How Yoska encourages fitness enthusiasts to develop a passion for triathlon events

Yoska co-founder Deepak Raj found his passion for entrepreneurship while pursuing his other passion of staying in shape. As an obese IT professional who didn’t find much time to hit the gym, Deepak saw running as the optimal way to lose weight. As he progressed through his journey, he developed an interest in triathlon – a sporting event that combines running, cycling and swimming – as it helped him overcome the monotony of training. regular while gaining body strength.

As he researched other triathlon events in India, he noticed the lack of recognized and quality training programs that could help people like him hone their skills. It didn’t take long for Deepak to see watching as a business opportunity that could not only increase awareness of triathlon events, but also bridge the training gap for such competitions.

Leaving his 14-year job, Deepak took the entrepreneurial leap in 2013 and launched Yoska. “I quit my job after working in the IT industry for 14 years to develop my interest in triathlons. I started by giving online classes to train people in sports and organize events to raise awareness. My goal was to build a successful business by encouraging others to develop a passion for the sport, ”says Deepak, who has competed in 22 IRONMAN triathlon events so far. He also represented India at the Ironman World Championships in 2017.

The Bengaluru-based company offers training programs for triathlon events, while helping people achieve their fitness goals through endurance sports and walking. Its programs also include introductory courses for people who take action to stay healthy, nutrition programs, and corporate wellness courses. The company has a team based in different cities across the country.

Countering ignorance with a digital platform

In addition to giving up the security that came with a well-paid job, several challenges clouded Deepak’s entrepreneurial journey. “The lack of awareness of the sport made it difficult at first. I often had to explain to people what a triathlon is, ”recalls Deepak.

What added to his woes was getting the necessary finances, especially since there were not many triathlon events held in the country. “It took me a while to understand the market and build a subscriber base. “

In 2016, the Yoska team realized they needed a platform that would help them expand the brand’s reach not only in India, but internationally as well. “We opted for a .in domain name because we wanted to establish our identity as an Indian brand not only in India but also in global markets. Given the lack of awareness of the sport, it was important that we were accessible online. Therefore, we opted for a .in extension rather than a .com domain name to establish the necessary image and character, ”says Deepak.

Much like Yoska, the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) helps hundreds of businesses across the country establish themselves as brands with its .in or .Bharat domain, which is the country code top-level domain ( ccTLD) from India. It is one of the few Internet exchanges in the world to offer a ccTLD in several languages.

Over the years, the extension has helped Yoska grow their subscriber base and boost the website’s SEO presence. Not to mention making an impression on international customers too, he says.

Yoska is also credited with bringing the famous Ironman Triathlon event to India. “It was a challenge to convince a global brand that India was ready for the event and to partner with Yoska for the initiative. We finally achieved the feat in 2019, “says Deepak.

How an .in extension helped Yoska stand out

Deepak believes that an .in extension helps Indian companies like Yoska stand out among international brands and is also profitable. “When we hosted our first Ironman Triathlon in India years ago, an .in extension helped us generate a lot of buzz around it and encourage maximum participation. “

When asked why budding businesses should go for a .in domain name, Deepak said the extension helps a business create a unique brand identity with minimal investment. “At the same time, it also creates a level playing field for small businesses like Yoska. This helps create an information platform where people can easily access and sign up for information about our programs, ”he adds.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented Yoska’s team from hosting the Ironman Triathlon in 2020, which had a huge impact on their business operations. “At the same time, online training is gaining more acceptance among people and our online programs have helped us reduce some of the damage. We quickly recalibrated and redesigned our portfolio. In addition, the company has also ventured into corporate well-being, where digital training sessions are much more acceptable, ”explains Deepak.

Whatever the new standard, Deepak believes Yoska would be able to exploit it to his advantage by diversifying. “As for future plans, Yoska is looking to explore new subscriber bases to create more buzz about triathlon events and stimulate participation,” he adds.

Shaping India Inc’s Online Growth Series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how building an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain has fueled their successes.