The fitness industry in India is steadily growing. Awareness around health, nutrition, and fitness are increasing. This has led to a rise in fitness centres in the country. Fitness centres and gyms are lucrative business opportunities that can yield high returns. Follow this guide to learn about the booming Indian fitness industry and its future.
The Global Fitness Market
Before we understand the Indian fitness landscape, it is important to keep in mind the global market size. Globally, health and fitness are one of the largest industries. The global health and fitness market was valued at over $54 billion in 2021. This accounts for over 2,01,000 health and fitness centres in the world.
The fitness industry is expected to grow at 33.1% CAGR. This would increase the global market size to around $59 billion by 2027. Therefore, despite the losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fitness industry has begun bouncing back.
Growth of the Indian Fitness Industry
The Indian fitness industry has seen huge growth in the recent decade. Wellness has always been deeply ingrained in the Indian culture through Yoga and Ayurveda. However, the popularity of fitness centres has only begun taking off. In 2017, according to a Deloitte report, the Indian fitness industry surpassed $1.1 billion in market value. Therefore, fitness is an ever-expanding market in the country.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a massive dip in fitness admissions. Despite initial setbacks, the Indian fitness industry has been quick to adopt a post-pandemic business model which has proved to be extremely successful. According to Business Wire, the Indian sports and fitness market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.6% during 2021-2026. This indicates high demand and a growing customer base.
The Fitness Equipment Market
Apart from fitness centres, the fitness equipment market is parallelly growing. Starting a fitness centre requires some exposure and experience in the fitness industry. Hiring the right trainers, and creating a strong brand image is a challenging task. However, the fitness equipment industry offers interesting business opportunities for entrepreneurs with varying levels of experience.
The fitness equipment market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15% by 2023. According to a report, the Northern region (Delhi/NCR, Punjab, Haryana, and Uttarakhand) is expected to map the highest market growth in the country. The fitness equipment industry has faced lesser setbacks during the pandemic. Since this industry caters to both B2B as well as B2C demographics, it has a wider customer base.
Top 10 Gym Brands in India
There are several popular gym brands in India. With increasing awareness around fitness, gyms are rapidly expanding across tier one and tier two cities. The most popular gym brands are pan-India chains. Their business model includes prime locations, high-quality trainers, one-stop fitness centres, and online training modules.
An analysis of these brands will offer insight into how they function. You can then incorporate similar tactics in your business model to gain an edge over local competitors. Given below are the top 10 gym brands in India.
1. Ozone Fitness & Spa
The Ozone Fitness & Spa centre was started in 2002. It is an eco-friendly and popular all-around fitness centre in India. Commonly known as O3, it is a luxurious gym. Apart from gyms, the brand also offers services such as spas, aerobics, yoga, and many other specific exercise programs. It has over 30,000 members and was also given the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for the best eco-friendly fitness club in India.
Headquartered in New Delhi, the fitness centre has around 25 gyms spread across India. The gym has certified trainers along with dietitians and physiotherapists for all-round fitness. Their wide range of activities and spacious and hygienic facilities make O3 a popular choice.
2. Gold’s Gym
Gold’s Gym is an international fitness chain that was first started in 1922 in America. It is one of the most popular, luxurious, and well-equipped chains in India. Gold’s Gym started in India in 2003. Currently, there are 150 fitness centres across 25 states with more in the works.
Apart from one-on-one training, Gold’s Gym also offers trainer certification programs. Under the Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute, they offer specialization courses unavailable anywhere else. Additionally, the international chain launched its mobile app for remote workouts, schedules, and bookings. With on-site nutritionists, they cater to every member’s diet plans as well.
3. Fluid Fitness
Fluid Fitness is a lifestyle fitness brand established in 2004 in India. They claim world-class fitness experience and have their headquarters situated in Delhi. With around 30 branches spread across India, the company has over 20,000 active members. Fluid Fitness specializes in providing a variety of services to its members. That includes a gym, Ayurveda, aerobics, and spa.
The nearly 23-year-old fitness club was started in 1999 in Pune, Maharashtra. Apart from gyms, the club is also focused on outdoor and indoor sports. It has five outlets in Pune and has several thousand members. With on-demand personal trainers and nutritionists, it is one of the best fitness clubs in Pune.
