“YogiFi is going to revolutionize the way Peloton bikes did for spin studio classes” – By, Mr. Muralidhar Somisetty – Founder and CEO, YogiFi by Wellnesys
When was the company founded and how many employees do you currently have?
October 2018 and we have 20+ employees.
Where did you get the idea for the product/company?
A Founder’s Journey to Invent the Made in India YogiFi Smart Yoga Mat and App
Founded in 2018 by Murali, Vinod, Pranav, and Sankar, “YogiFi”, a smart yoga mat technology startup that manufactures and supplies innovative new generation and first of its kind yoga mat across the world.
The Bedrock of Innovation- Founding of the YogiFi Mat
Rolling back to 2012, Murali was at the peak of his career in a large multinational corporation.
YogiFi came out of the founder’s own personal life experience. Founder, Muralidhar Somisetty suffered from chronic neck/back pain during his corporate life a decade ago. He was advised by doctors to go through spine surgery, but he made a resolution to recover through alternative therapy and adopted Yoga practice to improve his lifestyle. But, because he chose to adopt a healthy lifestyle with the help of a Yoga therapist from SVYASA (India). The amount of positivity he experienced because of a personalized program for 180 days that promised to reverse his spine condition. This boosted him to cultivate the healthy lifestyle in the people being a yoga teacher in 2016. This passion for spreading the “science of holistic wellness” later led him to choose the “YogiFi,” the smart yoga mat path to help people lead a healthy lifestyle like him.
The Eureka Moment for The YogiFi , Smart Yoga Mat
Those were the days when Murali quit his IT job and turned into a Yogi to offer free personal yoga classes to people both online and offline. While conducting the yoga classes, he realized that many people registered for the classes but were inconsistent in attending the classes due to their busy work schedules, family commitments, business travels, commute problems, and lack of motivation. Sitting worried, he tried to figure out ways to motivate people to practice yoga daily. He somehow felt that the root cause of lack of enthusiasm in people to nurture their yoga practices is not being able to integrate Vedic Yoga with the modern lifestyle, leveraging technology seamlessly.
Soon, he asked himself, What if a yoga mat could talk to you and guide you step-by-step like a yoga instructor? “What if we could program the yoga mat to learn various postures from expert teachers using artificial intelligence continuously?”
The unified answers to these questions soon flourished as a YogiFi seed idea that sounded like a Yoga innovation like never before. But, he was not just overwhelmed by the idea because he knew nothing could happen overnight. As the YogiFi idea was stuck in his brain, he thought people would register to live online yoga classes and make them a habit. He was immensely happy and enticed and immediately built a team with the skills, purpose, and passion that could help him turn his YogiFi dream into reality.
The Co-Founders Unite to get Stronger and Better
Fascinated by the idea of YogiFi, Murali was looking out for the perfect people who could accompany him in this prolific yoga journey and bring life to the AI-powered Yoga Mat. His first call was to Pranav Kanuparthi, his neighbor, who happened to be a recent graduate with a concentration on sensors and embedded systems. Pranav was immediately on board with the idea and even declined a job offer so he could work with Murali to start building the prototype of the YogiFi smart yoga mat.
Next, they needed someone with strong industry expertise and knowledge in hardware for embedded systems, and Sankar Dasiga joined the team. Sankar was an embedded systems professor and Murali’s ex-colleague at Cisco. He’s also been an avid yoga practitioner since childhood.
While all this was happening, Vinod, Murali’s childhood friend, visited India for a school reunion. One evening at a bar in Bangalore, Vinod and Murali shared their dreams of venturing into something that reflects extreme positivity to the community they exist in. They both connected immediately with this higher calling, and Murali shared his idea of YogiFi and showed Vinod the initial prototype. Vinod immediately felt a sense of achievement and revealed that he found his purpose, and he immediately joined the team. His primary focus is on elevating the product design and creating a high-quality consumer-grade product that delivers real value.
After Vinod was onboard, the YogiFi journey grew an inch closer towards the final goal. Beyond a good friendship, Murali found a perfect business partner for the venture. He was extremely passionate about the product and elevated the product look and design to a whole new level with his eye for detail and obsession for perfection.
“Ever since we started working as a team, we have been continuously working on the product with early field trials and input from expert teachers and have evolved over multiple iterations in the last 24+ months. The ultimate mission is to be the world’s best yoga mat brand that inculcates Yoga as a habit into every individual’s lifestyle with our unique YogiFi Intelligent Mat that can deliver an immersive experience.” narrated the founders.
How will your product change the current landscape of fitness in general?
As you all know yoga is one of the easiest forms of exercise yet difficult to be consistent with the practice. In recent times people around the world have adopted yoga as a form of exercise to increase immunity, keep heart healthy, and increase strength.
YogiFi smart mat will help you with the step by step guidance and real-time corrections on the postures. All this at the comfort of your home. This mat looks and feels similar to normal yoga mat available in the market, but it is smart and will help enhance one’s fitness game.
YogiFi is going to revolutionize the way Peloton bikes did for spin studio classes. YogiFi is going to redefine the way yoga and other fitness class workouts are going to be delivered to home.
Rising adoption of Yoga post pandemic with 300 million practitioners expected globally. YogiFi is the kind of a product that helps people to be consistent with the fitness routine. Rise in lifestyle diseases, leading to a bigger focus on fitness/wellness
What is Yoga for you and how long have you been practicing?
I have been practicing Yoga for the last 10+ years. Yoga came into my life as a way to recover from chronic illness in a safe manner. For me Yoga is not just the asana practice but also a way of lifestyle.
In how many markets do you have your operations? How important is the Indian market for you?
Currently we have a customer footprint in 17+ countries but the major focus has been the western market, predominantly US, Canada, South Americas, UK and France.
India is the birthplace of Yoga and ironically India has also become the diabetes capital of the world. It’s all the more reason for us as a company to build a product that Indians can embrace to adopt yoga as part of their daily routine and eliminate the tag of ‘diabetes capital’ to create a healthy stress-free nation through yoga practices.
How will the new manufacturing plant of YogiFi contribute to Make In India and the skilled workforce of our country?
YogiFi’s Make-in-India initiative promotes “Atmanirbhar Bharat ” called out by Prime Minister Modi to become self-reliant by sourcing raw materials locally and also by eliminating dependency on China.
The mat is now available for pre-booking on our website. YogiFi’s initiative will create opportunities for all the young skilled workforce and ITI diploma engineers who are otherwise considered only for daily/adhoc labour jobs.
The YogiFi mat is now available to order in India and the Asia Pacific regions. So far, the product has been manufactured and assembled out of their own facility in Atlanta, U.S. Wellnesys Inc. HQ. On the occasion of Independence day the India manufacturing unit was inaugurated in Bangalore, Karnataka.
The founders look forward to bringing in a new pace in the Yoga curriculum with the game changer, YogiFi smart yoga mat. They are visioned to better human lives by offering them a peaceful essence of living, Yoga. To know more about the mat or if you have any queries about the features and functionality of our YogiFi mat feel free to reach us via mail, text, or call. Our team is just a call away to accompany you on the inspiring yoga journey. Kick- Start your yoga journey with YogiFi’s AI-powered innovative yoga mat today.