How Hyderabad cyclist's fitness regime moved his company to gift cycles

Sadiq bought a bicycle from Decathlon two months ago. Since then, he has not only lost weight but is leading a happier and healthier life.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  21 Jan 2022 3:30 AM GMT
How Hyderabad cyclists fitness regime moved his company to gift cycles

Hyderabad: In November 2021, 40-year-old Mohammed Sadiq, a resident of Bowenpally, weighed 84 kg. Within 15 days, he lost three kg. And now, two months later, he has lost seven kg. What is the secret behind his weight loss? The answer is cycling.

Sadiq bought a bicycle from Decathlon two months ago. Since then, he has not only lost weight but is leading a happier and healthier life. When he discovered the benefits of cycling, he decided to share it with his colleagues. "I like to spread goodness rather than keep it to myself," says Sadiq. Seeing his energy, not just his colleagues but the company also showed an interest and came forward to distribute free cycles to its employees.

How it all started

Sadiq works at Euronics, a Hyderabad-based industrial equipment supplying company, where he is the head (south India). He is also a professional volleyball player. When the pandemic hit, Sadiq could not go out to play. Like everybody else, he was forced to stay at home.

When he visited Euronics MD Abhishek Jain in Gurgaon in October 2021, he asked him, "Sadiq, why don't you change your regular sport? Why don't you take up cycling?" Abhishek pushed him to take up cycling but Sadiq didn't feel motivated.

On the morning of 2 October, Abhishek took him for a 10-km ride to Aravalli hills in Gurgaon and that was the turning point. "I discovered the peace of mind that it gave," says Sadiq.

He came back to Hyderabad and bought a cycle. But still, he wasn't fully ready. "There is no point in cycling alone. I needed a community," says Sadiq. That was when he met the Bicycle Mayor of Hyderabad Santhana Selvan and Hyderabad-based cyclist Ravi Sambari. After that, there was no looking back.

He joined the cycling group 'Happy Hyderabad' and started cycling every day with different cyclists from the city. He explored new places in the city which he had never seen before and was excited to meet and mingle with new people and fellow cyclists.

Once he started enjoying cycling, Sadiq shared it with his colleagues. He explained to them how it improved digestion, helped them discover new places and meet different people, and reduced pollution. This inspired some of his colleagues.

Free bicycles and a healthy work-life

During a get-together of Euronics in December 2021 at Rishikesh, all employees had to share their take on how to maintain a healthy work-life. When his turn came, Sadiq narrated his experience of cycling and its benefits. He also expressed the interest shown by three of his colleagues to take up cycling. On hearing this, one of the MDs of the company, Viknesh Jain, asked, "Why should they invest? Instead, the company can give free cycles to them but with a contract."

According to the six-month contract, an employee who gets a bicycle has to ride a minimum of 150 km in the first month and a minimum of 200 km per month for the next five months. If the contract is violated, Rs. 1,500 will be deducted from the salary. Euronics is also celebrating one day every month as 'Fuel Free Day'. Employees who got cycles from the company have to mandatorily cycle to the office that day.

Five employees of Euronics in Hyderabad got cycles and nine more have signed the contract. Also, across India, the company has received applications from around 200 interested employees. Sadiq motivated around 15 people this way and urged each of them to motivate at least one person. He is now planning to spread the cycle distribution initiative to employees belonging to the service team in his company.

"Sadiq is an angel. We need more angels like him. Whenever we go to the government asking to improve cycling facilities in the city, they ask 'But who rides a cycle?'. We need more and more people to take up cycling. Companies like Euronics can play a big role in encouraging their employees to cycle to work," says cyclist Ravi.

Bicycle Mayor of Hyderabad Selvan said, "Corporate companies have CSR funds. These funds can be used towards either encouraging their own employees to take up cycling like how Euronics did, or contribute to projects like Diya, or even give it to the government to implement their policies. Their role is very big as nowadays every company is talking about sustainability."

Great way to start your day

Sadiq has been going cycling at 5 a.m every morning for the last two months and his days are well scheduled. "This is something that everybody should experience. I see the sunrise every morning. It can be seen properly for just five minutes but its glow enters you and the energy stays within you for the entire day. I don't feel lazy during work hours. I am able to stay charged and activated. On the other hand, I am also able to sleep early. At around 9:30 p.m, whatever happens, I feel sleepy," says Sadiq.

Sadiq is happier and more relaxed these days and has no qualms about his health.

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