In an exclusive interview Prateek Sood, Director GLANDSLAM Fitness shares his thoughts over the contemporary Indian Fitness Industry. Prateek also highlights how technology is going to play a pivotal role in paving the future of Indian Fitness and the increased demand for home fitness equipment.
- Has the lockdown changed the fitness industry forever?
Google searches for “fitness near me” is growing almost 40% year on year in India. The gyms and studios which do not have a website and do not have the ability to be discovered online are getting left behind because uniquely for the Indian Market, the organized players only constitute 4% of the market — 96% of the market is unorganized and fragmented.
The way people used to work out may never be the same. People will probably not go back to in-person classes they used once lockdowns are lifted. During this lockdown period, fitness enthusiasts had to pivot quickly to home workouts and live online classes or recorded video sessions and one on one virtual coaching. The active user numbers have been increasing gradually. We actually believe that only 25%-30% of the members will be able to workout in a gym at any given point of time post lockdown opens.
If you talk about the consumption power of the users, we have seen a major rise in the demand for home fitness equipment. Lockdown has created a huge demand for home fitness equipment like exercise bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, and dumbbells. There has been a sharp increase in sales of home fitness equipment.
Therefore, we feel that users are still going to have their physical premises for workouts, but maybe the numbers would be low post lockdown as digital workouts have already created their space in the market and benefit of video workouts is that users can see how bodies are positions, which is very useful.
- How technology is going to pave the way ahead for the Indian fitness industry?
Technology has already been playing a major role in every aspect of business irrespective if it’s fitness or any other. We’ve seen the demand for online fitness classes spike as people are forced to stay home during the lockdown. With yoga, dance routines, and bodyweights workouts among others, the options are endless. Adapting to the digital workout culture is the key. However, the lockdown need not spell the end of your fitness journey. With online fitness classes booming, there are no excuses for not working out even if you can’t hit the gym.
Many fitness influencers are taking the opportunity to promote exercise in the context of general well-being when people are unable to go to the gyms and mental stress is taking a toll on many amidst lockdown. Fitness coaches are holding daily live PE sessions on YouTube and Instagram. This is helping many influencers with increased engagement as they rely on monetization from social networks, making it a smart move all around. For influencers who previously focused on gym-based workouts, there is an opportunity to capitalize on the changing habits of consumers, and to branch out into content that focuses on health and well-being when everyone is scared due to the spread of the virus.
3. How do you look into the Fitness business in the coming year?
As the cascading effects of COVID-19 continue to spread, gym owners and fitness solutions suppliers remain worried. Meanwhile, various fitness brands are building a stronger online presence and discovering new ways to connect with customers with an aim to build a highly loyal and enthusiastic customer base online. In search of light relief from the unnerving situation, people are actively searching for online sessions, group yoga, home workout guides and much more. The improvement of online fitness content, availability of and accessibility to free courses and online support are a few silver linings that have accompanied these uncertain times