Success, how would you define it? Money, a big house, to do whatever you wish? What if we told you a story about a boy who could’ve achieved all of this easily but chose the hard way!
If you had a family business of a turnover of 1200 crores would you take it up or start your own business with almost no capital? A pretty difficult choice isn’t it?
Sarvesh Shashi, a son of a wealthy tycoon in Chennai, a college dropout, a cricketer who went on tour with an IPL team( without signing for them) had to make this difficult choice. And like any other inspiring story we’re going to tell you that yes, he chose the road less traveled.
We believe the universe had a big role to play in his journey of happiness, it’s time for a story. Sarvesh’s father had taken up Yoga classes which he couldn’t complete for some reason and asked Sarvesh if he would be willing to complete them instead of him. At the age of 17, he was very intrigued by the concept of enlightenment and sixth sense. So he took up the classes, little did he know this turn in his life was going to shape up his future. Here is where he met his Guruji, who gave him of the greatest lessons of his life- he said, ‘If you think I can enlighten you, you’re a fool and I am a bigger fool,’ to a child who then understood perhaps the simplest yet most evasive principle to live life by.
His guruji saw the spark in him and started giving him implausible tasks – observing 40 days silence, celibacy, abstinence from all forms of entertainment, no fancy clothes. He followed the five precepts of no non- vegetarian food, no smoking, no drinking or other vices, to establish control over his senses. This is when he realized that his journey of self-discovery began.
On this journey, he came up with the vision of ‘Universal Happiness.’
When he turned he had to take the difficult decision, He spoke to his Guruji about this and before he knew it, he had Zorba in his head. He knew it was the right fit because Yoga had always been in his life. He would take part in Yoga competitions when he was in primary school. He realized he had experienced so many mental changes thanks to Yoga and he wanted to share that with the world.
Thus the journey to convince his parents to take up this choice and to fulfill his vision of Universal Happiness began!
He went to his uncle and asked him for Rs. 5 lakhs with a promise that he would repay it soon. He told his dad the only thing he’d need from him other than his emotional support was real estate, specifically, a basement in mount road, chennai. Plunging into it headlong, Sarvesh roped in National Award winner Thota Tharani to design the studio. “I wanted Zorba to be a second home to people; when they stepped into Zorba it should feel as though they’ve stepped into another world and they shouldn’t want to leave.” – Sarvesh Shashi
On 1st December 2013, Zorba, A Renaissance Studio in the basement of a Mount Road office building opened its doors to a few select clients and with it, a new group of people joined Chennai’s population – Zorbians.
“Zorba – To live life fully each day”
In 10 months the second Zorba studio popped up as a franchise and soon, a third followed. Chennai was abuzz with stories of illnesses cured and over 2000 lives changed and Zorba’s demand continued to grow. In 18 months Zorba had one from being someone’s dream to a 3 studio Yoga Chain.
The aspirations took an up slide from there, but it’s not always rainbows and unicorns when you have a business to handle, the same happened here! In 2015, Sarvesh hit a snag. March 1, 2015, he had a negative balance in his bank account and an over-draft of Rs. 2 lakhs. Hiccups typical to a start-up had caught up with him. Despite this setbacks, Sarvesh managed to business in and by March 20, he had Rs. 3.5 lakhs in the account.
The business was now ready for a giant leap and that’s when the fitness giant Talwalkars came into the picture. Every business man knows that you invest in the person, not the business model – Talwalkars (Better Value Fitness Ltd) could have started their own yoga studio or chosen to invest in any other yoga company but they saw something in Sarvesh that gave them confidence and they made a call. India’s largest ever fitness chain having more than 200 health clubs, acquired a 50% stake in his company making him the youngest ever CEO of a Yoga Private Limited in India.
India’s largest yoga chain is now set to taken on their CEO’s vision of Universal Happiness to another level!
Zorba in 4 years has 60+ studios in 40+ cities in India valued at about 112 crores, and from a team of 2 they have now expanded to a team of 100+! The thing about Zorba is that it’s not like a normal Yoga chain, Zorba offers more than.
Like whatttt?? They have Yoga forms like Aerial Yoga, Sculpt Yoga, Danda Yoga, Dance Yoga, Brick Yoga, Aqua Yoga, Stand up Paddle Board yoga and many many more!
Zorba is set to conquer India and slowly the world with its mission to spread happiness and connect 7 billion breaths!
Think your idea to start your own business is small? Believe in yourself and you could be the next biggest thing!