Maitri Patel is a dynamic entrepreneur from Perth who won the prestigious Telstra WA Young Business Woman of the Year in 2017 and Anthill 30 under 30 in 2016.
Holding dual roles as Founder and Artistic Director at Bolly Active Fitness and Bollywood Dance Studio (BDS), Maitri established Perth’s largest Bollywood dance school in 2011, and went on to create Bolly Active Fitness, a holistic workout program incorporating cardio, weights, resistance training, meditation and yoga to hottest Bollywood music.
Bolly Active Fitness is rapidly expanding globally with over 90 instructors in Australia, France, Norway, Finland, Canada, Taiwan, Dubai and India.
We got to find out more about Maitri and her business journey to date.
What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
I first moved to Perth from Brisbane in 2011. I searched to join a local dance school but found none that specialized in Bollywood. I worked full time and simultaneously launched my first business, Bollywood Dance Studio from a garage converted to a studio. I really had no idea what I was doing when I first started. It was more of a hobby which later turned into a fulltime business!
In one and half years, we grew from one student to over 60 and moved into a commercial premise to expand the business. We also got approached by local school and city councils which introduced the Events sector to us. Due to increasing demand, we started offering events services such as performances, interactive workshops, team building, wedding performances etc.
Was there a significant turning point when you decided to become an entrepreneur?
In 2015, while recovering from an injury I created Bolly Active Fitness. With the second business venture, I was lucky to trial this workout at my existing studio and received fantastic feedback. It took us over 14 months to receive accreditation from two of the world’s largest fitness organizations based in America. In 2017, we started taking the Instructor Training Program international with first launch in Paris and we now have over 85 instructors in over nine countries worldwide and growing.
Looking back is there a piece of advice you wish to pass onto someone starting out their entrepreneurial journey?
There will be lot of people around you offering advice. I highly recommend listen to all of them, but in the end always follow your gut! You must learn to toughen up and take on criticism to help your grow stronger and improve your skills. And most importantly have fun on this amazing journey.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Who do you look up to in business? Who inspires you?
There are many amazing leaders in business worldwide with amazing stories. I am a huge fan of Richard Branson, Jess Bezoz, Mukesh Ambani and Phil Knight. I also look up to Michelle Obama.
What was the best advice that you have been given?
Never postpone joy 😊
What do you think your key to success has been?
I definitely think one of the keys to my success has the ability to multitask as a solopreneur, as one has to alternate between marketing, admin, production and sales constantly! Also, another key to success is to block out the white noise and have a clear focus on achieving your goal.
How have you personally measured your success?
Never thought about it, but I do enjoy having to choose how I structure my day and run it. The freedom to pursue my dreams is the ultimate measure of success personally.
What is your favourite app?
Instagram for sure! Although it is addictive, Instagram is crucial to both my businesses. It is a powerful medium and a wonderful platform for business to showcase their products and services and connect to the consumers directly.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Freedom in all things concerned.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
There are too many to list, but few of the top five are Amazon, Apple, Bobbi Brown and Virgin group.
What are your growth areas for 2019?
In 2019, I am focused on launching our E Learning Module Instructor Training for Bolly Active. As well launching Bolly Active Kids Program. And for BDS in Perth, I would like to add in few more locations in NOR and SOR Perth.
Here’s where you can connect with Maitri.