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Wellness Industry 2016-11-17

Zumba to marathons: How Indian clients are moving beyond treadmills and cycles

As the average Indian becomes more aware and disposable income levels increase, the demand for newer kinds of workout, modern technology and creative fitness mantras is ruling this sector.

By Associate Editor
Zumba to marathons: How Indian clients are moving beyond treadmills and cycles

The Indian fitness industry is growing at a CAGR of 16 to 18 per cent per annum. It is expected to cross Rs 7,000 crore by 2017. Clubbed with this is the rapidly rising urbanisation. The Indian population residing in urban areas is expected to reach 32 per cent by 2020. As the average Indian becomes more aware and disposable income levels increase, the demand for newer kinds of workout, modern technology and creative fitness mantras is ruling this sector.

Fitness is no more about just treadmills and cycles. The clients are moving towards alternative forms of fitness like Zumba, Masala Bhangra, Pilates, Yoga, Running, CrossFit and much more. In addition to these workout trends, newer technologies are also entering the Indian market that may change the dynamics of the fitness industry.

Manual workouts are all the rage

It has become a necessity for gyms to have workouts like Zumba, Yoga and CrossFit in their offerings. Most of the newer clients who come for trials these days demand such activities especially when they are going for premium gym brands like Ozone, Talwalkars etc. The rise of Zumba has been immense in India in the past couple of years. The Zumba Instructors Network in India is growing by thousands of new instructors each year. It has become imminent for fitness centres to include this new-age workout in its kitty for increasing their client-base and maintain a good retention rate.

Yoga has also emerged as a huge industry in the last couple of years. While a $80 billion industry worldwide, yoga is a multi-billion dollar market in India too. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving a push to this form of fitness with the World Yoga Day, the market for yoga has seen a boom. While fitness centres are finding it hard to ignore yoga, stand-alone yoga brands like Patanjali, Zorba: A Renaissance Studio and others, are emerging winners.

Pilates is another workout that has emerged a favourite among many in India. Celebrities in the Indian film industry have been swearing by this workout as Yasmin Karachiwala trains them with Pilates. While the popularity of this workout is still at a nascent stage, it is poised to grow as the Indian customer becomes more aware and demanding.

Crossfit, a power-packed combination of endurance exercises, calisthenics, gymnastics and weight training, has also emerged as a much-in-demand workout. Many gyms are making changes in their interiors to make them more Crossfit friendly. In fact, markets like Mumbai and Delhi have seen independent Crossfit Boxes (studios) come up in the past few years. Brands like Reebok Crossfit, Crossfit Himalaya are leaders in this category.

Marathons have seen a huge jump in the past one year. India now sees more than 350 marathons, big and small, organised each year. The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and the Mumbai Marathon see tens of thousands of people registering themselves for these runs each year. There are also players like Running and Living that organise marathons with lesser number of people or corporate runs.

The Challenge

As the Indian customer moves away from the traditional treadmill and cycle workout, the gap to be filled here is that of skilled professionals in many of these fields. However, India is also seeing a rise in more academies to train professionals in the fields of Zumba, Crossfit etc. Yoga academies are also seeing rise in student registrations. While the demand for these forms of workout grows, the demand for specialized fitness academies is also on the rise as more fitness entrepreneurs become conscious with the rise of digital media resulting in the rise in awareness.

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