Health and fitness Apr, 09 2013

Fit for profits

By Namita Bhagat
Fit for profits

Born to spread fitness across India, the motto of Talwalkers Hi Fi is ‘Healthy India Fit India’. In an interaction with Namita BhagatMadhukar Talwalkar, Chairman of Talwalkars Better Value Fitness (TBVF) shares how he plans to  expand Talwalkars Hi Fi in India and internationally.

What is origin and concept of ‘Talwalkars HI FI ’? How has been the journey so far?

The health and fitness industry is the sunrise industry of India. People are more health conscious than ever and growing awareness of fitness and looks fueled by Bollywood has created a solid ground for the fitness business across India. The trend is upswing even in tier I, II and III towns. Under our Talwalkars brand, India’s largest chain of health clubs having presence across 70 Indian cities, we were getting extraordinary response as we moved to virgin towns. As we targeted to have 300 centres in three years, we decided to create a franchise business model that will allow us to achieve this objective. Thus ‘Talwalkars Hi Fi’ was born with a vision of spreading fitness across India.

Hi Fi stands for Healthy India Fit India. The brand’s franchising journey began in 2010 and so far we have already signed up 21 franchise units with another 30 in the pipeline.

What all services does Talwalkars Hi Fi offer?

We offer state-of-the-art health club facilities and services which includes air-conditioned gymnasium, cardio and strength training equipments, personal training, diet counseling, separate changing rooms for gents and ladies, steam, showers, lockers, etc. The brand offers a unique proposition of working as a community fitness centre, expanding the appeal and making it accessible and affordable to all.

How do you think franchising will help in the brand’s further growth?

Talwalkars Hi Fi currently has 21 clubs pan India. Our focus is to grow exponentially over the next three years and set up 300 units. We have prototyped every aspect of the model from its interiors to operation specs – thus an investor gets a fully packaged model with network of partners like contractors architects suppliers, system and software team. Our management team and support system builds in high degree of security for both franchisor and franchisee. We also expect that in time a slew of value added services launched around Hi Fi will add to both franchisee and company’s bottom line and top line. Other than that, we look for a lot of involvement from the entrepreneurs who associate with our brand.

What are your company’s growth plans for India and international market?

India has far greater potential in terms of consuming health care via health clubs and Talwalkars being the undisputed leader is all set to share its expertise and experience of successfully setting up and managing health clubs across India. We are targeting all towns and cities with population more than 1.5 lakh. The brand has successfully expanded even in small towns like Ichalkaranji, Bhimavaram, Ajmer etc. It is also entering cities like Osmanabad, Udgir, Ongole, Anand etc. To attain our target of over 300 Talwlakars Hi Fi centres across length and breadth of India, we are now launching a master franchisee model which will further allow us to expand faster.

Moving further, we see the brand as one of the world’s largest fitness chain in terms of number of centres in next five years and we believe we have the ingredients to achieve that.We have chalked out plans to enter the international markets as well. Currently, we are in talks with a couple of groups from Dubai and Qatar for the Gulf market.

What are your franchisee qualification criteria? What kind of franchisee training and support programme do you offer?

We look for people who share our passion and belief for this sector and its tremendous potential going ahead. Ideally young entrepreneurs who may have been connected with health fitness body building nutrition or physiotherapy field or businessmen who are looking to tap into sunrise industry as a sustainable and continuous business line. We provide fitness, sales and systems training to the franchisees and their staff. These trainings are comprehensive and make it very easy for someone to effectively manage a health club.As said before the entire project is offered as a package with complete network of vendors, suppliers and agencies.

How lucrative is the business opportunity for interested franchisee? How much investment and area is required for opening the franchise?

The numbers speak for themselves. We have more than 130 centres across India and we are continuously expanding because of the phenomenal results we are seeing. Any franchisee that partners with Talwalkars gets not only the best service in health and fitness but also the revenue model is very lucrative.

The area of Talwalkars HI FI health club depends on the city’s potential more than anything else. It can be 1,500 – 2,500 sq.ft. The investment ranges from Rs  45 – 85 lakh. The payback period can be as less as 1.5 years, ROI is between 35 – 50 per cent and zero investment in inventory.

Related: Strategies for a fit network

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