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How Yoga Helps CashKaro’s Swati Bhargava become a Better Leader

How Yoga Helps CashKaro’s Swati Bhargava become a Better Leader

Yoga has not only helped Swati Bhargava, the co-founder of CashKaro, become healthier but also a more balanced and empathetic leader

YOGA LOVER: Swati Bhargava’s hour-long  morning yoga session is sacrosanct for her YOGA LOVER: Swati Bhargava’s hour-long morning yoga session is sacrosanct for her

For Swati Bhargava, the co-founder of CashKaro—India’s largest cashback and coupons site with over 15 million registered users—her morning yoga ritual is sacrosanct. No matter where she is or how it was the evening before, her day starts with an hour-long yoga session comprising Surya Namaskar, Ashtanga and Hatha yoga poses for a stronger back, and Pranayam. “A lot of people at work often ask me how is it that I am so upbeat every morning. They say, don’t you ever have a bad day? Of course, I do too. But because I have a morning routine and it is so sacrosanct, it really sets me up for the day. I feel as you become a leader, you have to find ways to charge your own batteries, only then can you go around charging others,” says the 39-year-old entrepreneur.

Bhargava, who set up CashKaro along with her husband Rohan in 2013, is an alumnus of the London School of Economics. It was while studying there in 2002 that she was introduced to yoga. She had developed a skin allergy and her mother, who is a trained yoga instructor, asked her to start doing Pranayam. “I started doing Pranayam and I realised that the power of oxygen was so much that when it was going to each of my cells, the allergy basically went away. The belief in me became so strong that no matter what, I will take out time for yoga in the morning,” says Bhargava.

“Unlike going to a gym, I can do yoga anywhere. I don’t need any equipment for it. I don’t like going to the gym, it’s too constrictive,” says Bhargava, who uses Surya Namaskar to tone up her body.

During Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, Bhargava even held online yoga classes for the CashKaro employees. “During Covid-19 we started something called the CK morning show. It’s a video call. I started hosting it since everyone was working from home and it was a good way to connect. We would celebrate people’s birthdays, work anniversaries, etc. I would often share my own experiences regarding yoga, Pranayam, etc., so that everyone could have a good start to the day,” says Bhargava, adding that this has made her a more empathetic leader. She also gave tips to strengthen the back using yoga as during work from home, a lot of employees complained of backaches.

“If there is one thing I wish I had discovered sooner in life, it’s yoga,” says Bhargava. “Besides health benefits, I realised it helps me manage my time better and has made me a more balanced professional.”

Bhargava says CashKaro has benefitted because of the overall growth in online shopping. “We closed FY22 with more than 100 per cent growth in revenue. We have introduced EarnKaro [an affiliate marketing programme]. We have grown from a team of 120 last year to 350 this year, and we hope to close at over 600 employees in March 2023.” 

 

@smitabw