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Article

Overcoming social pressure against joining fitness industry in India

By Abhinav Malhotra | In Articles, Kettlebell | on
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This may seem to be an economic article rather being a fitness article, but I felt the desire to write it. Just got an email in which I am invited to a conference which mentions that the PricewaterhouseCoopers report to FICCI says that the wellness industry will touch Rs. 1 lakh crore (1 trillion) mark by 2015 in India and will continue to see the growth of double digit. The wellness industry includes Spas , Salon & beauty Centers, Gym, Fitness Center & Clubs, Dieticians & Nutritionists, Training institutes, resorts etc.

In an economy where the overall GDP growth is struggling to come even close to the double digit mark, this report of PwC to FICCI speaks volumes about the potential the wellness industry has to offer.

Fitness and slimming industry alone comprises 1/10th of the overall wellness industry has a CAGR of 25%. With organized fitness services available only in Tier I cities and very few Tier II cities (that too in very small ratios), one can estimate the enormous growth potential this industry has to offer. The reasons are quite simple :

1)      Poor Indian lifestyle

2)      Growth of fast-food restaurant chains

3)      Huge population

4)      Favorable demographics

5)      Rise of sports culture

6)      Influence of Bollywood and sports celebrities

7)      HUGE SCARCITY OF GOOD FITNESS PROFESSIONALS

Not surprisingly, we see new gyms/slimming & wellness centres coming up in the locality everyday which creates an even higher demand of qualified fitness professionals. The money a fitness professional earns is purely based on his skills and marketing ability, which can certainly surpass an income of an MBA or Doctor or CA if one is skillful enough (generally speaking).

This was about the numbers !!!

If we talk about the social aspect, the main reason why people prefer other white collar professions over fitness is that fitness is generally not regarded very highly as a profession in the society. One of the main reason is again – SCARCITY of qualified fitness professionals. A “fitness trainer” in general is perceived to be an uneducated trainer of a local gym or ‘akhada’ !!!

But the trend is already changing in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Kolkata and will eventually enter Tier II & III cities where more and more people are now understanding the importance of qualified fitness trainers/nutritionists and are getting inclined towards taking personal training & nutrition services from them. Thanks to the growing awareness about formal education in this field which is a “specialization” on its own just like any other specialized field.

Personally I see no reason why a fitness trainer/nutritionist should be in any way inferior to a Doctor. People go to the doctors to get treated with common lifestyle disorders like obesity, cholesterol, uric acid, diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, lower back problems, cancer etc which can be prevented from occurring by following a healthy & fit lifestyle. Everyone wants to follow a healthy & fit lifestyle, but don’t know whom to consult for the same. If prevention is better than cure, then a fitness trainer/nutritionist should be better than a doctor !!?? Well NO…but both are as important and as dignified as the other in their own way !!!

Same goes with entrepreneurship in this industry. With the growth of trends like franchising, patents and trademarks, new concepts in fitness & wellness industry, an entrepreneurial venture like gym, fitness club, training centre can go leaps and bounds and can match the ones other industries have to offer !!!

Abhinav Malhotra

Founder, CEO and Master Coach

Ballistic Kettlebell Fitness Academy

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