In an exclusive interview with Deepankar Hemnani, Manisha Ahlawat, Master Franchisee, India Vivafit shares her entrepreneurial journey.
Please share about your entrepreneurial journey and discuss about the challenges you faced and how did you overcome these issues?
I started Vivafit in India in 2011, since then we have 12 centres all over India out of which 4 are directly serviced by my company and rest are serviced by Vivafit in Portugal. When I started the first centre, the market was not as ripe as it is today. Women’s awareness towards fitness was not so much. I had to come up with marketing strategies to create awareness, educate women about benefits of regular exercise and thus create a market for Vivafit. Today, Vivafit is the leader in women only fitness segment. Every new venture requires good talent and in 2011 it was difficult to find female trainers in fitness. I hired graduates in physical education and physiotherapy from Delhi University and Amity University and got them trained by the master trainers from Portugal in Vivafit circuit training to solve the manpower issue. Today we are hiring girls from all over India, training them in house, creating job opportunities for lot of women and now working at Vivafit has become a matter of prestige.
Please share the USP of your business? What are the factors that pull you back while expanding your business?
We are a women only boutique fitness centre chain. We need qualified and committed franchisees to grow the franchise network. We want more women to come forward and run the Vivafit franchise. This is the time to get into the health and fitness industry as it is growing by leaps and bounds.
Please elaborate about your franchising model? What do you offer to a potential female who wishes to follow your footsteps and become your franchisee?
Our franchise model is very simple and efficient at the same time. We have all processes and systems in place. A qualified franchisee just needs to execute the business model. We provide full training and support in construction, operations, sales and services.
Please share a message for all of the aspiring mothers who wish to become an entrepreneur and how franchising can help in acting as a growth booster?
A woman who is a mother is more qualified as she will connect better with our target market. Women become more health conscious once they experience motherhood. If she chooses to get into health and fitness business, it will be great! I would like to encourage mompreneurs to take up fitness as their business. Franchise is a good option as you would not waste time in building systems, processes and brand image from scratch. All that is already done by us, franchisee can focus on execution and growth of the business.