Fitternity began as an extension of its founder's personal fitness journey in early 2014. In the past year, it has gone through multiple reiterations, pivots and improvements and has evolved into a fitness marketplace. With 8,000 listings across Mumbai, Bengaluru , Delhi and Pune, the platform has more than 65,000 users accessing different fitness options.
Fitternity also works as a hyperlocal online discovery and booking platform and a holistic aggregator of different fitness programmes, including gym sessions, yoga, zumba, marathon and cross-fit, among others. Additionally, it promotes healthy eating with tiffin services, snacks and beverages.
Changes and pivots
Neha Motwani, Founder and CEO of Fitternity launched the beta website in early 2014, when there were still not many with a model similar to that of ClassPass. Today, there are many startups with the same philosophy. Neha says that while some are me-too to Fitternity, others are aping the ClassPass model in India.
Having a busy work schedule that included frequent travel, Neha had very little time for fitness. There was a constant challenge to find an interesting way to pursue fitness. She was not alone; there were many people facing the same problem.
Identifying and plugging a gap
While shifting houses, the problem became more apparent to Neha. While it is easy to find a restaurant, book a hotel, or get coupons for purchases at the local store, there is no fitness platform that makes it easy for users to access services in one's vicinity.
Neha met over 600 individuals across five metro cities—Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad—through focus group discussions and interviews.
The research proved that fitness discovery was a definitive problem faced by Indian users.
Challenges of scale
Neha notes that the biggest challenge is balancing demand (fitness consumers) and supply (fitness service providers – gym/studio owners and trainers). She says that recruiting and building a high performing team across different locations, constantly running experiments on new business lines while keeping track of current growth and progress have been challenging as well.
The standardisation of delivery across different markets is another challenge while scaling up. Neha adds that also hiring the right people and inculcating the same culture across different teams isn't an easy task.
Team and growth
Neha adds, "We look for ‘Fitternity Fit’, which is a score on attitude, capability, perseverance and cohesiveness. We hire on the basis of a trial week – something that has worked very well for us. Most of the team we have today has spent one week working on a trial arrangement."
Fitternity has seen quadruple growth in the past six months. Neha says there is a growth of 30 per cent every month in terms of monthly unique visitors, transactions and sale of fitness memberships.
Over 65,00 users have booked trials and purchased memberships through Fitternity. They operate on a 1:4 ratio on conversions to trials, thereby generating bottom-line impact for service providers.
Neha says that engagement and repeat rate is at 25 per cent where users access Fitternity again to engage with service providers, discover other fitness services (like MMA and kickboxing, functional training, healthy tiffins, kids fitness, healthy snacks and beverages).
Transformation and funding
In the past 1.5 years, the company, Neha adds, has grown from a ‘No trust’ feedback from service providers to ‘value and sales driver’ today. She adds that they moved from manual reservation calls to automated trials and grown from a three-member team to 41 members across four locations.
Talking about their growth, Neha says that having a great team has contributed to their scale. She says that her team consists of one of the most focused and driven set of people who live the vision of making Fitternity India’s largest online fitness destination.
Fitternity’s vision is to build an ecosystem that makes fitness easy, accessible and affordable. "With our recent funding we aim to reach out to a larger audience, add new categories and launch new product lines, including pay-as-you-go booking of workout sessions," says Neha.
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