THE “NEXT BIG THING” FOR FITNESS IN INDIA
From traditional akharas to well-furnished gyms, the fitness industry in India has traveled a long road. Poised at an inflection point with stupendous potential for market growth, several business models are emerging to disrupt this industry.
The question here is: How can fitness be made available to all kinds of people at a minimal cost, with flexible hours, and without sacrificing cleanliness and hygiene? “Micro-gym” is a groundbreaking concept that can address this concern. While the concept is yet to become generalized in India, one brand has taken the responsibility to provide this dynamic workout environment with a flexible setting. This is the story of FitKube, a Bangalore-based, first-of-its-kind Microgym in India, showing a high potential for rapid growth.
Our captivating edition, “Brand of the Year 2022,” honors the brands that are striking new ground to redefine existing settings. And FitKube arrived for us like a beautiful puzzle piece. To learn more about the brand and its underlying mission, we spoke with the brand’s curator, Mr. Mallikarjuna Reddy K (Founder & Director). Here’s a summary of the conversation.
CREATING THE PITCH TO EXCEED FITNESS GOALS
In 2020, Mallikarjuna launched FitKube to help Indians refocus on their fitness objectives, which had been severely disrupted by COVID. The time was characterized by a financial crisis, and as businesses cut back on staff, going to the gym became an indulgence. On the contrary, gyms began shutting down because of lockdowns and social distancing. As time passed, he observed people eschewing an active lifestyle due to a lack of immunity and fitness. While he was doing well abroad as a Senior Consultant at a reputed firm, he couldn’t stand the distress.
Being a fitness enthusiast, he sought to change the scenario. He left his lucrative job and returned to India, pondering different ideas. His efforts finally brought forth the concept of micro-gym, which was already making waves abroad. He planned on redefining fitness in India with this innovation, thus launching FitKube, the first smart Micro gym in the subcontinent.
FitKube is not a typical go-to gym; it is a unique fitness studio stacked with the latest equipment’s, fully customizable, private, pay-per-workout, unmanned, and completely automated. With a vision to make individuals of all age groups “fit & fine,” it’s offering everyone, irrespective of financial status, a private gym to workout in peace, stream their own music, and get their sweat on without being judged.
It delivers a targeted and distinctive personal fitness experience and promotes a sense of community among its members, in contrast to standard gyms that don’t expressly focus on tailored training but instead have a floor meticulously designed to maximize fitness for all.
SUPERSEEDING THE “BIG GYM” MODEL
Since the pandemic, the fitness scene in India has undergone a drastic upheaval. Financial difficulties during this time caused people to cut back on their exercise. Gym operations became more challenging and expensive as they needed a large space, the requisite tools, and all the overhead costs like insurance, first aid, technology, staff, and so forth. Even though things are better now, the setbacks have affected mental and physical wellness, stimulating chronic disorders such as diabetes, cardiac diseases, hypertension, and so on.
FitKube is an all-encompassing answer to all these setbacks. It is built on the premise that physical activity is the most effective approach to combat many ailments and foster a sense of autonomy and reliance. It is purposefully small to preserve cleanliness and hygiene and keep users’ attention on training priorities.
FitKube is also dispelling the myth that private gyms and fitness are just for the elite. Instead of the existing exorbitant subscriptions, obstinate mobility, fixed costs, cluttered, not targeted to individuals, and so on, the brand offers a ROI-driven experience. Its dynamic pricing model throughout the day caters to Rich, mid-to-low-income
individuals, and students – all while giving them a chance to exercise and have fun. To put it together, FitKube is offering the best of both worlds: a quiet and professional space for fitness enthusiasts to push their limits with the benefits of a high-end gym.
YOUR OWN TIME, YOUR OWN GYM
Another aspect that makes FitKube stand out is the focus on privacy. Indians, especially women, are always concerned about their privacy during workout sessions. While gyms generally foster a sense of respect and harmony, women avoid going to gyms due to fear of criticism. On top of that, a trad gym setting might be overwhelming and daunting for a beginner.
FitKube takes privacy inside the gym to the next level. “As a human-free facility,” Mallikarjuna says, “every woman will find the full seclusion she needs in her session.” This will motivate them to focus on their fitness goals with the correct tools and in a lively setting. The limited floor area also enables women to train using a range of creative exercises centered on different aesthetics, creating a more definitive workout experience.
A STATE-OF-THE-ART FITNESS STUDIO
Technology has become an intrinsic part of our way of life, from connectivity to education and entertainment. FitKube has therefore elevated itself above the typical technological bastion of gyms. It’s supervised via an app that oversees everything from entry to payment for each session. The facilities are equipped with IoT to facilitate each session properly, i.e., it automatically switches power on/off before and after the user session, respectively. This fosters transparency and helps build solid business fundamentals.
On the other hand, each FitKube is fitted with world-class equipment. Although they vary from one FitKube to the next, there are around 500 exercises that can be done, like HIIT, cardio, resistance, and strength training, as well as free weight workouts, circuit training, compound exercises, yoga, and so on, covering the entire body.
FitKube emphasizes functional training rather than working out individual portions because today’s fitness enthusiasts prefer exercising their bodies as an integrated unit. In a minimal space, it offers a chance to practice high-intensity exercises, cross-fit, resistance training to develop strength and endurance, and more.
EXPLORING NEW LIMITS TO CONQUER
FitKube is on a mission to make Indians prioritize fitness like every other key aspect of their lives. In light of that, the brand is already making a name for itself in Bangalore. Satisfied customers are the best marketers, and FitKube has achieved an outstanding rating. It’s seeing a steady increase in users and strives to reach more and more people, helping them realize its benefits. As the founder explains, “Once they know about FitKube, they fall in love with it.” “We aim to spread the message that exercising in a healthy setting can help people avoid getting sick and dealing with unpleasant treatments.”
In the end, FitKube aims to establish a precedent for innovative “Made in India” brands. Even though it is in the early stages of continuous revenue generation, the brand has ambitious goals. For instance, they want to expand into children’s sports & fitness, giving their FitKube Community a new feather. Given this, it is logical to assume that Mallikarjuna, a modern-day fitness lover, has a unique aim. By transforming the standard gym model into something extraordinary, he has given the maxim “Start small, remain small” a new charm. Over a billion people’s lives are expected to be impacted by FitKube eventually, especially in rural India, where fitness is a delusion.
As ambitious as this may sound, the nation has seen a rise in digitalization, which will help the FitKube concept take off.
INSPIRING ADVICE FROM THE LUMINARY
“Never be hesitant to take calculated risks for the good of society. Even if you might fail, failure is a better teacher than success. Keep your attention on the now and relish each step of your entrepreneurial journey. Recall that you only have one life. Don’t settle for mediocrity or you’ll likely be one of a billion people.”
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