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Apr, 01 2007


FOR thousands of years, physical activity has been associated with health. Today, science has confirmed the link, with overwhelming evidence that people who lead active lifestyles are less likely to die early.

FOR thousands of years, physical activity has been associated with health. Today, science has confirmed the link, with overwhelming evidence that people who lead active lifestyles are less likely to die early. Regular exercise can help protect them from heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis, and can improve their mood and help to better manage stress.

When most people hear the words fitness they immediately think of the standard exercise gym. Though exercise gyms do comprise a large part of the fitness business, they are not the only types of these businesses that are available.

Maintaining the body in a good shape can guarantee you at least respectful attitude of others, as it is known that keeping fit implies constant effort and a good deal of determination.

But the rapt glances and compliments are worth the investment in the form of time and money that people spend for fitness centres visits.

Benefits of Fitness

People nowadays are becoming increasingly aware of the relevance of staying in good health and shape. It is constantly professed on TV and in print media just how indispensable it is to maintain the body in a good shape. It goes without saying that there are several aspects of a person's appearance that have significant relevance, the impression that the person is likely to produce on others.

As stated above, one of the basic reasons why people are so eager to take on fitness is because they view it as a means to achieve their goals connected with improving their appearance. Today, many international players are coming up with better concepts and educating people by conducting seminars and presentations to make them understand that going to a gym is not just shaking their bodies, its for fitness and good health and in the long run it matters that you are fit and fine and your health is improving day by day. It does not matter whether you are slim or fat, exercise is good for health and make it a regular affair as it increases your metabolism, builds your muscles and stamina and this is the only way to stay fit. Today, men, women and even children can be seen doing weight training.

The Indian fitness industry is estimated at Rs 2,000 crore and is growing annually at the rate of 60 per cent. Certainly some advantages of taking on fitness franchise are on the surface; one of them being that fitness gyms are destined to help people improve their body shape. There are many national and international players in the fitness sector offering weight training programmes and services as per the persons needs. There are several fitness franchise opportunities available, and the choices can be varied. Listed below are some of the fitness companies franchising in India.

Vandana Luthra Curls and Curves (VLCC)

Started in 1989 by Ms Vandana Luthra, the VLCC group has over the last 17 years grown exponentially. VLCC's services business currently spans across 100 locations in 52 cities in India. VLCC is widely recognized for its scientific weight loss solutions. It has also ventured into the international market by setting up five centres in UAE in the last nine months and will spread to a total of 28 centres in the Middle East, including Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia by end 2008.

VLCC's Workout Factory, for both men and women is a unique fitness centre where men and women can sculpt their bodies and feel 'factory fresh'. It offers facilities like steam, sauna and chill shower - all in an elegant and exclusive ambience that makes 'keeping fit' real fun. Manned by trained personnel, VLCC's Workout Factory comprises of four sections i.e., cardio-vascular section, strength section, floor exercises/aerobic section and spa. The VLCC group has a pan-India presence with service centres spanning a 2.5 lakh sq.ft of retail space across nearly 100 outlets in 52 cities, employing nearly 4,000 people, one-third of whom are established and trained doctors, dieticians, nutritionists, cosmetologists, psychologists, physiotherapists, and counselors. By 2008, VLCC plans to have 300 centres in India. "Owing to the changes in the economic development in the country, more and more people are willing to spend on their health, fitness and looks. This is more evident in Tier II and Tier III cities," says Yogesh Sethi, Chief Operating Officer, VLCC Healthcare Ltd.

Personal Point Care Ltd.

A healthy body leads to a healthy mind, which makes a healthy society. Keeping this thought in mind, Personal Point took up the mission of making people fit and healthy in late 80s. Under the stewardship of Dr. Shobha Kaul, Managing Director, this fitness movement has spread across major cities in India. Personal Point has grown from a single unit establishment to a 55 centres strong fitness conglomerate and thus became a synonym for health and fitness. It offers business opportunities to entrepreneurs by way of franchise outlets and joint ventures.

The company's exponential growth rate continues with new overseas projects coming up. Personal Point has plans to open 200 centres by 2008 through company-owned centres, joint ventures or franchised units. It is dedicated to the concept of total fitness by offering world class programmes on weight management, fitness and nutrition to the health conscious.

Contours Express

Women across the nation are beginning to recognize the effects that their fitness has on their overall health. The certified women's fitness trainers know just how to help a woman reach her goals, whether she want to lose weight, tone up, or maintain the healthy habit of exercise.

Body In Harmony India Pvt. Ltd. is the master franchisee for Contours Express, a US based company having 700 gyms across the world. Contours Express is the women's only gym with a unique concept centered around a 29-minute workout, using a circuit routine alternating between aerobics and weight resistance stations. It ensures that members of every fitness level can strengthen, shape and tone all major muscle groups, while improving their cardiovascular health in only 29-minutes. Contours Express is an internationally franchised system of women's gyms that uses only weight-bearing equipment specially designed for women. When asked about the challenge for the international players in the Indian fitness industry, Chandra Gopalan, Director, Contours Express India, said, "There is not much competition in women's only gym, the market is untapped and the industry is growing at a fast pace, the international players concentrate more on good health and fitness and in the long run it matters that you are fit and fine and your health improves, weight loss and everything comes automatically." Contours Express with the pilot location in Bangalore, plans to have 100 gyms by the end of 2008.

Gold's Gym

A gym franchise will put you more into the active aspect of fitness, and for people who like to be right in the middle of the action, this could be the perfect franchise choice.

F2 Fun and Fitness is the master franchisee for Gold's Gym International Inc. USA having 680 facilities worldwide, is recognized for its passion, unique heritage, and experience as the final authority in fitness and lifestyle. The Gold's Gym franchise program has been designed to give top gym operators and entrepreneurs around the world the opportunity to benefit by representing the Gold's Gym brand and becoming a part of the strongest network in the Rs. 1.3 crore fitness industry globally. Gold's Gyms in India have marketed themselves on the grounds of being the global fitness leaders who have a true international lineage, largest number of franchisee centers, the best facilities under one roof and a true fitness experience. The company has 22 gyms at present and plans to open 80 gyms by 2010. "As more global players enter the fray, it is expected that there is space for all to grow given the nascent stage of evolution as far as the industry is concerned in India," said G Ramachandran, Director Gold's Gym India.

Franchising the fitness industry

Owning a Fitness Franchise can involve much more than just owning a gym and can be a very rewarding employment opportunity. The great thing about owning a branded and successful fitness franchise is that you will have the support of a company that has established itself in the industry and can help you at every step of the way. Dedication and commitment on your part, however, is also necessary if you want your franchise to be successful. The key is to be sure of the company with whom you are investing, and also to be sure that the franchise is right for you and your specific needs and long term goals. A fitness franchise can be a lucrative investment. For those who have always been interested in physical fitness and are looking for a franchise opportunity, a fitness franchise may be just the right thing.

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