Dance your way to fitnessDancing has been a part of human society and culture from the Cave man era to the computer age. Its benefits have been long feted as being more spiritual and intellectual than anything else. However Ankur Sethi, and Pallavi Bhatia have set out to debunk that theory with Thump Entertainment that is bringing Dance Fitness to the forefront.
Yourstory learnt from the duo how dance can be beneficial to our health as they explained the business ideas behind their venture.
What does Thump have to do with dance fitness?
Thump is a Dance-Fitness Institute which caters to Fitness through Fun. We are equipment less, exercise based Fitness & Dance Classes. Since the last 18 months, after starting the venture with merely Rs. 500/-, we have grown from 1 location to over 6 states now. Our fitness regimes constitute of Dance, Aerobics, Acupressure, Yoga & our own self developed techniques.
What is the estimated growth of your operations in India?
This organization has a scope of growing to 1500 centers in India itself. To be precise we are a bank of fitness & we are going to be a need for everybody who wants to stay fit. Kids starting from the age group of 3.5 yrs to people of 48 yrs are already our customers & a similar range of customers is expected to enroll.
How is Thump not just a dance class or a fitness class?
We are different in lot of ways. We are a Dance Class but we are not exactly a Dance Class. The best part about our style is that we have developed our own technique to use different dance styles like Jazz, Hip-Hop, Salsa, Belly, Rock’n’Roll, and converted them into a fitness cum fun based activity. The program for kids that we conduct is an inclined towards Dancing talent while for Adults the sessions are more inclined towards the fitness part of the regime. We have received a tremendous response from adults since these classes keep them fit & give them a lot of confidence in social gatherings where they are now more open to stand up & DANCE.The Business Model is quite conventional & uncomplicated. We are looking at establishing a couple of Company Owned centers like we have already done in last few months & rest us will be looking at franchising out all over India on a revenue sharing basis with our franchises.
Do you have any expansion plans in the works?
In next few months, we are looking at raising some funds from internal & family resources. We would use these funds to establish our own outlets & prove it to be a sure success business. We also plan to use these funds in increasing the team size & operations. Post all the establishments we plan to look at raising capital through a VC & also increasing the outlets through franchising.
What challenges have you encountered in your niche segment?
It’s not what has been the biggest challenge but there are lots of big challenges which were there on day1 & are still there. Major one of them is attrition. It’s very difficult to retain people in a start up as you don’t have very posh offices, no huge pay packages; no glamorous office parties & getting good guys on board are a big cost which is almost impossible for any start up. We are still trying to overcome it by offering good incentives, E-Sops in some cases but it still remains to be one of the biggest challenges to establish a good team. Second big challenge is getting the capital for your venture. VC’s listen to your ideas, act very positive about the whole concept & tell you your idea is not viable because of lack of a resourceful team. If I had resources, why would I approach you, Mr. VC? Convincing people to invest in you is also a task, but all of the above are to be handled very patiently, one thing that entrepreneur needs to remember is to persevere.
What according to you is the crowning achievement of your organization? There have been lots of achievements as such. We started with one centre 15-16 months back & are already present in 4 states & will be in 2 more in next one to two months. We have grown from no salaries to average salaries, from a firm to a Pvt. Ltd. Company., from a team of 2 to 7 & growing, from 500 bucks to 5 lacs.
Our work has been compared with some top notch, veteran competitors of the market. We have been a part of a lot of leading newspapers. We were covered by Star Plus, Zee TV etc. No coverage though on the entrepreneurship as such.
What knowledge do you wish to pass on to budding entrepreneurs?
Be sure about what you are doing & what you wish to do. Lot of entrepreneurs start an enterprise because their friends are doing good or because they want to leave the job n do something of their own. Look for doing something that you just love & purely love. Meeting some experience entrepreneurs is also important. If possible, try & look out for a relevant mentor.
What is the hardest challenge that the Indian market sets before an entrepreneur?
Challenge for Indian entrepreneur is the customer of India – Over Analytical & Intelligent. Secondly manpower, nobody in India wants to be an employee but an entrepreneur, so you have to be very sure while hiring, you need an employee or an entrepreneur.
Yourstory wishes Ankur Sethi, and Pallavi Bhatia much success and luck hoping that they will “Thump” the competition into submission…