Yes the plane is built to fly but for that the engine has to work efficiently: A cover story on Vivekanand Palaniappan

Blog by: Pratibha Purohit


The above mentioned phrase can also be interpreted as, “Yes you are born to rise, to grow, to succeed, to buildup yourself and to fly..! -But when all these things will come out as we want..? -Vivekanand Palaniappan The moment our body will accompany us with all its soul throughout this journey”. This interpretation purely reflects the life of Vivekanand Palaniappan, former pilot, a fitness enthusiast and of course founder and managing director of most popular fitness centre chain “Fitness First” in South India.

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Early Days

Vivekanand Palaniappan pursued his bachelor’s degree in Physics from Loyola College, Chennai. Later he moved to United States from where he carried out flight training and came out as a Flight and Ground Instructor and later got posted in Air Nevada as a cargo pilot to serve United States Postal and Parcel Service.

The incident which acted as an eye opener

Being a cargo pilot, lifting heavy load became a part of life from him and once he developed an acute injury in his backbone. Neither of the treatments but yoga and exercise made the difference and nursed him back to live normal life again. This suffering period acted as an eye opener and he realized that no matter what you want to achieve in your life but focus on nurturing your body first.

And the first flight took off in 2004

After serving 17 years for US as cargo pilot and flight instructor, Vivekanand returned to India in 2003. After he returned as he found interest in fitness, hence thought of opening a fitness centre. As this field was totally new for him, he did some research on market and economics. Once he got acquainted to the strategies and work plans, he took a step ahead by opening the first outlet of “Fitness First” Alwarpet, Chennai with the staff of 25 employees.

Current Status

Today the man has proudly widened his limits by running over 50 centers of “Fitness First” in all the major cities of South India. Vivekanand didn’t confine himself up to this; later the company expanded itself into personal branded fitness equipment business. Not only this, subsequently he launched two more successful brands “PINK” fitness – the leading chain of women’s only fitness clubs and “ PROPEL” – Fitness equipment stores. His latest venture is the “NOW LIFE” brand of life style products & gifts, starting with the “NOW” brand of watches to be followed by NOW LIFE brand of sunglasses.

The idea of introducing “PINK”

On asking that what prompted him to begin PINK, he says, “Not every woman is comfortable working out with men, especially in the South which is more conservative. Pink was born out of that insight. We had a lot of Muslim clients who wanted to work out. So ROI became a biggest problem. Given how expensive real estate is, smaller centers made sense”.

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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.