players’(customers) but, also to be practiced within the company. One of the values of the company is ‘Practice what we Preach’.
Being a startup there is pressure to perform and deliver but not at the cost of a bad work life balance. The company provides a work atmosphere that is lively and not monotonous. For all here at GOQii, the two main aspects that have attracted them or have kept them back is because it is a great learning place for one’s career and secondly, you can just be the person you are and do not have to change yourself to prove your abilities. It is one company that does not hire basis your degrees but hires basis your attitude and persona.
Says Gondal, CEO of GOQii “We hire people not for their degrees but for their passion. We want people to be themselves at work and have the same persona as their personal life.”
The coaches who are responsible for motivating and changing people’s lifestyle for the better say that they are motivated within the office and therefore are able to motivate their players. The one thing that strikes a chord with all coaches is the ethical practice followed by the company and that they are not focusing on weight loss but on leading a healthy and holistic lifestyle.
The learning curve at GOQii is fabulous, there are great mentors within the company who are approachable including Vishal who is the CEO. These Mentors may work in a completely different department but, you get unlimited, time with him/her to talk and understand any issue. The work culture is open and there is a lot of freedom for you to work your way while you bear in mind the ethical values of the company.
As one employee from the tech department says: “Two years at GOQii has been enriching for me. I being an IT professional have got an opportunity to learn beyond just technology. I have had the opportunity to work with various departments and in the process learned people management. GOQii has not limited me from doing anything.”
Apart from the work culture and the cool people working for the company, GOQii also takes care of its people. Being in the health industry, the company has been instrumental in getting its employees to lead a healthy lifestyle as well without imposing any rules or regulations on them.
“I had a bad work life balance but, I can vouch and say now that I am a much healthier person now. I eat well and sleep well. I am not stressed at work and I do not wake up thinking ‘Oh shit’ I need to get to work. But more eager to get to work daily,” says one woman employee who works in the HR department.
It’s not only about an open work culture, flexibility or ethical values at work, but also the fun things that happen within office- the regular workout sessions, Zumba session for fitness, work from wherever you want to as no specific desk space is allotted, work sitting on a beanbag or on an exercise ball so long as work is getting done.
I would be doing injustice if I do not talk of the healthy food that is served for lunch. Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays the employees get healthy organic food and Tuesday and Thursday is Vegan organic all free of cost. There are also regular outdoor activities such as runs, walks, hikes or treks conducted across India where players and coaches meet. Last but not the least, the karma culture is a part of GOQii Life where employees along with coaches and players are invited to volunteer with a social organization and do good for the society.