By @Connectvj –Interview with Dr. Samir Kapoor, Founder at Multifit
We interviewed him to know in-depth about him & Multifit. This is the 13th Interview of our Startup Showcase Series.
MultiFit began as a progressive venture that is based on the firm belief that Weight training alone is not fitness. Fitness has to be lifestyle choice and the only way people will make fitness a part of their lifestyle is if it’s as addictive as their favorite sport.
They offer a combination of traditional exercise practices with a modern-day twist as it challenges the conventional imagery of a gym being solely for the use of traditional equipment with narrow fitness goals. MultiFit works on the principal that the man is a social animal and we operate the best in communities, the heart of the operating model is customer engagement and community building.
Their emphasis rests on functional training that sheds greater light on movement over exercise. The popular regimes involved in our functioning include “Intense Functional Interval Training (iFIT)” and Calisthenics, which pertains to using one’s own body weight for exercise, making it more natural than equipment based. Other Areas of focus are Athlete training and Strength & Conditioning.
Explain your professional background briefly what lead you to build the company and how did you come up with the idea?
Hailing from an army background, my indulgence in adventure sports always pushed me to adopt an exercise regime that kept me fit. My corporate job used to limit my visits to the gym, as eventually, from being a regular visitor, I entirely stopped visiting the gym, due to my long work hours.
It took close to 8 years to realise that I cannot take my health for granted and pushed myself to get back to a gym nearby. This was when I began to question the monotonous functioning of gyms as even after eight years, nothing had changed in them.
This is when I met Sally Jones who was an athlete, she played net ball for Manchster, we spoke about the India fitness Industry for days or and then I along with her decided to do something different for the Indian Fitness Industry. It was her insights into how athletes train that stood responsible for the creation of what we know as ‘MultiFit’ today.
What difference are you creating for your customers?
“I meet a lot of people who question how a gym can be innovative, the usual first statement is “What can be different in a gym…a gym is treadmills and cross-trainer and this is where I interrupt and say, “Well we have 30 Gyms not a single treadmill or a cross-trainer”.
MultiFit is trying to change the narrow definition of fitness for the customers. The pre-held notions require a desperate change and we aim to apply those changes. The concept of mere “Body Building” has a rather narrow meaning, we want to expand that meaning into something that throws light on overall “Strength Building”.
To achieve the same, we offer Calisthenics, Boxing, Dancing, HIIT, Mixed Martial Arts and many more workouts which ensure that your sessions are never boring. This diversity allows us to maintain a sustained interest in the customers and mentally pushes them to learn more and do more. Our Aim is to make fitness at par with your favourite sport.
How are you integrating science and fitness training?
Science, for me, directly correlates with fitness training. The dynamic movements allow not only reduction of pain but also allows the prevention of injury. Functional training allows and offers an effective gateway to achieve a better body movement and permanent posture.
The Calisthenics and various martial arts successfully offer a dynamic range of natural movement and strength training which successfully give the muscles flexibility making one’s movements swifter and body healthier. Apart from its benefits, fitness training also educates people not only about the importance of health but also to know their own bodies better.
This makes people thoroughly aware of their bodily functions and all the rights and wrongs that they should or should not adopt. Our offerings offer both, the learnings as well as the practicalities of fitness. Keeping this in mind, MultiFit also launched
MESA (MultiFit Exercise Science Academy), an institute that strives to create a new holistic system for fitness enthusiasts and provide an organized structure in the standards of personal, functional, sports & conditional training, rehabilitations and nutritional studies, to inculcate a strong workforce in the fitness industry, and thus elevate the fitness regime and standards in India.
What challenges do you face within the market and the company?
Sometimes, being small and nimble in an evolving industry could be a blessing in disguise. Being new, we are not basking in past glory neither do we believe we know it all. We are attempting to produce newer dynamics into the fitness industry based on people’s needs and interests to ensure longevity. The idea is to create an evolving organisation.
The Fitness market is witnessing changes in the right direction as the older ways of Fitness with machines aren’t the only ones that exist. Those narrow fitness views have seen diversity in terms of defining fitness and pushing people to be interested in the modern methods which add a greater meaning to the popular narrow idea of fitness.
Within the company, our main challenge is expansion and reaching not just our targeted audiences but also attracting new ones and getting them interested in the field. We hope to expand our centres and grow the MultiFit family not just on national grounds but also internationally.
What financing method did you choose to launch your company?
MultiFit is a 100 per cent self-funded venture. Due to the corporate jobs that both Sally and I had, we had enough savings to invest in opening the first branch of MultiFit and thus money started flowing in eventually.
Is owning and running a fitness center different than you imagined? How so?
Running a Fitness centre is no less than exciting. The fitness market is very dynamic and it is important for us to stay alert about all the developments and technologies being produced in both, the national and International market.
The fitness industry always intrigued me in a way that there always is room for development, things can always be done better. That exact though pushes us every day to be as effective as we can. I’m extremely happy to be a part of this Industry and excited to see what the future holds for MultiFit and the Fitness Industry as a whole.
How much has the company changed since you started off?
At MultiFit, we have a team of over 350 top notch trainers and around another 70 administrates and support staff across cities. But with the pace of studio openings we have seen this number is rapidly changing every month. Our most recent openings being in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
We have witnessed great learning and growing interest every day from our team. Their will to learn, deliver and improve has increased the number of people in our team by the day. This makes us to be able to deliver the best services by a staff with immense learning and experience.
How do you see Fitness and Wellness sector evolving in future?
The Indian fitness industry is going through a massive change. As the average Indian is travelling the world, they’ve turned more conscious of newer ways and approaches to remain in shape and bringing new business ideas to the Indian market. In the past 5 years, the fitness levels of Indians has lifted massively and still the experts consider it as the tip of the iceberg, which means, the avenue of opportunities is tremendous.
Diversity in techniques would serve the Indian audience very effectively as all are becoming more aware about the importance of health and fitness. New ideas, techniques, exercises, methods, business plans etc all wait to be discovered in the coming years. For me, there is immense room to rise higher for the Fitness Industry in India.
The penetration of fitness industry is just about 0.3% which is abysmally low compared to the developed world, so the only way this is going to go, is up!
What is MultiFit’s ultimate vision?
MultiFit aims to be a pioneer in the wellness industry by making fitness a lifestyle choice of every individual we engage. We aim to change the face of the fitness Industry. Our ultimate vision is to have an India that is aware of the importance of fitness and works towards achieving the same. MultiFit aims to use the Functional Fitness model and expand that idea, helping people adopt a healthy lifestyle which would ensure longevity of a healthy living for all.
We plan to continue expanding our centres across India, attracting audiences and evolving the narrow idea of fitness throughout.
What advice would you like to give the entrepreneurs who are planning to launch their own venture?
One must remember that the Soul of the gym will always be in the trainers. The people are your assets and you must do your best to deliver the best of your ability. MultiFit welcomes all such people who are interested in contributing to the Fitness Industry. Our passion to reach our goal of changing the face of the fitness Industry only grows stronger by the day.
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