Journey to fitness: UFIT’S 360° approach
When UFIT founder Darren Blakeley led his first fitness boot camp in Fort Canning for 10 clients in 2008, he was sure that he would not go the traditional run of the mill operation that was all about machines and monthly memberships. As he gathered a growing band of clients, who heard about his classes by word of mouth, Blakeley met Dean Ahmad, Jeff Halley, and James Forrester, who would soon be his partners in his venture.
Unlike any other startup in the digital age, what these men offer is something not really disruptive. Instead, they are going to the roots of fitness and nutrition coaching whilst at the same time employing a 360° approach in offering technical skills and experience for its boot campers.
Cornerstones of healthy living
“From day one the goal was to offer physiotherapy, nutrition, and fitness as these in my mind are the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. And we recognised our target market would want proper attention to detail; for example, not having to queue for showers,” says Blakeley.
Meanwhile, Ahmad recalls, “Darren and I knew that quality was lacking in Singapore’s fitness industry and we wanted to change that. So I took my chances and went with it. We didn’t spend any money on marketing, the business just grew from word of mouth, and still today that’s how we get most of our business.”
After raising capital and attracting shareholders, Blakeley, Ahmad, and Forrester, with
Halley as an adviser and investor, incorporated their company and opened the first UFIT gym in Amoy Street in August 2011.