Health and fitness Dec, 28 2009

Business in shape

By Abha Garyali
Business in shape

Fitness has always been a matter of concern for most of the women and with time aspirants have realised the business opportunity of women centric franchised gymnasiums. In a candid conversation, Chandra Gopalan, Master Franchisee, Contour International shares the success story of her company.

Abha Garyali (AG): From where did you get the inspiration of becoming the master franchisee for ‘Contour International’?

Chandra Gopalan (CG): I have always been a fitness enthusiast and a veteran marathon runner and have participated in 14 marathons so far. I liked Contours’ concept as it caters to a larger segment of women, who avoid visiting gym due to various compulsions.     

AG: In what ways is Contour International different from other gymnasiums for women? What is its USP?

CG: Contour International is a unique fitness concept. We have taken into consideration the needs of every woman. We have a 29 minutes specialised workout that is specially made keeping in mind the lifestyle of the working women. Our gym only caters to women. We provide our customers with a comfortable, friendly atmosphere and help them to work out with machines or equipments that are specially designed for them.

AG: How is the concept of Contour International evolving in India?

CG:  The concept is catching up rapidly. We have launched six gyms in India within a span of two years.

AG: How many centres do you have at present and in which all cities? What are the future target locations for your expansion?

CG:  We have four gyms in Bengaluru, one each in Mumbai and Chennai. Our plan is to have 100 gyms across India in the next five to seven years.

AG: What kind of training and support a franchisee would get when partnering with you?

CG:  We assist our franchisees with site selection, extensive staff training, pre-opening marketing activities and also support them in their grand openings. Our support does not end here, as we constantly upgrade the product and train our staff on a regular basis.

AG: What are the challenges faced by a franchisee in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?

CG:  The very essence of franchising is to take support of a well established brand and its system. Our franchisees need to manage their gyms and the rest is handled by the company itself. Their biggest challenge is retaining and sustaining the existing members of the gym.

AG: What kind of background is necessary for securing a franchise of your company?

CG: We seek for franchisees who can devote ample amount of time, Further, we do not want franchisees with a fitness background. Also, we need women aspirants who would have the urge to succeed.

Related: From cricket pitch to business pitch!

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