Sonal’s family migrated to Canada from Delhi when she was just 2 years old. Committed to creating a better life for their family, Sonal witnessed how much her parents sacrificed to achieve this goal. The values of hard-work & financial independence were instilled very early on. She started working at the age of 11 helping her parents with their stores after-school & on summer holidays. She grew up in Vancouver, Canada where she studied at a bilingual school & graduated high-school with a French & English diploma. She worked throughout high-school as well as university doing various odd-jobs such as photocopying books, watering plants, & taking notes for people. She graduated from the University of British Columbia, (with scholarship) with a degree in International Relations, specializing in Poverty & Inequality. Upon graduating she realised 2 things: she wanted to help people & wanted to get experience doing as many different things as possible in as many places as possible. Since then she has worked in Brazil, UK, India & Canada.
Rather than continuing her post-graduate studies immediately, she took a year break to go to India to work on women’s access to healthcare in rural Gujarat. She stayed in a town with a population of less than 100,000 to learn how women were making a difference in that community. She also interned in Brazil with the UNDP and published work on HIV/AIDS financing. She then applied for a student loan & pursued higher studies at the London School of Economics. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Economics & Policy in 2009 – the middle of a global recession. She was advised by professors to pursue a PhD as finding a job would almost be impossible. Eager to get out in the world, Sonal knew that wasn’t an option. She gave herself 30 days. After that, she would not have enough money and would have to go back to Canada. She knocked on professor’s doors until finally someone answered & she found an opportunity. She had found a job 15 days ahead of schedule! And then sorted out a place to live (was sleeping on friend’s sofas until she locked in a job).
She ended up working in London for 5 years based on that decision to stay an extra 30 days! She worked at Deloitte as a Strategy & Operations Management Consultant; learning how to help businesses do all sorts of things, namely, work better & faster. Realising that her stint at Deloitte though extremely valuable was not fulfilling her purpose, she committed to searching for it. She quit her steady job in London and moved to India, without any plan!
Within 3 months of moving to India, she got to work. She started helping a few SMEs expand their businesses by helping them get online. She was then hired by Forever New to tackle their employee attrition rates & customer feedback. She devised a training strategy across all 22 locations within India focusing on improving customer love. She delivered this training herself across all locations.
In 2016, Sonal was approached by a mutual friend to take part in a competition, she said yes! She competed against 70 other delegates in China & won the title of Ms Asia Universe. Jitendra Chouksey, founder of Fittr had helped her get fit online (they never met face-to-face). Once she returned to India and was asked to be a guest speaker at Fittr’s event, she met the team & was inspired by the mission and community approach. She joined forces to help build Fittr, an online fitness community. She leads Strategic Initiatives where she has onboarded key partners such as Infosys, Philips India, Reliance, Pidilite & HDFC. She also led the fundraising initiative & helped raise $2 million in funding from Sequoia’s Surge.
Through various workshops & speaker engagements, her mission has been to help inspire people to overcome their challenges to pursue professional & personal growth by leading healthier lives. She is particularly passionate about helping South Asian women realise the importance of taking care of themselves & prioritizing their goals & wellbeing through her page Fit Mind | Fit Body