A fitness career is something that one should opt for, and with K11 School of fitness, the vocational journey seems a step ahead. Founded in 2003, in Santacruz East, Mumbai the K11 School of Fitness Sciences has established itself as a forerunner in the field of fitness education globally. Providing an extremely immersive learning experience for its students, the institute is dedicated to building stellar careers for individuals who aspire to have a bright future in the fitness industry.
In an exclusive interview with Rajeev Biswas, from Sportz Business Fitness Magazine, Ms Kalyani Capadia, the CEO of the K11 School of Fitness Sciences, shares her thoughts on spending years in regards to the development of the K11 Education institute, bringing it up to the level of standard of excellence.
Let’s read her what she has to say, behind setting up a fitness infrastructure
Q Please tell us a little about yourself and what drove you to start a fitness institute?
I have always been into athletic pursuits all throughout my school and college. I was a kabaddi player, I have also done extensive Rock Climbing, Mountaineering and Trekking. For these athletic pursuits, I understood the need for strength and that drove me to working out with weights. At one of the treks, I came across the concept of being a Personal Trainer, that drove me to do a course in Personal Training, and the only one at that time was the LM Fitness Academy. The founder, director of K11 School of Fitness Sciences, Mr. Kaizzad Capadia, was teaching classes on strength training and sports nutrition. I decided to work with him, when he set-up his first gym, as a consultant. I worked there as a successful Personal Trainer from 2000 till 2003. Then Kaizzad set-up his Co-Founded his own company, with a 50% partner Devaki Khimji, K11.
K11 back then was a Gym, Set-up and Management Consultancy Firm. I joined in and as a role of a Club General Manager, then rose to Head of Sales, and then as the company grew, I took on the responsibility of the Chief Executive. I actually enjoyed sales, administration, creating processes and systems, enabling the company with tech. I enjoyed it because I was good at it. This is how I became the CEO.
Q Tell us about your work that you have been doing on fitness nowadays with K11 School of Fitness Sciences?
Since I am the CEO of a Vocational Education School that provides education to aspiring Personal Trainers and Sports Nutritionists, my work involves efficiently running the corporate body, which is K11 Education Pvt. Ltd. Overlooking Finance, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Human Resources, Admin, Purchase and Maintenance Departments. Currently, I am working on developing an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) for K11 schools and the next will be LMS (Learning Management System).
A system that will provide an end-to-end solution for managing K11 Schools. Right now, we are using many separate systems, and managing to integrate them, which I find is not the most efficient way. It is working very well for us; our values have ‘kaizen’ imbibed and hence no matter what works well; I have to find a better, more efficient way. The new ERP & LMS will do just that.
I currently have my hands full, working on launching The K11 School of Yog, that will launch the Yoga Alliance accredited, Yoga Council Board aligned, RYS 400, Yog Prashikshak Course. The K11 Group Instructors Course is next in the Pipeline.
Q Kindly take us through your fitness routine and what’s your personal mantra for fitness?
I have always loved strength training and always wanted to be physically stronger since my childhood. Being the CEO of K11 carries with it certain privileges and hence I am fortunate to have a private gym set-up. I work out, intensely with weights Thrice a week, plus engage in running or cycling on the other 3 days. On Sundays, I devote myself to my new-found passion that is Off-Road Motorcycling. I ride dirt bikes on trails & on dirt tracks..
Q What unique offerings K11 School of Fitness Sciences are providing compared to others?
What is unique, actually should not be unique. We at K11 are still quite surprised that we are the only proper Brick & Mortar School of Fitness Sciences. In this tiny domain of education in Fitness Sciences that is provided to aspiring Personal Trainers, who wish to make a career in the Fitness Industry, we are the only ones with a proper infrastructure, including fully equipped gym floors as Labs for the practical module of our course. We have specially trained Teachers of Exercise Science, Sports Nutrition, Pure Sciences such as Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Bio-Energetics, Resistance Exercise Specific, lifting Biomechanics taught by Master Trainers. We have a team of 55 Teachers and 5 Assessors. Our Personal Trainers textbook is our copyrighted IP, valued at a making cost of 1.5 Crores (CA Certified).
At 222 face to Face hours of teaching, our syllabus is the longest in duration and hence the most extensive in the industry. Our Course is Recognised by Register for Exercise Professionals India (REPS INDIA). Each student that passes our intensive assessments automatically gets a oneyear membership with REPS INDIA, under Category-A (Personal Trainer).
This makes a candidate’s credentials and qualifications, portable in Australia, New Zealand, UAE, South Africa, Ireland and Poland. Portability ensures that our student who immigrates to these countries does not have to spend again on education in the above countries if he so chooses to work there.
Q Kindly tell us more about your Interactive A.V. equipped classrooms at K11 School of Fitness Sciences?
Luckily, before we got into the lockdown in 2020, we had invested in the technology to handle staff training and meetings in each of our locations. With the availability of tech, we have ensured that each of our staff should have slides to teach and get themselves comfortable with all the tech and systems that they would have to use.
