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Oct, 12 2010

Finding fitness in franchising

A name synonymous with fitness globally, Leena Mogre's fitness academy has trained Bollywood celebrities and is the official trainer for Gladrags (Megamodels, Manhunt and Mrs India) and Elite Models. Leena Mogre, Director, Leena Mogre's Fitness, tells Ama

A name synonymous with fitness globally, Leena Mogre's fitness academy has trained Bollywood celebrities and is the official trainer for Gladrags (Megamodels, Manhunt and Mrs India) and Elite Models. Leena Mogre, Director, Leena Mogre's Fitness, tells Amanpreet Kaur her expansion plans via franchising.

What has been the inspiration behind opening Leena Mogre's Fitness academy?

Having been associated with the fitness industry for over 20 years as a consultant and having set up and managed gyms for other companies inspired me to start my own venture. Having a fitness education business since 1994 further led me to enter the gym business under my own signature brand. I am very self-motivated though my late father-in-law and other family members have inspired me in many ways.

What was the reason for entering into the fitness space through franchising?

In the fitness industry, one has to take care of personalised services. Also, interaction with members to keep them happy and understanding their needs play a critical role. In distant places, the franchise model helps as the franchise partner becomes an extension of yourself and helps bridge the gap.

Was your first franchisee a success? How do you manage your work areas?

Yes, our first franchisee was given to a close friend in Bengaluru, so it was easy for them to replicate our business model. Secondly, my role involves initial negotiations, sales and technical training and most importantly, the PR and marketing of the brand. My husband (Nikhil Mogre) takes care of the designing and layout of the entire premises along with the interiors and finalises the equipments needed along with the franchisee. Most importantly, getting the gym ready for the launch before the scheduled due date is his responsibility.

What type of training and support do you offer to the franchisees?

Being the pioneer in fitness training through our own in-house academy, we provide certification training to the floor and personal trainers as well as the front desk and fitness consultants (sales staff). The franchisee's staff is provided hands-on training at our centres in Mumbai initially and then our senior staff visits the franchisee's gym to impart detailed training.

What are your requirements from your franchisees in terms of capital investment and area?

More than the capital investment, we first see the passion and love for fitness and the commitment of the partner to take the business ahead. We have different models for different cities and locations. The investment depends on the size of the outlet. Our models start from a minimum of 4,000 sq.ft carpet area, wherein an investment in interiors and equipment can be between Rs 1.8 to Rs 2 crore.

In terms of expanding through franchising, which cities are on your cards?

In the north, we are looking at New Delhi, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jaipur and few other cities. In the south Hyderabad, Chennai, Coimbatore, Kochi, Belgaum, etc. and in the West, some more centres in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Goa, Nagpur and Vadodara.

Where are your fitness centres located?

We have presence in Khar, Shivajipark, Thane, Nerul and Vashi, in and around Mumbai, plus one each in Bengaluru and Chandigarh.

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