Fit­ness sec­tor ben­e­fit­ing from ris­ing aware­ness, af­flu­ence

The Economic Times - - Power Of Ideas -

How is In­dia’s fit­ness mar­ket evolv­ing? The over­all space is evolv­ing at a very rapid pace. Ten years ago if at a pop­u­lar run­ning event you found 100 peo­ple, you will find 14,000-15,000 peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing in such events now. That is the level of aware­ness that has hap­pened in the last 15 years. Ex­trap­o­late this with GDP growth and ris­ing af­flu­ence and you can con­clude why the fit­ness sec­tors is grow­ing at a fast pace.

What ad­van­tage do digital so­lu­tions have over off­line gyms and fit­ness clubs? Digital so­lu­tions can grow at a much faster rate since set­ting up gyms and health clubs across In­dia will be a heavy capex busi­ness and can grow only city by city. But thanks to in­creas­ing in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion, digital health busi­nesses can growth at a very rapid rate. Health­i­fyMe has cus­tomers in 200 cities since their ap­proach is dif­fer­ent. Phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture is very poor in In­dia so tak­ing time out to go to a gym has enough fric­tion points than in Western coun­tries.

Will we see a mar­ket leader soon in the digital fit­ness space? Are we likely to see con­sol­i­da­tion? It is yet very early for con­sol­i­da­tion in this space. Each of these com­pa­nies will be­come lead­ers in their own ar­eas and then they are go­ing to ex­pand hor­i­zon­tally, as it hap­pened in ecom­merce.

Is the digital fit­ness model scal­able? Do you think peo­ple are will­ing to pay for such so­lu­tions? Yes, it very scal­able. One in­struc­tor is ca­pa­ble of as­sist­ing many more peo­ple than an in­struc­tor does in a gym. Peo­ple are will­ing to pay. How­ever, there is a hu­man as­sis­tance layer that is re­quired for peo­ple to be will­ing to pay. We have seen that be­hind the digital fa­cade, if there is a hu­man layer, then peo­ple’s will­ing­ness to pay goes up.

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