When it comes to health and fitness, pumping irons and participating in triathlon competitions may be the ideal impression of staying fit. But for Mike Ling, a fitness aficionado and entrepreneur, being fit and healthy does not only encapsulate physical conditions, but also encompasses mental strength, nutrition intake and happiness.
Born and raised in China with a background in medical school, Ling was set to become a surgeon until he made a U-turn to venture abroad, with the U.S. as the ultimate destination — both because he was not in favor of the Chinese hospital system and he wanted to see the world.
Initially started out doing biomedical research, Ling decided to switch to business, intrigued by its intricacies. After obtaining an MBA from Indiana University, Ling’s started out at Deloitte Consulting, where his five-year stint involved helping multiple global healthcare clients formulate and execute strategies for emerging markets expansion, among other responsibilities.
Although Ling liked his job at Deloitte, his relentless passion to become an entrepreneur never faded away. This aspiration served as a catalyst for his next move: returning to China to jumpstart his own business through combining fitness and technology together. FitTime, an online fitness company, is the result of his passion and entrepreneurship, with more than 20 million active users between mobile phones and smart TVs.
“Initially, I tried to get fit because I studied medicine,” Ling says. “However, we learned how to treat the sick, but we didn’t really learn how to stay healthy. In the U.S., I was influenced by the fitness culture, so I started weight training, and I really loved that and wanted to share those benefits with the world.”