For Manish Vakil, CEO of Tumbles kids’ gyms, the pandemic and its forced inactivity are troubling. His mission has always been to provide an organized and convenient outlet for children to play, have fun, and establish a healthy lifestyle early on in their lives. With his productivity and profits on hold, Vakil says he has not lost sight of his goal amid the closures. If anything, he has strengthened his resolve to combat the effects of a year-long sedentary lifestyle with his neverending passion fueling his purpose.
In 2014, Vakil purchased the Tumbles organization after being a franchisee for nine years. No one could even fathom a pandemic back then, but Manish felt compelled to continue his mission at the helm and become Tumbles’ CEO. Manish admits he was somewhat focused on profits at the onset.
‘A meaningful mission’
“I first considered buying the company because I saw the financial opportunity. But I ultimately decided to buy because I recognized that Tumbles serves a meaningful mission.” And since this realization, Manish has always let purpose and passion be his driving force, letting the profits become a pleasant result of his mission.
Understanding the ways of business, Vakil saw that Tumbles had all of the necessary elements of a successful business venture. He first established that there is a definite need for such organizations.
A study conducted by the CDC found that about 13.7 million children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are considered obese. A family man and health and fitness enthusiast, Vakil felt compelled to provide an affordable and convenient outlet where children can play, have fun, and begin to establish a life-long healthy lifestyle.
“Helping children be fit and healthy and instilling good habits regarding exercise leads to healthier adults,” adds Vakil. And establishing these habits early-on benefits everyone by creating a future generation of fitness-minded adults. This new, healthy generation can boost the health and wellness industry and take the strain off of the healthcare system, all by decreasing obesity.
And best of all, people will feel better and live longer, more satisfying lives. This is the vision Vakil has maintained since the beginning, but these days he’s even more committed to his purpose.
‘It’s true — the perfect solution’
When the pandemic hit and the country shut down, a new and damaging sedentary lifestyle emerged, and children were not spared. Research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that reduced physical activity and prolonged sedentary behavior are linked to adverse physical and mental health outcomes such as loss of muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness, weight gain, and psychosocial problems. Vakil believes Tumbles is the perfect solution to all of these issues.
“Children need to get back to and prioritize physical play and fitness activities, or their sedentary ways could continue into adulthood, causing an array of physical and emotionally distressing problems,” says Vakil. “Physical activity can positively affect the body and the mind,” he adds.
It’s true — the perfect solution is a regular exercise routine for children. Think about it. Adults have all kinds of places to go to work out and get fit. Children also need this kind of access to fun physical activities, especially if they are not involved in organized sports.
So, it seems with a need and a purpose evident, Vakil is sitting on a goldmine. While profits are necessary in business, he says his focus has been to give this passion project everything he has to make it accessible, affordable, and family-centered. With these goals at the forefront of his purpose, Vakil has let his passion drive his profits.
“Profit has to have a purpose,” says Vakil, “or success will either never come, be short-lived, or be unfulfilling.”
For Vakil, his entire venture has been fulfilling, and in the wake of the pandemic, he has a new resolve. Vakil says getting kids back to the gym safely is his top priority. In the downtime, he and his team have been working hard to improve their facilities with safety procedures and new protocols designed to be safer and more efficient.
As a business owner who has been impacted by the pandemic, Vakil is emerging with the same vision and mission he has always maintained. And he offers his best advice to others, pondering the possibilities of owning their own business — “Have a passion for your business, and you’ll create profits with a purpose.”