5. Fitness One
Headquartered in Chennai, Fitness One was started in 2008. It is one of the fastest-growing gyms in India. With a 25% yearly growth, the gym continues to add more members and employees to its chains. Fluid Fitness has over 50 fitness centres and over 110 managed facilities across India.
Fluid Fitness provides free personal training and the option of at-home training. Fluid Fitness has partnered with India’s largest women’s fitness chain Pink. That has aided in the expansion of the company’s gyms and facilities in India.
6. Anytime Fitness
Anytime Fitness is an American fitness brand that was founded in 2002. The brand has over 4,500 facilities in 50 countries. In 2021, Anytime Fitness reached a goal of establishing 100 gyms across India.
According to their motto, their gym is open 24/7 along with personal trainers. Anytime Fitness has some of the most well-equipped facilities in India. From cardio and weightlifting equipment to lifestyle and wellness programs, they offer a variety of services.
7. Fitness First
Fitness First is another successful international fitness brand that has found a large customer base in India. Founded in 1993 in the United Kingdom, it has 380 fitness clubs in 17 countries with over 10 lakh members.
Fitness First created the first fitness mall in India in Noida. They have luxurious facilities with every possible amenity and highly competitive pricing. Apart from personal training, they also offer specialized group workout sessions.
8. Snap Fitness
Started in 2003 by Peter Taunton in the United States, Snap Fitness has built a large global brand name. In India, Snap Fitness has over 60 clubs with more than 1 lakh active members.
They have a large community of fitness enthusiasts and trainers that help members. Their core focus is on personal and functional training to get the best results. The company has also been featured twice in the Entrepreneur Magazine.
9. 48 Fitness
48 Fitness is a popular Indian fitness chain that was started by Vijay Thakkar, a qualified nutrition and fitness expert. The gym chain even won the “Best Fitness Centre of the Year 2015” award. Located in Mumbai, the fitness centre offers all types of fitness training.
Additionally, it offers some unique services such as anti-depression coaching, weight management, anti-ageing, and anti-illness with nutrition planning.
Talwalkers is one of the oldest fitness clubs in India. Established in 1932, it is India’s largest chain of health clubs. It has around 152 health clubs across 80 cities in India with over 2 lakh members. Headquartered in Mumbai, the fitness chain also has a customer base in Sri Lanka. Services offered by the brand are gyms, yoga, weight loss, Zumba, diet counselling, and much more.
Should You Get a Fitness Franchise Instead?
Starting a fitness brand from scratch is an enormous task. Due to the ever-increasing demand for fitness centres, franchises are a great option, to begin with, a head start. An original fitness brand will need to amass a following and customer base. Building an audience from scratch takes a lot of time, money, and patience. This is where franchises have an edge.
Franchises do require a large investment, but you get an established customer base, company support, and immediate brand recognition. These factors can help propel your business forward quickly. All the gyms listed above have franchise options.
Additionally, emerging gym brands such as Cultfit are becoming extremely popular. With celebrity endorsements and mainstream advertisements, you do not have to worry about marketing as well. Therefore, if you have a large capital, you should explore the option of various fitness franchises.
How has COVID-19 Changed the Indian Fitness Industry?
The COVID-19 pandemic presented a new challenge for the Indian fitness industry. Due to lockdowns and social distancing, the gym industry took a hit and suffered initial losses.
However, with the pandemic gradually flattening out, gyms have begun recuperating. Many leading gyms have optimized their business model into remote memberships.
Through online personal training and fitness sessions, gyms have made the transition to an online model.
Another shift that can be seen is sanitation. An increased focus on hygiene, COVID-19 testing, temperature scans, sanitization, and social distancing has helped people get back to physical gyms. While gyms were closed due to lockdowns, the home fitness industry had practically no effect.
Home fitness equipment saw an increase in sales and thus, online fitness classes filled the gap subsequently.
Presently, physical gyms have opened but this could change based on the outbreak and government mandates. However, the fitness industry has begun growing again. Foreign investments and fitness chains like Gold’s Gym and Snap Fitness are also expanding in the country. This has boosted awareness around fitness in India despite the pandemic.
India has one of the youngest populations in the world. According to statistics, over 67% of India’s population is in the age range of 15-64. Additionally, the youth comprise over 34% or around 440 million people. As the population continues to rise, the demand for gyms and fitness centres will increase as well. Fitness centres can offer high returns when planned strategically. Thus, with proper planning and research, you can start a fitness centre today.