How to start a Gym business in India?
According to Statista, the market size of Health and Fitness industry was USD 21.35M in Y2022 and is projected to reach USD 34.60M by Y2027 showing an impressive growth of 9.39% (the global growth rate being 8.72%) (See below table 1 below). The Indian people particularly the young population are more and more aware about the importance of health and fitness. Moreover, everyone wants to look young, fit and have that aesthetic body and with rising disposable income they are willing to spend happily on gym subscription. People have realized that there is no short cut to it and they have to workout to have a healthier and fit body. The best part is that more than 60% of the Indian population is young, one study revealed that only 1.5% of Indian people go to Gym. So you can see the huge gap and also the scope we have here. Lets see how to start a Gym business in India.
Pros and Cons of starting Gym in India
1. Growing fitness awareness
As I mentioned, India is becoming increasingly health-conscious and with a growing awareness of the importance of fitness and a healthy lifestyle, this trend has created a substantial demand for gyms and fitness centers.
2. Contribution to society by making people healthy:
This business not just makes money for you but you are also making people and our country healthy and fit. The young generation of India is the future of our country, if they are healthy then they can in turn contribute to our country’s growth.
3. Cool and fun business:
Starting a gym is one of the coolest business to do in India. Along with working out, you can build good relationships with people. You will come in contact of healthy people which will also drive you to become more healthy and eat healthy food.
4. Profitable model:
Starting a gym would be quite profitable mainly due to the fact that many people pay for the subscriptions but do not come for workout on regular basis and may drop out within a week or two. I know this is not good for them but yea this is the fact. I myself workout on regular basis since many years and except a few I always see change in faces every month.
1. High initial investment:
This is one of the biggest disadvantage of this business. It obviously requires a huge investment in the gym equipment, dumbbells, bars, etc. The best way to tackle this problem is to start with basic equipment. If you don’t have sufficient money, then other option is to either take a loan or ask one your friend to invest in your business. In the next topic, we will see how much money you would need to start a gym in India.
As you know, gym is opened in one particular place and there is limit on how many people you can accommodate in your gym at any particular time. Also, you need to see how to manage the peak hours like morning 6-9 AM and 6-9 PM. You can think of franchising your brand going forward, once your brand has become popular.
Due to high demand, there is going to be high competition in this business. Creating your brand name and standing out would be quite a challenge. You need to be creative and see how you differentiate from other competitors. There are already many big gym brands in India like Cultfit, Talwarkars, Snapfitness, Gold’s gym, etc. You can study them and take inspiration from them.
Investment required to start Gym business in India
The investment would highly vary according to the choice of equipment you want to buy and also which brand do you prefer. According to my research, you may need around INR 36 lacs to start your own gym in India.
|Expense Category||Estimated Cost (INR)|
|Licenses and Permits||10,000|
|Working capital (3 months)|
|Rentals (at least 3000 sq ft.)||150,000|
|Salary for trainers (2 trainers)||150,000|
|Total working capital||350,000|
|Total Investment including working capital||3,650,000|
Steps to start a Gym business in India
1. Research, planning and decide a business model:
This is the most important step. You need to first do a lot of research about the competitors, how much subscription they charge, study about the location and how much money you would actually need. What would be your business model? For example, one is annual, quarterly, monthly subscription model. Other is “Pay as you use” model, where the client will pay for a particular time slot say 1 hour. Other important part is “Professional Training”, what time of training plan you are ready to give and how much you will charge for the same? Further, what kind of services you will provide, basic training, professional training, loga sessions, zumba sessions, HIIT, aerobics, spa, steam, sauna, locker rooms, etc. All these questions and many others needs to be answered before thinking about the second step.
2. Decide the place of business:
Secondly, you need to find a place where you can start a gym business in India. You may need a space of atleast 3000 sq ft. depending on what kind of services you are willing to provide and what are your expansion plans for future. In my opinion, you should aim to find a place which is quite close to residential area and also the rentals are low.
3. Obtain required licenses:
Next, you need to register your business and obtain any necessary licenses or permits as below
- Udyam registration http://udyamregistration.gov.in/
- GST (Goods and Service Tax) registration https://reg.gst.gov.in/registration/
- Company registration like private limited company, partnership or proprietorship firm. I would recommend starting with a proprietorship firm first, then when your business grows you may get into a private limited company.
- PAN card (if it’s a private limited company or partnership, not required if you are starting as a proprietor).
- Don’t forget to take insurance as well because in Gym there is a high chance of injury to people and you should be adequately covered.
Also open a separate current bank account if it’s a private limited company or partnership, not required if you are starting as a proprietor
You can obtain these licenses directly if you have required knowledge. However, I would recommend taking help from a CA or lawyer.
4. Create a brand name and a website:
Develop a brand identity, including a logo, color scheme, and brand name. Brand name should be catchy & simple. Then you should also create your logo and tagline. You can easily create a logo for free using various websites for example, www.canva.com. Further, you should also create a basic website for better branding.
5. Buy the right equipments
Installing the good quality equipment for your gym should be on your priority list. You also need to consider the people’s safety, modern technologies and regular maintenance of these equipments.
The cost of any standard equipment would range between INR 1,000,000 to 40,00,000. It all depends on how far you can go with respect to the cost.
Here are some basic equipments you would need to start a gym – Treadmills, Stationary biCycles, Smith machine, Free weights, dumbbell and bar sets,, yoga mats, Bosu balls, Cable pulleys, weight benches, Ellipticals, Aerobic Steppers, etc.
6. Recruit certified trainers:
This is also one of the crucial step because a good certified trainer who is also good in communication and has a pleasing personality can be game changer for your gym. This is because people identify gym based on their trainers and they are the face of the gym.
You also need to be very clear with trainers about the PT (professional training). What will be the cost of PT and what will be the share of gym and of the trainer.
7. Design a appealing interior of your gym:
The interior of your gym should be amazing where people likes to stay and are attracted towards it. It should not look dull obviously because people will pay you only if are able to attract them with your gym vibe.
8. Marketing and promotion:
Lastly, you need to spend on marketing and promotion of your gym before and after starting the gym. You may try the traditional ways like print and distribute pamphlets, hoardings, etc. and also the new ways of promoting on social media.
You need to keep attractive membership plans in the beginning in order to build your customer base. Once you have a good base, you may think of charging more.
Summing up, this is all you need to start your own gym business in India. It is a growing business and here to stay for long period of time. Further, it is also one of the most profitable business. However, as I mentioned, competition is tough and you need to work very hard at least in the initial phase to build your customer base.
I hope you enjoyed this post and have learnt something out of it that would help you in starting this business in India. If you think I missed out any point and you have any confusion, feel free to share your comments.