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The once evergreen sector, and super-fast growing gym industry has seen a major setback due to Covid-19. However, maintaining an energizing fitness regime for anyone to emerge stronger is most important, believes Sumit Goel, Director of Namish International, the Master Franchisee owner of UK-based energie fitness that is all set to entering the Indian market this month.
“Today, fitness is not seen as a luxury, but a necessity. It is growing rapidly. Keeping that in mind, we are aiming to set up franchises in every part of India wherever fitness is looked at from a point of view as a basic requirement in their lives,” he said.
In an interview wi, Goel who has a decade of experience in the fitness industry, shares more about the expansion plans of the brand in India, its USPs and how it sees India as a market.
What plans do you have for India?
Goel: The first gym will be launched in my home city of Lucknow by the end of February. Energie fitness Mumbai will open in June 2021 in Bandra. The next two will be in Goa, and Delhi within 6-8 months. The firm is determined to cross 10 gyms by end of 2022, 50 gyms in the next five and 100+ in the next 10 years.
How is energie fitness going to be different from other players? What are its USPs?
Goel: We are very used to working out in traditional ways in Indian gyms. Cardio, free-weights or strength training, then some stretching mixed with some classes like Zumba, and Spinning. At energie, we have a mix of traditional and contemporary ways of working out, with technology taking an important place.
With newer trends emerging, people are moving towards a selective combination of a variety of workouts. High-intensity classes, boot camp, functional, and circuit training are changing the perception of traditional modes of training. Energie fitness has developed a signature zone called ‘The Yard’, providing these innovative ranges of classes. It is a seriously cool training space, a fitness playground, equipped with a range of versatile kits. The brand offers signature training modules utilizing all these aspects making it a place that will keep members motivated to come back for more.
All this is being monitored with the ‘Myzone technology’ building a workout community. Each member will be fitted with the Myzone accessory during the class for real-time heart rate tracking which will be displayed on the central screen to help the instructors monitor each participant’s workout levels and heart rate. The Myzone app is connected to smartphones and can be used even if a member is exercising out of the gym premises and participates in monthly challenges with other members. The app allows engagement and motivation to adhere to the workouts.
How are you getting trainers in India?
Goel: We are handpicking the team of training professionals and they will be undergoing a specifically designed training module from the UK. As we and the UK fitness team interview them to bring them onboard, they will have to go through an elaborate onboarding process before they hit the floors at any of our gyms in India.
Any change in the plan due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Goel: The once evergreen sector, and super-fast growing gym industry has seen a major setback due to Covid-19. But good health is still the need of the hour. With the pandemic, one thing that is most required is maintaining an energizing fitness regime for anyone to emerge stronger. Thus, in fact, we have gone more aggressive with our plans due to this pandemic. Our aim is to align with the Fit India movement at a larger level and provide better health opportunities to the nation.
What kind of investments are you looking at from gym openers?
Goel: A premium friendly neighbourhood facility that is affordable and accessible to all fitness seekers is the need of the hour. The brand provides holistic support to each franchise at all levels of the franchise journey. The gym area starts from a minimum of 5,000 sq. ft. We are ready with an effective solution that will help to get a franchise into business, site-selection, equipment procurement, staff training, pre-sales, launch event and associations, media announcements, Operations and Marketing SOPs, Fitness Programming, and the all-important Real-Time Business Intelligence support. We are looking at around Rs 2 crore investment from a visionary business owner for opening a franchisee of energie fitness in tier 1 or tier 2 city.
How do you expect your brand to perform in India considering so much competition?
Goel: We have just four international brands in India and many local gyms. The UK has a population of fewer than 7 crore and still is successfully having almost 100 energie fitness clubs and we feel that India with a 135+ crore population needs many more. Maybe 250-300 more energie fitness clubs?
How do see the Indian fitness market?
Goel: Today, fitness is not seen as a luxury, but a necessity. It is growing rapidly. Keeping that in mind, we are aiming to set up franchises in every part of India wherever fitness is looked at from a point of view as a basic requirement in their lives.
How is energie fitness clubs membership going to be priced?
Goel: This will be India’s only hybrid-gym chain model with a perfect blend of gym facilities, and specially designed boutique classes that will use state-of-the-art technology to keep all members up-to-date and engaged. Especially considering we are an international gym chain; we will be in the mid-level pricing tier. A Premium Gym but at affordable pricing so that access is there for those who are serious about health and fitness.
Are you doing something with the current trend of Fitness from Home?
Goel: Yes, we have a unique energie app that is already doing wonders in Europe, and we will be launching it in India in the next month. It helps in connecting a user with the exercises they need to complete to stay on track. Members can track their progress towards their fitness goals and enjoy special offers and deals via the energie app as well.