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Oct, 05 2015

Launch a gym in five simple steps

If one thinks of opening a gym, he worries about the ideal location, equipments, trainers, likely return on investment and so on. But, if one chooses to take franchise of a gym brand, he has solution for all the above mentioned queries. Thus, running a fr

Total retail market for fitness category is worth Rs. 4,579 crore (US$ 0.76 bn) growing at 16-18% and is estimated to cross Rs. 7,000 crore (US$ 1.18 bn) by 2017. Modern retail is estimated at 28% of this total market and is expected to grow by 22-27%.

What it takes to open a franchise gym?

Franchisors look for franchisees who have passion for the sector and fulfill the area and investment requirement of the brand. “To open a Snap Fitness franchise, the potential investor has to have the required capital and the interest to open a fitness club. He/she should also have some time to monitor the business as there are a lot of upfront payments and finance has to be carefully managed. We normally qualify the potential investor by requiring him/her to fill a qualifier form,” shares Srileka Reddy, Co-Founder & Director Marketing, Force Fitness, Master Franchisee of Snap Fitness.

On this, Nikhil Kakkar, Vice President, Franchising & Operations, Gold's Gym India, opines, “In my opinion passion is something which drives this business, when it comes to set up a space of 3000 sq ft-7000 sq ft and an investment of Rs 1.5 crore to 3 crore is required.”


Other than the total investment mentioned by the franchisor for opening a franchise centre, franchisees are always eager to know what will be the cost of equipments, furniture and so on. Franchisors help the franchisees in this aspect as they have fixed quality clients from where they take the best stuff.

Throwing light on cost, material and facilities, Kakkar, tells us, “The major operating costs are rental, staffing and electricity and are the fixed costs in this business. While, the fitness equipments are most important part of the setup and number of equipments and cost varies based on the size of gym. Almost 80% of the project cost goes in these two heads. We have a National Vendor ProgrammeNVP- under which we have a tie-up with international equipment brands and they supply the same. We assure the best pricing, warranties and spare cost. Under our NVP, we also assist our partners in designing and planning the gym when it comes to interiors, to ensure uniformity as we follow a standard design manual for interiors.”


The organised fitness market is concentrated in top eight cities of India (Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad) with more than 60 per cent of outlets of top dozen chains located in these cities. Having spread their footprints in metros and other major cities, the franchise gym brands are moving to tier-II and III cities. The brands consider location as one of the most important aspects of their ventures. They prefer high street location on first, second or third floor.

“A high street location is recommended and preferably between 1st to 3rd floor. Also important is parking space, our team also assists our franchise partners in selecting the location as this is one of most important aspect of business,” shares the Gold's Gym spokesperson.

Gym coach

This remains one of the prime concerns of an owner of a gym to decide how to get trained and certified coaches and what are the parameters for the same. Many gym brands have started their own training centres while the remaining are helping their franchisees scouting for the best gym coach from other sources.

Gold's Gym also has its own institute to ward off the perils of not having a qualified trainer. “Trainers are the soul of this business and getting qualified trainers is a must. To ensure it, we have qualified trainers as we also run an institute for fitness trainers training i.e. Golds Gym Fitness Institute,” Kakkar adds.

Legal and management aspect

It's very important to know the legal and management aspects of any business you are in. But, when you are a franchisee, the deal becomes simple as you have a set of rules organised for the same.

“All mandatory licences are required to run the business. They would also require a PPL licence to play music. The day-to-day running of the club is done by the club manager who is the one point contact. Under him/her there is a team of eight trainers, three sales staff, one nutritionist. The team works in shifts. There is also a night trainer for those Snap clubs which are open 24/7,” Reddy explains.

While Gold's Gym maintains some basic formalities like commercial license from local municipalities in certain areas are required to run the basis. The day-to-day management is done by franchisees and franchisor assist franchisees for the same.

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