Health and fitness Jun, 13 2014

Slimming centres to shape biz success

Slimming centres in India are offering many opportunities via the franchise model. The Indian fitness and slimming industry, which constitutes about eight per cent of the total Indian wellness industry, has emerged as one of the major consumers in the tra

By Sandeep Rana, TFW Bureau
Senior Copy Editor
Slimming centres to shape biz success

With high rate of malnutrition and poverty in India, obesity seems a distant issue but the country stands at third place in the rating of the highest number of obese people in the world. According to a recent study published in the noted journal Lancet, India is followed by the US and China.

The study used the data of various countries over three decads. The US with 13 per cent of the obese people worldwide in 2013 is on the top of the list. Whereas, China and India together accounted for 15 per cent of the world's obese population at respective second and third places in this health hazard list. The study says 46 million people in China and 30 million in India are obese.

Thus, the slimming centres have much more scope than ever in this country. The wellness industry is expected to touch Rs 1,00,000 crore (Rs 1 trillion) by 2015 from about Rs 70,000 crore in 2012 in India, as per a study jointly conducted by industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

People in India have also become health conscious leading to mushrooming of the slimming centres in the country.

Every person, no matter what age he/she is of wants to look fit. Weight loss at the slimming centres and gyms has become a fad for majority of the youth because of the changing lifestyles and disposable incomes. This has led to manifold opportunities in this sector. With immense potential in this industry and foray of many international players, the leading players in this industry have adopted an organised business format for expansion and i.e franchising. 

According to the market trends, the wellness and anti-obesity market will keep on increasing in the coming years, therefore, this is the ideal time to invest in this upcoming market.

Explaining about the efforts made by the brand regarding anti-obesity, Dr Kiran Rukadikar, Founder and Director of Dr Rukadikar’s Specialty Clinic says: “We are making extra efforts and creating awareness among people. We conduct workshops, deliver lectures and write articles just to make the people understand about importance of proper lifestyle in managing their weight.”

Sharing her thoughts on the same, Dr Richa Jain, MD, Unique Slim Point and Beauty Clinic, a 16-year-old brand believes: “People are health conscious these days and want to look slim. Due to bad eating habits and changing life style, problem of obesity has erupted. Obesity leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and heart diseases. In such a scenario, our role comes in.”

Burgeoning market

As per a 2012 MarketResearch.com study, the Indian fitness and slimming industry is set to grow at a CAGR of 25 per cent to reach USD 2.4 billion by 2015. Presently, the industry is pegged at ballpark figure of USD 0.78 billion.

Since, the industry is in its nascent stage, the organised fitness services are only 25 per cent of the overall fitness industry. Several brands are eyeing to have pan-India presence in this sector to leave their impact and earn dividends.

A FICCI research says overall wellness market is Rs 490 billion in India and of this wellness service alone constitutes 40 per cent of the market. Still, it is less than two per cent of the global wellness industry. The research data further states that by 2015, wellness services will generate three million job opportunities.

Opportunities:

There are growing opportunities in the industry as Indian youth aged 15 to 34 years, which comprises 34 per cent of the total population, is the core target group and it is expected to cross over 400 mn by 2015.

Franchising has proved to be a successful business model for many. Talking about the benefits of franchising, Chanda Malhotra, Managing Director,Diet Mantra says: “Through franchising we can reach maximum number of people and put across our idea to them. Thus expanding pan-India is a good way to reach to large number of people. Basic concept remains the same in every city but there are minor changes which are done according to the region as people have different eating habit and lifestyle in different regions.”

Dr Richa Jain too favours franchise business model. According to her: “It is a four-way margin for us and it has number of opportunities to grow. First is providing services, second is product opportunities, home machine equipments and nutrition products.”

Another brand offering franchise opportunity is Tender Skin International. It is a one-stop shop for skin, hair, laser and slimming services. “In case of any investor showing interest in us as a whole i.e skin clinic, training academy, range of products and equipments division, we have a plan for that too. We have multiple models to suit different market needs,” says Tender Skin International, Director Payal Tekchandani

Challenges in the industry:

Lack of skilled and trained personnel is the major challenge in the industry. In the coming years, wellness services will require about 600,000 additional skilled personnel but availability remains the cause of worry, asserts the FICCI.

Dr Kiran feels there is no proper awareness in the society about obesity, its causes and treatment, which is the need of the hour. People are wasting time, energy and money on all sorts of things just to reduce their belly. Weight loss industry is booming but obese people are confused, he sums up.

While, Puja Gour, Centre Manager, Unique Slim Point and Beauty Clinic  suggests that slimming centres are a better option which people do not explore and just take services at gyms and yoga centres. “If you leave going to the gym, you again start gaining weight but it does not happen at slimming centres. We have advanced machines with no side effect and regaining of weight,” she adds.

Dr Richa Jain says it is a very competitive field where in if results are good, you grow, otherwise you are zero in this business thus our work speaks for us.

“The biggest challenge is to educate people about the concept. Everybody wants to look healthy and smart. It’s not about losing weight, it’s about wellness and it should have not medical repercussions We have to educate people that each and every nutrient is important in our body, even fat is important,” shares Chanda Malhotra.

Boulevard to expansion

Not just the metros, the slimming chains have now started to expand in tier-II cities like Chandigarh, Dehradun, Baroda, Nashik and Pune offering opportunities for entrepreneurs to open franchise centres. Revealing their plans, Chanda Malhotra, says: “We are planning to open 10 to 12 centres moslty via the franchising route in the near future.” The brand presently has 17 franchise and company owned stores in the country.

In future, several foreign wellness chains via the master franchise route are anticipated to launch centres here.

Conclusion:

Gear up to reap the benefits of the growing industry, especially those who want to do business in it tier-II and III cities as these are the next destinations. Not just Indian, even overseas brands are offering multiple opportunities.  

“Never try cheap tools or options, they will just waste your time or try to copy your competition. Traditional mediums though old always work better if not best,” advises Payal Tekchandani to the potential entrepreneurs.

Related: Fitted for profits

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