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May, 13 2010

FIT FOR SUCCESS

A fit body holds the key to an enjoyable life. With this concept in mind, Contours Express International, a leading 'just-for-women' fitness centre, has redefined fitness trends across the globe with its specialised '29 minute' workout regimen.

A fit body holds the key to an enjoyable life. With this concept in mind, Contours Express International, a leading 'just-for-women' fitness centre, has redefined fitness trends across the globe with its specialised '29 minute' workout regimen. In a tête-à-tête with TFW, Keith Dziki gets candid about the brand's global success and its pan-India expansion.

What is the USP of 'Contours International'?

There are several unique factors that set us apart. Firstly, we are a 'women only' fitness centre, which means women can work out comfortably in a non-intimidating environment amongst women of all ages. Secondly, the cardio fit circuit enables women of all fitness levels to workout together. Thirdly, '29 minutes' is all that is required to achieve the desired results.

Since Contours International is already present in 30 countries, what is your expansion plans worldwide?

At Contours Express, we continue to market our brand globally through our website and free online seminars, our master franchisors and franchisees and characteristics that differentiate us, such as low investment, easy to follow business model and equipment.

What made you choose India as a prospective franchise destination?

India's emerging economy makes it an ideal choice for substantial growth in the fitness industry in the coming years. The concept of 'women only' fitness centres in India has a strong appeal.

You made your debut in India in 2006 with just six centres. Do you have any aggressive marketing strategy now?

It has taken us some time for us to adopt and modify the concept as per Indian market. We are now in a position to take the concept to a broader market and aggressively develop franchisees across India.

What business development strategies have you charted out for your expansion ?

Our focus is to develop a strong presence in one territory and then expand in numbers into other Indian territories. Our emphasis is on growth in Tier I cities. We would gradually move into Tier II and Tier III cities pan India.

What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchisees?

Besides the US, we utilise a master franchisor programme in every country to grow and expand the Contours Express brand. The master franchisor represents Contours Express and its business model in every country. Our corporate office guides the master franchisor to seek out prospective franchisees through marketing and advertising efforts. A newly appointed master franchisor is required to travel to the US to attend Contours University for the initial training programme, and the 'Master Franchisor Training' programme. During these trainings, the master franchisor will cover all aspects of our franchise business model, including adaptation, franchise sales, marketing and branding, centre operations, policies, procedures and support.

What are your requirements from the franchisees in terms of investment, area and experience?

A franchisee needs to invest in the range of Rs 30 to 35 lakh and possess an area of 1,500+ sq.ft. Our franchisees do not need prior experience in fitness, as we take them through an intensive training course. We require them to be active in the operations of the business.

How well has the Indian market reacted to the concept of 'women only' fitness centres?

The feedback from women in India for such a concept is tremendous. As the awareness about health and fitness increases, particularly amongst women, we anticipate huge growth in our market segment pan India.

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