Cycling the talk is the new mantra of entrepreneurs in Bengaluru who are ditching Zoom calls
Entrepreneurs believe that cycling can symbolise ‘sustainability’, something that can be incorporated into business plans
It was in May 2020 that Siddharth Dhamija, chief growth officer at Signzy, took up cycling as a recreational activity. What started as a pastime, now has a business twist to it. Besides ticking the fitness box, Dhamija is exchanging ideas, discussing business analytics, and much more during these rides with fellow entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
“Entrepreneurs mean business. However, these rides actually contain 60 per cent of fitness and 40 per cent of business meetings. Most of the exchanges on business ideas happen during the start of the ride, while the rest of the ride goes into reflecting on the discussion and later followed by breakfast,” says Dhamija, who is part of different cycling clubs consisting of VCs and entrepreneurs in Bengaluru, and heads to the outskirts of the city for rides.
Entrepreneurs believe that cycling can symbolise ‘sustainability’, something that can be incorporated into business plans. Bicycle mayor Satyan Sankaran, who is now an entrepreneur and founder of Urbanmorph, a startup that is based on energy mobility and waste management, meets his business partners on his bicycle. He believes that ‘cycling is the new golf’. “I met my business partner who also cycled his way to a coffee shop. We had a chat around EV charging and collaboration on electric mobility. Since both of us cycled our way to meet, it became symbolic of what we stand for. It means we are socially aware, practice sustainability and shows that even the business can turn out to be sustainable. We automatically imbibe sustainable goals into the business culture,” says Sankaran.
Sarath Sasidharan, chief technical officer (CTO) at Rustic Wisdom, a health and wellness startup, is part of at least four long-distance cycle rides every week. Although he is ensuring that his fitness box is ticked, he is also fortunate to have met some investors during his rides. “If health is one aspect of the cycle ride, the other is definitely about networking. I have met a couple of investors who could be of help in our startup’s future goals. Moreover, I have had discussions with B2B clients who could collaborate with us on certain health and wellness workshops,” says Sasidharan.
MS Shriram, a cycle coach, who hosts cycle rides every weekend, trains about 28 active riders. “A big chunk of the group consists of entrepreneurs who run their own businesses. Cycling is an ideal getaway time to socialise. A lot of riders connect with the fellow riders and build on mutual connection for their business interests. This trend has exponentially grown after the lockdown, because cycling became central to many people’s lifestyle during the pandemic,” says Shriram who is also the founder of a cycle group Sprocket Science India.