For Wang Ning, 29, obesity has brought him good luck.
A spark of inspiration from weight loss led Wang to his entrepreneurial success: an app that is helping 185 million people keep in shape.
Five years ago, then a fourth-year college student weighing 90 kg, Wang successfully shed 26 kg through exercise, wowing many who were curious about his weight-loss secret.
Smelling a business opportunity, Wang and his friends started a fitness app called “Keep” from scratch.
Wang chose “Keep” as the company name too, as he believes keeping, or persistence, is the core of losing weight and starting up a company.
In recent years, improvement in people’s living standard has seen China’s consumption upgrade, which is embodied in people’s growing attention to health and fitness.
Different from traditional gyms where many bodybuilding beginners often feel lost in front of professional equipment, the fitness app provides people with fitness courses at different levels.
Besides, its users can exercise whenever and wherever possible with a smart phone.
The app soon became a hit, attracting 1 million users within 105 days and 100 million within 921 days. It has become the most popular fitness app in China, with 185 million registered users now.
“For us young people, it is a time full of possibilities,” Wang said.
Wang grew up as China’s Internet sector experienced rapid growth.
He still remembers the first time he surfed the Internet when he was just seven-years-old, overwhelmed by the immense amounts of information.
“Where there is an idea, there is always space for you to try it out,” Wang said. “Compared to the elder generation, we are more daring to dream and more able to realize our dreams.”
Apart from online app, Keep is also building its fitness center and fitness peripheral products aiming to make a difference in the industry.
“I feel like the CPU on a big motherboard, always computing for the better running of the company,” Wang said. “Running a company is like solving a complex function problem, I am always looking for the optimal solution.”
Often wearing T-shirt and jeans, the round-faced young man looks even younger than his years. Many doubt that how a CEO so young can lead a company with over 800 employees, mostly older than him.
“Age can never limit a person,” Wang said. “It just urges me to improve myself to be a better man.”
Although he travels a lot, he always finds time to exercise. And his recorded work-out time in Keep has exceeded 17,000 minutes.
With 18 foreign-language versions available in over 200 countries, Keep has also reached 10 million users abroad.
“We plan to extend our business beyond the big cities and to target users in third- and fourth-tier cities. There are 7 billion people in the world, and we will never stop making the world moving.”