A sound mind and a sound body is the philosophy of Japanese sportswear company Asics, and Rajat Khurana—its Managing Director for India—lives it. For 48-year-old Khurana, running is a way of life. “I started running in 2010 and participated in the Bengaluru half marathon. Since then there has been no looking back,” says Khurana who runs 6-7 km every day. He is currently on a 100-day running challenge and has been running daily, come rain or sunshine, for over 70 days.
The highlight of Khurana’s running career was in 2019-20 when he ran 52 half marathons in 52 weeks. “I ran over 3,500 km that year. I would train four to five days in the week, [keep aside] one day for recovery and then every Saturday I would run 21 km. I ran even when I was travelling for work. So I ran in Jaipur, Bengaluru, Kolkata and even Japan,” says Khurana.
The Asics India boss is so passionate about running that even when he is travelling, he books his hotel depending upon its proximity to a running path or park.
“I believe if you set fitness goals for yourself and then meet those goals, it’s very satisfying. The same translates into my business life also. We set targets for ourselves and meeting them gives the same satisfaction,” says Khurana, adding that running has also given him a lot of self confidence, discipline and the mental strength to overcome challenges. “Sometimes, on a really cold or extremely hot morning I feel lazy but then I tell myself that I have to run no matter what. And after the first kilometre I feel good that I convinced myself to run. It’s the same kind of joy when you accomplish your business targets.”
Khurana, who participated in the Tokyo Marathon in 2018, says consistency is key, and not pace. “If mentally you are strong and you are consistent, then you can accomplish your goals.”
Khurana says Asics is growing at 25-30 per cent year-on-year. “India is a large market and the performance sector is untapped. We are looking at increasing business in Tier II, III and IV cities of India,” he says.
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