As the world’s most polluted city, it’s not surprising that New Dehli is seeing a boom in fitness startups, and with income levels remaining low, a gym-sharing economy is blooming to bring costly memberships to the masses.

“[People in New Delhi] don’t have public cycling tracks or running tracks, or swimming pools. For them, the only way to get fit is to go to the gym,” Akshay Verma, co-founder of FITPASS told TechNode.

“However, due to high subscription fees and long term contracts, not many people can afford to go to gyms.”

FITPASS is aiming to bring high-cost gym memberships to the masses through a sharing model, which lets users swipe their card at a number of gyms on a plan that costs up to 70 percent less than competing gym memberships.

“We’re the true beneficiary of the sharing economy. As for Uber or Airbnb, one car and room can go to one person. But one gym can be shared with more than 100 people,”

FITPASS takes $15 USD from their customers and pays gyms and fitness studios an agreed usage rate.

“So many gyms are built in India these days, and some of them go bankrupt after failing to attract customers. We give them a solution to attract users to the gym and give additional revenue,” says Mr. Verma.

According to FITPASS, more than 1,150 gyms and fitness studios have joined their partner network. The service costs Rs.999 ($15 USD) a month, also provides a diet plan on their app to registered users to help them achieve their fitness goals.

In December 2015, the World Health Organization declared New Delhi the most polluted city in the world out of 1,600 cities. “Poor air quality [in New Delhi] help gyms and our business,” says Mr. Verma.

The Fitness Startup Boom In India

Today, India’s fitness services market is estimated at INR 1 trillion ($16.6 billion USD) according to the FICCI-PWC report. India’s growing middle class, which is projected to grow to more than 500 million by 2025, has also contributed to an increased interest in health products and services.

Another monthly multi-studio fitness membership startup, FitMeIn, raised a $100,000 USD in seed round funding from GHV Accelerator in September 2015. Gym discovery portals have also emerged in Bangalore, including Fitternity, which raised a $1 million USD seed round last July, and Gympik, which raised a seed round round of $135,000 USD and an undisclosed amount of pre-A round funding this March from Seattle-based RoundGlass.

 Mr. Verma says. “Inventory is there all the time and we can make a bigger user base. We are a mass-market product.”

Image Credit: FITPASS

Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com

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2 Comments

  1. Guys don’t waste your time and money with these crooks. They don’t value their customer and very unprofessional behaviour. After complaining about their service they blocked me on facebook.
    Below is my exact chat with their customer support people.

    THU 3:39PM
    ME: Hi, Today I paid 1000 for the membership. But my account is not showing that I have subscribed. Please check. My id is prakash[dot]gbpec[at]gmail[dot]com and I am also attaching the screenshot for your reference. Thanks Prakash
    Fitpass: Hi Prakash, Our team has rectified the issue. Your pass has been activated. Please log out and log in to your app again. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to you. Happy Sweating!
    THU 5:20PM
    ME: Thanks
    THU 8:39PM
    ME: Hey
    ME: Today I booked for a gym that was cancelled by you guys
    ME: Then I booked for self defence training and I also got the confirmation email
    ME: But no one was at the venue when I arrived
    ME: This is a very unprofessional behaviour
    ME: Worst app and support people
    FRI 8:47AM
    ME: I booked two times. One time venue was locked and other time the address of venue was wrong. Very bad experience.I tried calling you on your number but no one picked up the call. Very unprofessional behaviour. I want a refund now.
    FRI 7:17PM
    Fitpass: Hi Prakash, Thank you for reaching out to us. We hope our team was able to resolve your queries. Look forward to providing you a positive user experience. Cheers!
    FRI 9:17PM
    ME: my problem is not resolved.
    ME: your customer service executive told me to send me the number of the gym but she didn’t send

  2. Today Fitness is the priority we need to understand. All you need is dedication to get fit and healthy. We, Rejuvenation Fitness Group, will turn it into reality. R.F.G is a pioneer in providing personal fitness trainers or personal yoga trainers at home in Bangalore, Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad. To know more, visit http://rejuvenationfitness.in/ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e49a55e60efb2c5bad1c233428f93e66f35e52048a9eff1de24eeae413884bc.jpg

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