Jour­ney to fit­ness: UFIT’S 360° ap­proach

Singapore Business Review - - FIRST -

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.

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