Fitness sector benefiting from rising awareness, affluence
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.