SupportBiz presents an exclusive conversation with Runjhun Gupta, the co-founder of ZipOut.
Since when has ZipOut been in operation?
We have been operating for a little more than a year now. What are the different services that you offer? We offer two major modules – Dance Addiction and Tranquil-o-diction.
Under Dance Addiction, we teach different dance styles, ranging from popular Latin dance and belly dancing to classical ballet, zumba and Bollywood dance.
Tranquil-o-diction offers a schedule for healthy living, which clients can incorporate in their daily lives.
Tell us about your background....
I have always been passionate about dance, and believe in its ability to spread happiness and unwinding. I learnt creative contemporary dance from Tanushree Shankar and Ananda Shankar at the age of six.
I am a graduate in Finance from the the College of Business Studies, Delhi University, and a Master’s degree holder in Finance from IIM Calcutta in Finance. I started off as a currency trader and later joined the Bank of America.
I am also an entrepreneurial speaker, and have spoken at some B-schools.
How did the idea of starting ZipOut come about?
While working as a currency trader and at the Bank of America, I constantly found myself surrounded by extremely stressed-out colleagues. I realised that dance could help these colleagues a great deal. I saw an entrepreneurial opportunity, and took it up. That is how ZipOut was born.
What are the major types of clients that you cater to?
ZipOut offers its services at the retail, corporate, school and college levels.
Tell us about the award/s that you have received..
ZipOut won the award for ‘Best western dance school in New Delhi-NCR’. Dr. Shashi Tharoor presented it.
How big is your team?
ZipOut currently has a team of two, including myself. There are some volunteers, who help out as and when needed. Pranav Chaturvedi, the Director of International Institute of Financial Markets (IIFM), has also been involved with ZipOut right from the initial stages, and has offered me guidance at various points of time.
What are your expansion plans?
We plan to open up more branches in Delhi–NCR.
We are also considering integrating the vision of ZipOut with technology.
We also plan to have more tie-ups with corporates.
Also, we will soon be launching two more modules - Cheer-o-diction, and Volta-diction. Under Cheer-o-diction, we offer our clients tailor-made holidays with other travel partners. Volta-diction offers, in co-ordination with local pubs and discos, high-voltage dance to help our clients to unwind.
What are the major challenges that you face?
It is tough to spread the message of ZipOut, that is the idea of bringing about a healthy change in the lifestyles of people through dance. Especially, people’s attitude towards dance as a medium of de-stressing is not very common. However, as we progress in integrating dance with creativity and fun, we see people’s attitudes changing.
It was also difficult to explain to corporates the benefits that they would get by adopting our programs. However, once they saw a good change in the overall disposition of employees through our programs, they are much more open to us.
Developing marketing and business strategies alongside designing each session was never an easy task.
How has it been, being a woman entrepreneur?
Being a woman entrepreneur in India is a big challenge. The initial networking for a lady is not easy, especially in Delhi. There were difficult times when I felt that I should quit.
What have been your proudest moments as an entrepreneur?
Starting from getting the first customer, to being appreciated and getting accolades at different forums - there have been many moments in my entrepreneurial journey that I cherish. It always feels great when students appreciate us for bringing a positive change in their lives.
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur?
Identify your passion - something that can pull you up instantly from your lows - and follow it through. Self-belief and crazy perseverance are very important, as is implementation of your idea.
Corporate Website: ZipOut