Gain insights on business growth in our series of bite size chats with Business Leaders, brought to you by The FD Consultant.
We interview high achieving individuals who we believe everyone can learn from, and who bring insight into the many aspects of successfully growing a business.
In this edition’s Insights Q&A, we welcome Raj Thiruchelvarajah, CEO and Co-Founder of Hytro. Hytro offers health and performance wearables which support professional sports clubs globally including the Premier League, Formula 1 and NFL.
We hope you enjoy this edition of Insights and benefit from reading about Raj’s experiences to date.
Hi Raj, please tell us about your business.
At Hytro, we are on a mission to advance human health and performance through our patented blood flow restriction (BFR) wearables that multiply the impact of any exercise or recovery protocol. The strength of our product has been backed by 75+ of the world’s best professional coaches who have invested in Hytro.
This advocacy has helped us support 80+ professional sports clubs across the globe including teams in the Premier League, Rugby Union Premiership, Rugby Super League, NHL, MLS, , NFL, NBA, Formula 1 and many more.
While our roots are deep within the pro sports industry, our aspirations go way beyond. We envisage a world where everyday people, those living with pain or recovering from injury, and those simply seeking better physical well-being can harness the potential of BFR.
What are the key factors which have driven your growth to date?
Our first adopters were professional sport coaches and they are our starting community. Through their advocacy of our product the business accelerated in 2022 and it is this strength of our community that has been the foundation on which Hytro has been built. This wasn’t a predetermined plan but instead something that authentically grew out of our interactions.
What makes you so passionate about what you do?
We have a product that really makes a difference.
It is built for sport. Proven by science.
The belief in our product permeates through the team, the knowledge that we have something brilliant, something scalable, something that can create a huge impact in the world we live in drives us forward. This gives us purpose.
The journey has only really just begun and that’s the exciting part. There’s so much more to do.
For me personally, it’s the building of the company, the continual challenge of having to solve problem after problem. To navigate the way through the unknown and to, hopefully, see Hytro grow and leave its mark.
What do you view as your greatest achievement in this role to date?
As all founders know fundraising is tough right now (unless you’re working on an AI startup).
It’s probably the toughest fundraising environment for a while and as a result a lot of companies are failing to raise and hitting the wall. We’ve been hugely fortunate to raise over £1m in funding since we started Hytro.
It’s well known that the funding environment particularly here in London is skewed by old boys’ networks and a lack of transparency. Despite this we’ve managed to raise and again it’s thanks to our community to which we are eternally grateful. We are even more pleased that they will get to benefit from the upside of our success.
What are the biggest challenges your business faces?
In any early stage company, the biggest challenge is existential. It is often forgotten that there are very few companies at our stage that won’t be in the same boat. It’s part of start-up life and you have to get really comfortable with that or you’ll find the stress unbearable.
It’s worth saying that we started Hytro in 2019 and we were quickly hit by the global pandemic, Brexit causing chaos in our supply chain, the Ukraine War followed by global economic turmoil and instability, further global conflicts and more. All of these problems could have ended Hytro but we’ve found a way through.
I’m proud of the resilience and determination shown by our team to see us through the hard times.
What one piece of advice would you give to those who want to achieve or sustain high growth in their businesses?
Be clear on what it takes and the sacrifices that have to be made. Success in a high growth business requires consistency and resilience not in moments but over years. It is unwavering dedication and a breath taking stubbornness not to give up that may possibly could lead to success…..
We hope you found Raj’s comments informative and thought provoking.
If you'd like to know more about Raj and Hytro, please visit the Hytro website at www.hytro.com