The fitness franchise industry offers incredible opportunities with minimal risk and the support offered by fitness franchises is unparalleled to other industries.
Firstly, the health and fitness industry in India is poised at an inflection point, with high market fragmentation, stupendous market potential, and end-to-end overall growth. Several new business models are emerging to disrupt this industry.
There has never been a better time to enter the fitness market with an awareness of the importance of health and fitness that continues to raise consumer demands and technological developments.
The Strength to Strength Industry
From being a non-existent upper middle class dominated industry to a market which is highly looked upon in India; the golden age of fitness is here. Thanks to today’s fast-paced, hectic modern lifestyles which seldom allow a person to workout actively or follow a well-crafted fitness regime.
Big fitness chains and gyms are already expanding their product and services to tap into the market in each and every way possible and reach out to potential customers. Given the various and messy Indian market, franchising has caught on really fast.
The Franchising Way
Many are using the franchising model to enter in the Indian markets and also to tap into a larger client base. Vikas Jain, Director, Anytime Fitness shares the mantra to run a successful business. “If you want to expand your business exponentially, franchising is the right way out. It is the only route to expand your business successfully.”
“Many small business owners run their business very successfully, but they have their own limitations as well. There seems to be a lack of vision of expansion and growth which is direly required to be successful in terms of your presence across the globe”, said the Director, Anytime Fitness.
Commenting on both the sides of the coin, Divya Himatsingka, Director, Skulpt Gym said,” It is important to have a franchise because that ultimately ends up giving you a pan India presence. The support of a Master Franchisee is of equal importance in the market. A basic SOP has to be maintained across the board. Nonetheless, it’s a great business plan overall.”
“The franchise model allows brands to scale up at a much quicker pace as compared to what they would be capable of doing on their own. It increases the reach of a brand in terms of cities and member base. This reach directly has a proportion to the increase in visibility of brand across the nation”, said Karan Valecha, Director & Co-Founder, Gold’s Gym.
There is also an increase in revenue through royalties. Being a tried and tested model, Karan explains, “One is able to increases the potential of success of a brand while it enters a new market as people are already aware of the brand
Being an Aid to the Franchisees
Vikas Jain was of the opinion that, “For any brand to be successful, we have to make sure that they are doing enough for franchising. It is of major importance to provide support to the franchises because they are dependent on you for the knowledge of what next is coming up for them. If you keep holding your franchisee's accountability, then definitely there will be good growth in the brand.”
“Thanks to the growing relationship between franchisor-franchisee and the in-depth knowledge gained with the growth thanks to franchising, dynamics such as a location’s demographics and psychographics of the customer bases is understood better and the franchisor is able to use different business strategies and tactic that works for that particular location enabling the chances of the success of the local franchisee”, said the Co-Founder, Gold’s Gym.
Giving the Right Exposure
Franchising in every way, Vikas explains, provides an exposure to fitness because earlier fitness was not even considered as a business. Now that people know about gyms, they are ready to make investments in it but they lack the know-how of doing a gym business. “Franchising is the route to get a handful of knowledge about the industry in particular. And when passion and business meet they get the formula for success”, added the Director, Anytime Fitness.
“Perhaps, the business model remains the same. But franchising is becoming way more popular and more people are opting for franchising as they feel that they can get on the success wagon of the brand”, exclaimed Vikas Jain.
There are a lot of people who are fitness freaks and they want to add value to the city they live in, which is the way I started out”, says an energetic Divya Himatsingka, Director, Skulpt Gym.
The Future of Gym Business
Vikas Jain’s thoughts on the future of the industry are immense. In India, he said,” Even if we double the number of people in a fitness program, we are slowly getting better as we are getting aware of fitness. There is a long way to go with a lot on the plate for us to do.”
For Divya, the exposure comes on the floor. "The future is bright but again, different parts of the country operate differently.” Going by the survey, the people in the East and South are relatively is much lower to fitness as compared to Mumbai and other parts of the country. “There has to be a lot more awareness and consciousness to turn it into a successful business plan”, said Divya.
Karan said,” Even after 15 successful years, we believe that the future of the gym business in India is very bright. There is a still a huge untapped potential for growth all over the country especially in Tier II and III cities as we have learned.”