Once we got permission from NSDC to operate schools, we invested further in technology and hardware. The teachers have made a lot of effort to go from offline teaching to online teaching. Now, they enjoy using the 3D animation slides, as well as annotations available on zoom. The session becomes more live and interactive with these tools.
To make sure students have an excellent learning experience, we have got smart LED projectors that project on a big screen and we have a digital audio system as well. The teacher also uses Ultra Zoom Digital PTZ cameras that have the features to pan and tilt 360 degree, and the classrooms are equipped with 12x optical Zoom to help teachers in showing the content written on the whiteboard with a very high level of clarity.
Q Give us the details about various training programs of K11 School of Fitness Sciences for aspiring fitness enthusiasts and also the fee structure?
The Diploma in Personal Training Course (Course Fees Rs.83200.00), which is the foundation course in Exercise Science that provides comprehensive theoretical and practical education, equipping the student with the knowledge base and tools to professionally practice as a qualified, certified Personal Trainer in the fitness industry.
The second course is in Certified Sports Nutritionist (CSN), (Course fee Rs. 60,000.00), and is specially designed to help qualified Nutritionists, Personal Trainers/ Gym Instructors and Group Fitness Instructors obtain the knowledge required to prescribe Nutrition Plans for active, exercising individuals & even competitive athletes. It is about learning Nutrition that is geared towards optimal performance & body composition.
The third is CPT for Special Populations (Course Fees – RS. 60,000.00) which gives Certified Personal Trainers the added knowledge of various metabolic, musculoskeletal disorders and the contra-indications vis-a-vis those medical conditions.
The fourth one is the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) program (Course Fees – RS.60,000.00) which is the most widely recognized and accepted CPT certification in the fitness industry of the United States of America. With their partners in 45 countries and certified fitness professionals in over 90 countries across the world, NASM also commands a strong global identity.
The fifth one is a Yog Prashikshak Course (Course Fee – 83,200.00). This course is curated and developed by extremely highly qualified exponents of yoga, the K11 Yog Prashikshak Course is one of the most comprehensive and professionally oriented Yoga Teacher Training programs available across the country. Along with all the above, the K11 Yog Prashikshak course will also make the qualified students a member of the Register for Exercise Professionals, India Foundation (REPS India) under Category D as a Yoga Teacher.
Q After finishing the course in fitness, tell us more on what is the role played by the K11 School of Fitness Sciences in offering a placement for individuals who want to make a career in fitness?
K11 has a dedicated placement department that looks after placements for all K11 graduates. We organise an online or offline presentation for the ongoing batches by gym owners or online fitness platforms who want to employ K11 students, if any student is interested, they contact the gym owners directly. Gym owners do connect with us for the recruitment. We verify each gym before sending the students to them and then we get the interview organised.
Passing the interview is completely on the student. We do take a lot of efforts in training them about grooming and presentation which helps them in clearing the interview. As NSDC funded partners, we do have a social mandate of placing students and I am very happy to state that we have been right on target.
Q Shed some light towards K11 School of Fitness Sciences Recognitions, partnerships and affiliations?
Our stellar record has earned us the privilege of being a Funded Partner of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), since 2016. K11 School of Fitness Sciences meets International standards as laid down by the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPS) and is hence the first school in the country to be recognised by the country’s only Professional register for fitness professionals.
Noteworthy, that the K11 School of Fitness Sciences is the only school that has been provided with an Outstanding Grade by the auditing body PD: Approval and is recognised as a Centre of Excellence. The K11 Diploma in Personal Training course meets the National Occupational Standards set by SPEFL-SC for the job role of a Fitness Trainer and is aligned to the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) Level – IV. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), USA, a worldwide leader in fitness education recently partnered with the K11 School of Fitness Sciences providing access to the added qualifications offered by the best-in-class, online global fitness education by NASM.
Q How do you see the fitness industry in India post COVID?
Covid-19 hit our business badly, and yet with innovations, we seamlessly moved to Video Conferencing Live, Interactive, Classrooms. We now have a dual capability of both Brick & Mortar plus remote Classrooms, enhancing our reach immensely. Many of our alumni, after becoming jobless, due to the gyms shutting down, adapted beautifully to training their clients over video conferencing. This increased penetration of the Fitness Services has shot up over a year, to the extent of a rise that would have normally taken 5 years. We truly believe that once the lockdowns cease, we will see a resurgence of investments into new commercial gyms and gym chains, to meet the increased demand of gym goers that are frustrated with working out at home.
Just recently in February 2021, before they again shut the gyms down in march, K11 received a lot of requests for recruitment of Personal Trainers. We hope that things will return to normalcy post the first week of May.
Q Kindly tell us more about your pan India expansion, how soon can we see the K11 School of Fitness Sciences across India?
We are working on setting up K11 practical’s labs all over India with our equipment partner “Being strong” The K11 labs will be equipped with “Being Strong’ Equipment. So, in the next few years, we are looking at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Indore, Surat, Chennai and many such cities. We have also been approached by the Kerala Government to set up our school in their skilling centres so that is also part of the plan. Right now, with the travel and quarantine restrictions, it is hard to get these projects off the ground.
A K11 School in Dubai is also on the cards in the next 6 months.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.