“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”- a quote that we’ve heard since childhood, and most of us ended up with too much play and a little bit of work. But on a serious note, the current school curriculums and the pressure on students to become the best in academics often lead to the students ignoring the sports activities that take place in the school or anywhere else.
This is because of the increasing pressure from the educational sector as well as from parents to be the best in what they do. The expectations that parents have from us put the students under pressure. In this way, they are not able to concentrate on academics as well as extracurricular activities.
However, Veer Varma decided to change the POV of people and schools by promoting sports and other activities as a part of a healthy student lifestyle. Veer wishes to educate the young generation to pick up some good form of sports or fitness activity as a part of their daily routine with the help of his startup – CoachDirect.
How it all started for Veer Varma and what the startup is all about
An avid racquet player since childhood, Veer had a keen interest in sports since childhood, and he played all the four racquet sports. This interest in sports turned into his passion as he grew up and after completing his education for Andhra University and pursued an MBA from Cambridge University. He worked with many investment banks abroad and in India before he decided to promote a healthy lifestyle with CoachDirect.
CoachDirect provides sports coaching at grass root level as they engage with a few schools and gated communities in three different cities – Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai. The startup has hired people from a sports background to train the students in places with already existing sports facilities. The firm also holds sports events and wellness activities for corporates. With their transparency and quality products, they provide systematic coaching plans, monthly reports, individual assessments, and many other services with the help of their online portal, where the customers can track their progress.
Challenges faced in the beginning
In conversation with TimesNext, Veer talks about how they faced several challenges in the beginning, and some of these challenges were:
- to educate school and parents about the need for structured coaching by professional coaches instead of the generic PE training.
- To find and retain well-experienced coaches who align with CoachDirect values.
- To keep the service pricing affordable as they want to serve masses.
Collaborations for a healthy run
CoachDirect is teaming up with several technology partners who would build a platform depending on the needs of the platform. With constant changes in the platform and improving the build capability to manage the sports coaching activities, fitness assessments, host and maintain tournaments, etc. Any development in the platform is a new learning experience for both- CoachDirect and the technology partners as they realize the complexity of the problems.
The first milestone for the firm
In the beginning, their targets were gated communities that already had sports facilities on the premises that were not being utilized by the kids. They were promoting kids to take up sports seriously by engaging a professional coach for training. The process of getting approval from the residents association and getting their permission before starting is a long and complicated process. In 2014, they started working with schools, which was a breakthrough for them as a firm, which would help them grow further and open more opportunities and build a sustainable revenue model for the company.
Company’s current growth and the vision for the company
Working with over 40 schools and 40 gated communities in Banglore, Hyderabad, and Chennai, the firm is working with over 100 professional coaches in various disciplines to promote the importance of sports in a person’s life. They are working with the target of growing by 40% in terms of revenue and footprint.
CoachDirect is working with the vision of making the world better by promoting sports and other activities as a part of a healthy lifestyle for every person and work as an alternative to one and all.