GETTING INTO THE FITNESS ROUND
Fascinated by the amazing world of business, Gurvinder Singh, CEO, 9Round, did his graduation in business and started assisting his father in their real estate venture in Punjab. His firm was the first one in the state to build a multiplex. It was only when he moved to Canada that the idea of starting a fitness club struck his mind, which led to the birth of Gurukirpa Fitness (P) Ltd. Thereafter, he, along with his father-in-law, bought the master franchise of 9Round and established two clubs in Canada, which are now a booming success. This was to be expected considering that globally, the health and fitness industry generates more than USD 80 billion revenue, per year.
In India, the fitness market amounted to USD 908 million in 2018 and is expected to rise at a CAGR of 9% or more. It is forecast to touch USD 1.3 billion by 2022. The reason is simple: people have become more concerned about their fitness and health and don’t mind shelling out money on the gym’s membership. “The rise in lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart ailments has led more people to move towards a healthier lifestyle which has become a way of life for people between 20-45 years,” says Gurvinder Singh, CEO, 9Round.
The Fitness Approach
What differentiates 9Round from the others is that not only does it make you fit but it does so through the most effective workouts which are time-efficient and result-oriented. The concept is that any customer of any fitness level can go to the gym, work out, and in 30 minutes burn up to 500 calories. What makes the workout in 9Round more comfortable is that there is no fixed schedule of batches. You can simply walk in and walk out at any time. “You always have a trainer to guide you through your workouts and encourage you to achieve your goals. And we don’t charge extra for this! Besides, every member gets nutrition guidance to complement his or her fitness and weight loss programs,” Singh informs.
The gym offers a kickboxing-themed fitness program that incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. The programs consist of a proprietary system of nine challenging workout stations developed by a professional fighter. “Here you do a different set of workout every day, lasting three minutes each with an active break of 30 seconds between the stations. Scientifically designed by the head office in the USA, it includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercises,” he adds.
“There is no physical contact during this and you will see an all-round development of your body. You will feel a sense of achievement at the end of each workout and see your body shape improve. You receive a new workout every day for 365 days,” Singh says. Besides, the gym also offers 9Round Pulse, a wearable heart rate technology which makes it easier than ever to get the results one desires. It tracks the effort you put into the workouts and so you always know if there is a need to work harder or slow down to burn fat and improve your health.
Using the Franchise Option
9Round is a very franchise-friendly concept and a 100% profitable model for hands-on franchisees because it is inexpensive to set up and the running costs are less than 75% of the regular gyms. “We are planning to open in 200 locations across India in the next 10 years. It is a totally new concept and vastly different from any other gym available in India. If an existing gym owner buys one and co-locates it with a regular gym, it will do even better because it will give the customer a better choice in choosing what he or she likes best. We are not afraid of competition because we believe in our concept,” Singh states.
Referring to the qualities 9Round looks for in a franchisee, Singh says, “The successful franchisee must be enthusiastic, love fitness, have a good location and get exceptional trainers on board. A franchisee should follow the standard operating procedures and not try and reinvent the wheel.” The brand offers regular ongoing training even after the initial set-up updates on procedures that need to be adhered to. “We will monitor and help franchises tweak any shortcomings as the business develops,” Singh apprises.
It is not only the workouts that are monitored but also business practices, customer complaints, human resource problems, upkeep of premises, etc. Regular channels of feedback are kept open. “There will also be an ‘on call’ availability of a franchise coach for guidance and monthly or quarterly conference calls,” he adds. Besides, franchisees are invited to attend seminars and conferences held by the parent company in the US for updates in fitness regimes and health trends. “We also present awards for various categories to honor those who are doing well,” Singh says.
Number of Stores: 780 stores worldwide, 1 in India
Investment: 50 to 80 Lakhs
Area: 1200- 2000 sqft
Expected ROI: 20- 50%
Expected Break-Even: 1 year 7 months- 3 years 5 months.