The fitness industry needs new concepts to provide something different to the enthusiasts in place of the regular gyms and centres.
Fitness is an important part of our daily routines and it is also the only part which gets ignored the most. Bringing in new concepts which will give enough space to our already crunched routines is the need of the hour. In a conversation with Dr Ankush Sabharwal, CEO, BBI Fitness Services Pvt. Ltd, we find out the concept behind Gym 99 and his plans to e=become the number 1 in the fitness industry.
Can you give a brief about the event?
We had wanted to do this event for a long time now. We thought we would initially do a press conference where we’ll launch bodybuilding India and then the concept of Gym 99 came along. We started planning this couple of months back and we were all set to launch Gym 99. Gym 99 is India’s first pay for play gym so you pay per workout. Ross nutrition is an Irish company that we bought the Indian rights for India and South East Asia. We had a press conference where Mr Randeep Hooda came and he opened Gym 99 for us. He unveiled the poster and then we displayed a bouquet of Ross Nutrition products. He endorsed and showcased the products. This is very encouraging as Ross is the only Indian company today to sell a complete range of female nutrition also. We had the one on one with the press after the unveiling. We had lunch after which he went to Saket where he inaugurated the store for us.
Kindly elaborate the concept behind Gym 99.
The reason behind the concept of Gym 99 came to our mind was that I had many people walk into our stores asking for gym references. These people are students and urban people who don’t want to take gym memberships or who travel a lot. We did some research and we found out that only 8% of people go back to the gym. The idea of pay per workout came into being as we thought why not charge by the hour. So, we came up with the concept of selling hours to the fitness enthusiast. You pay much less than what you would pay to a regular gym.
How much is your brand’s store count and also the type of clientele it caters to?
We have around 30 operational Bodybuilding India stores and out of those, 10 are in Delhi. Bodybuilding historically has been a sport of the middle class and the lower middle class and it has never been a sport of the upper class. So, our bread and butter audience will always remain that as the sport still remains of the lower middle class and middle class. We believe that these supplements are not only for the body builders but for everyone who wants to be a fitness enthusiast. Our target audience is from all strata for Bodybuilding India. For Gym 99, we have 3 models. Gym 99 has models like value, premium and gold. We have a value model in which the charges are less. The facilities are of good quality. It does not have a sauna or steam and this particular model targets hardcore body, builders. The premier model is for everyone. It is for all those who want to be fit, wants to exercise and also relax. It will have a wet area but we’ll charge extra for using that. The gold model is top of the line and high end and is for people who want to recreate and want to spend time.
How do you choose your types of equipment?
In the value model, we have Indian equipment. The strength equipment is Indian and it is very tough and solid. The cardio equipment would be international. They are made in China but they are of good quality. In the premier range, we have the cardio equipment which would be of Precor, life fitness etc. The gym would be of fitline or of a top pro we would avoid using in Indian model. We’ve gone as a team and have researched about the types of equipment. The gold model will have all the international and it will be high end. The machines available will be of all sorts and will be from good brands.
Does your brand have a process through which it selects the trainers?
Dr Randheer Hastir was the one who started Bodybuilding India and also started a university programme in the name of National School of Bodybuilding which is affiliated with a university in South. It is a certified training programme for body builders to become trainers and it rolls out 200-300 trainers every year. The trainers get trained, certified and then they join us. For Bodybuilding India, we propose that each Franchisee of ours to go and get themselves trained in nutrition. So, we urge them to go to National School of Bodybuilding, spend some time and get trained.
Kindly throw some light on your Franchising model and details.
Bodybuilding India is a set model. A person pays the franchise fees and you get a set of protocols to follow, brand guideline, store design etc. Then the person buys stock from us and we give the best rates. We have the power to negotiate as we have 30 stores and just 1 competitor whom we’ll beat by the end of this year and will become the largest supplement store in India. For Gym 99, we have 3 models, value, premier and gold. The value model comes under Rs. 45- 50 Lakhs range as a person who wants to buy the franchise of this model will not pay more than this price range. We have targeted around Rs. 70 Lakhs for the premier model. A top class, international level gym will be ready in this price range. The gold model is about Rs. 1.25 crores because it is a really high end.
How do Gym 99 models vary in sizes?
The value model is about 1800 sq. Ft. The premier model is about 2300-2500 sq.ft. and the gold model is up to 3000 sq.ft. Then it also depends on the place where you are opening the gym. For example, if you are opening it in Khan Market, you’ll not get 3000 sq.ft but you can also open it up in 1000 sq. Ft.
How are your brand’s supplements different from other supplements?
The supplements which Bodybuilding India sells are authentic. We don’t do any parallel imports and anything in cash. We have records of everything and strict policies. We give a guarantee on our products while the local vendor doesn’t. We have an authorised reseller certificate issued from Ireland. These are small things but they have a very large impact. The second point to why we are different is that we have launched Ross Nutrition which is an Irish brand owned by a couple of Indians who migrated to Ireland. Theirs is the only company to have their own feminine range of products. We wanted our own white label and so, we grabbed this opportunity of introducing Ross Nutrition.
How are you planning to target a wider client base?
We already have a running website called Bodybuilding India.com through which we also sell our supplements. Primarily, it is a knowledge based website. We have many articles on it which can be accessed and are available in many languages.
What are your brand expansion plans?
We plan to open 100 stores of Bodybuilding India by 2018. We have 70 signed contracts with us and we’ll implement them one by one. For Gym 99, we have planned to open 50 gyms till 2019 and we plan to open 10 of them this year.