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Blog by – Plaban Pratim Saikia

Have you thought of going to the gym but been dissuaded by the high membership fees, lack of exercise options at the neighbourhood gym, inflexible timings, etc. Well, you can bid goodbye to all such worries courtesy Akshay and Arushi Verma. The siblings have started a new startup called FITPASS. The Vermas founded FITPASS in June 2015, a company aimed at making going to the gym economical and convenient. Operations for FITPASS started in January 2016. FITPASS offers plans that allow members the freedom to work out when they want, where they want and how they want, aided by a partner network of 1,250-plus gyms and fitness studios in Delhi NCR.

The startup, which has a staff strength of 22, generated Rs 1 crore in revenue in 2016. It is currently clocking Rs 10 lakh a month and is seeing a 30% month-on-month growth in revenue. It has 6,500 active members on board and more than 50,000 people have downloaded the FITPASS smartphone app. When FITPASS was founded, building the technology to solve the market inefficiencies—high upfront annual fee, lack of gym options, etc, and getting fitness studios and gyms on board the platform were its biggest challenges.

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Prominent gym chains that are part of the FITPASS network include Gold’s Gym, Snap Fitness, and Reebok Crossfit. An extensive network allows FITPASS members the choice to workout near their home, office, the neighbourhood market, etc., at their convenience, and at significantly lower costs. The startup began by offering monthly plans for Rs 2,499, and are currently offer quarterly plans for the same amount. The monthly plan now costs Rs 999. Fitness routines that members have access to range from yoga, Zumba, pilates, and aerobics to kickboxing and Martial Arts.

Training the staff at fitness centres that did partner in the use the startup’s proprietary technology was another tough task to execute. A strong team according to Akshay, helped the company get past these hurdles. The company’s technology, partner, and customer teams have worked hard to introduce the concept to our partners and customers, as well as educate and orient partners with the technological process. Started with an investment of Rs 20 lakh, put in by the co-founders, FITPASS raised Rs 6.7 crore in seed funding from Mumbai angels and a consortium of Delhi and Bengaluru-based angel investors in December 2016. The funds will be used to expand the company’s presence in South India, starting with Bengaluru. The company also plan to expand their bouquet of offerings with the launch of new verticals, and have just come out with a nutrition service for their customers.

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Initially, convincing gyms to come onboard was tough, but our value proposition gradually enticed them. According to experts – the bigger challenge for startups in organizing fitness market comes from the consumer side. Meanwhile, people perceive a challenge today because accessing fitness is difficult. Apart from maintaining the routine despite work/personal time commitments, most gyms require customers to make upfront commitments of thousands of rupees – that’s not the kind of disposable income the mass market commands yet.

FITPASS already sells nutritional and health supplements besides sportswear and athletic merchandise via its marketplace. Fitness consciousness is rapidly rising in India and the siblings are trying to make fitness and everything related to it easily accessible and affordable to the Indian consumer. The opportunity for organising a highly-fragmented fitness market is undoubtedly lucrative. According to a study by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Indian fitness and slimming market was estimated at Rs 60,000 crore in 2012. The fitness and wellness industry seems to be standing at the inflection point, and new models for aggregation will disrupt this sector in the coming years.

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BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.


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