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Interview 2016-09-06

We cater to over 100 corporates and over 25,000 households: Fitness One

With 15 centres, 27 Pink facility exclusive for women and 22 equipment stores in its kitty, Chennai-based Fitness One is one of the most comprehensive Fitness Management Companies in India.

We cater to over 100 corporates and over 25,000 households: Fitness One

When Arun Kathiresan, Managing Director of Chennai-based gym chain, Fitness One, established his first gym in Chennai, with initial investment made by the promoters along with family and friends, his prime focus was to offer adequate comfort and ensure security of female members.

Growing leaps and bounds with the idea to cater to the Indian fitness industry with every possible resource and support, this serial entrepreneur is successfully venturing into online marketplace for fitness equipments, gym supplies, franchising and exclusive fitness centres for women.

In an exclusive interaction with Wellness India, Kathiresan shared some undisclosed facts about his ventures and entrepreneurial journey. Here are the edited excerpts from the interview:

Entrepreneurial journey

When we opened our first Fitness One centre in Chennai, we felt that there has to be a place in every city with an environment that not only ensures safety of the members, but also makes them work out in comfort space. Our prime focus is Fitness. Today, there are multiple fitness brands existing in the market, but our ultimate mission remains the same – to provide the only choice that offers a clean and safe place to work out with a range of high standard equipments and qualified fitness experts. Pink Fitness is an outcome of our mission. With 27 centres, Pink Fitness is India’s largest all-women fitness chain.

Business DNA and USP

Generally, people spend most of their time either at home or workplace. By providing fitness solution by installing gym set-up at workplace or at-home, we were able to cater over 100 corporates and 25,000+ households. We are also selling online through company owned e-commerce portal (www.propelfitness.in) and also through leading online marketplace. We also provide Diet consultation over phone and Personal training service to our equipment buyers at selected cities.

Current market for fitness

India’s fitness Industry is growing in excess of 20 per cent. The key market drivers:

a)Sedentary lifestyle and increased consumption of fast food has led to a greater need for healthy lifestyles

  • b)Inspiration from role models especially celebrities
  • c)Penetration levels < 1per cent augurs well for consistent growth for a long period of time.

There is space for everyone. A gym of 2000 sq ft can accommodate 600 members. A city like Chennai can easily have 100+ quality fitness centres. Currently we have 23 centres and other 10-12 potential centres.

Open avenue of opportunities

The fitness industry is fragmented with majority of the market dominated by the unorganised and independent gym outlets. The organised modern fitness outlet is around 28 per cent, currently growing at 22-27 per cent year-on-year. There are 21,000 health and wellness centres across India as of 2014.

Market share of the top 5 players in India is around 15 per cent compared to 40 per cent in Singapore and Japan and about 20 per cent in China, Australia and New Zealand. Thus, the organised players in India have a huge scope for consolidation. There is a tremendous opportunity for organised players to bring the brand differentiation, qualified trainers and affordable pricing.

Eligibility to franchise

Yes we expand through franchise mode. For Pink Fitness, the investment is around Rs.40 lakh and for Fitness One its Rs80-100 lakh. We also have dealership model for our Fitness Equipment stores. Our Franchisee Relationship Programme offers people opportunities that span multiple product and service lines, as well as models relevant for small, medium and large formats. Fitness One will carefully select franchisees that share our longterm commitment, and together, revolutionise the fitness industry in India.

Company turnover

Fitness one is a closely held company and hence, the financial information is not shared.

Geographical presence

Fitness One is currently targeting the Southern markets and we are quite open to expand into North and Western India.

Expansion plans

We have an aggressive plan to grow in FY 16. We are targeting to reach 100 Fitness Centres by the end of the year. Target cities for expansion: We are targeting all the tier I and tier II cities across South India.

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