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Jan, 16 2010

Snap fitness gathers strength

On a recent visit to India, last December, Peter Taunton visited India clubs to determine their future expansion outside the city of Bangalore. On this occasion, TFW caught up with this entrepreneur whose fitness chain is gaining strength worldwide.

On a recent visit to India, last December, Peter Taunton visited India clubs to determine their future expansion outside the city of Bangalore. On this occasion, TFW caught up with this entrepreneur whose fitness chain is gaining strength worldwide.

 

How did the entrepreneurship bug bite you?

I have been in the fitness industry for 26 years, and 20 years of the time was spent in owning and operating these large fitness facilities. When you offer numerous facilities there is a good amount of overhead, which is included, to offer those amenities. We realised that my members did not utilise all the amenities which we had to offer.

When I designed the Snap concept I put things in place which the customer really uses. I also removed the overheads of the business by getting rid of all the frills attached with big-box clubs and passed these benefits on to my customer. I deliver a high-value product to my customer.

How has the Indian market shaped up in the last one year of your operations?

I think our India expansion is on the right path. We are there on all the prime locations and by the end of year 2009 we should have 13 locations open. Also, we have 18 locations under development now. Soon we should have five locations in Bangalore, besides Mumbai, Pune, Coimbatore and Chennai. In fact, our best performing international market on a store-by-store basis is India.

Your entry was followed by a period of slowdown. How has it affected your expansion plans? 

A: What slowed our expansion plans was the funding. The banks were not providing finance to the franchisees. Things are getting better now. We may be working solely on our way out of it but there is no question of the global economy affecting our growth. Thankfully, it has not affected the performance of our stores.

What are the expansion plans of your company?

I think by 2010 we should have 45-60 locations open and in the next three years we should have 200-250 locations. Most of these stores will be franchised and our area developer is also building some stores.

What are your international expansion plans?

We have close to 2,000 locations worldwide. At present we are operational in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, India and we are interested in Europe, China and Japan to expand further. We are seeking area developers for these new markets.

What is the USP of your franchise?

Ours is an affordable franchise. The investment to open one club is approximately Rs 100 lakh. We have all the systems and processes in place. When you buy a franchise we help you identify the location, we help you to negotiate the lease, we help you build the store and we have great training programmes which reflect the great success of our franchisees. 

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