The fitness and wellness industry in India is growing at an unparalleled pace as more people embrace fitness and healthy lifestyle as a way of living and are much more inclined towards achieving their fitness goals. “The adage, ‘prevention is better than cure’ is now well etched into the minds of consumers. The category is now becoming mainstream with online and specialty stores driving awareness of such products amongst customers. Financial Express Online spoke to Praveen Chirania, Founder, Muscle and Strength India, a leading retailer of fitness supplements & nutritional products about the industry, company’s business & future plans. Excerpts:
What are your views on the dietary supplement market and what is the impact of Covid-19 on this segment?
Consumers are increasingly shifting towards preventive healthcare. Moreover, the increasing focus on holistic wellbeing and strengthening immunity has brought about some significant changes in consumers’ dietary choices. Growth in the market can be attributed to growing consumer awareness about preventive healthcare, health consciousness, changing lifestyle, increasing purchasing power, and rising cases of lifestyle diseases. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a rise in awareness among people for healthy eating which has further fuelled the growing demand for dietary supplements, a pattern that has been on a steady rise over the last few years as they enhance immunity and provide nutrition. Even when the fear of pandemic settles down, these behavioural shifts are expected to continue.
Given that the market is flooded with fake supplements, what are your thoughts in this regards?
Maintaining good health and being fit is a modern-day need among all generations today. Owing to this, a diet of supplements has gained immense importance and become part of the overall regimen of families. The question arises whether fitness enthusiasts are consuming authentic supplements or otherwise? Given that the market is flooded with fake supplements, making this distinction is crucial. Fake supplements usually contain banned substances such as steroids, harmful chemicals, and spurious ingredients and are similar to authentic ones in colour and texture too, causing permanent damage to the body. It’s a major concern for all of us because it’s not only money wasted, but it also puts our health at risk. It has deeper physical and psychological effect too. Hence, you should buy supplements from genuine dealers of reputed brands because investing in health is top priority. A reputable retailer always takes necessary precautions to sell good quality. All our products are procured only from the authorised channels and passthrough quality checks before it goes to the online warehouse or physical stores with a unique verification hologram code on every product.
Please give a brief overview of your retail brand since inception.
Muscle and Strength India, headquartered in New Delhi was launched in 2018and is one of the country’s leading retailers of fitness supplements & nutritional products. The company has 15 stores across 12 cities in the country currently and offers a comprehensive range of genuine high-quality fitness supplement and nutritional products across categories such as proteins, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements etc., manufactured by international fitness brands under a single roof at an economical price point. In a short span of time, Muscle and Strength India has become one of the fastest growing retail chain in health supplement market in India. The company has also been recognized recently as a startup by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Govt of India.
Youth icon Prince Narula has a stake in health supplement retail start-up Muscle and Strength India. He plays a key role in strategic expansion plans of the company including marketing and promotion. Mukesh Singh Gehlot, renowned bodybuilder and powerlifter who has won several gold medals in national and international competitions and Bhupender Dhawan, Dronacharya Award Recipient from the the President of India in the field of Power Lifting are also a part of Muscle and Strength India and has been activity involved in the marketing initiatives.
What are the different product range available at your stores?
Muscle and Strength India has the widest range with over 1000 fitness supplements and nutrition products from 42+ brands. The sole aim of the company is to make health and wellness a priority for all. Muscle and Strength India has also recently entered into manufacturing of its private-label product Perfect Series in the sports nutrition category and will widen its portfolio in the near future. The company has already received USFDA registered® certification for its private-label product. We aim to expand this year and further launch products in various variants, focusing on different health and wellness categories and segments.
How much investment goes into setting up each store? What is the ROI expected and how much time does it take for a store to break even?
In terms of investment, our franchising store needs investment of around10 lakhs. However it may vary to some extent depending on the location of the store. It is indeed significant to calculate the RoI before actually putting in your hard-earned money in any business. In our business, the breakeven comes within 2 – 3 months while the ROI is delivered within a period of 12- 18 months. So it is reasonable to assume that an investment in our franchise should provide a return for both the money and the time that is being invested in the business. Great franchises provide not only the plan but also deliver support, offer marketing collateral, and help you grow your business.
What are your expansion plans?
Muscle and Strength India is looking to expand aggressively in the country and aims to open 100 stores this year. The company is eyeing to launch outlets through franchisee route in the next 1 year with an investment of Rs. 20 crore as it seeks to deepen its presence in India’s growing nutritional supplement space. This investment will be funded by internal accruals including investments by franchisee owners. Apart from metros, we believe the real demand is in the tier2 & tier 3 cities where availability of latest, genuine and economically priced supplements is still a challenge and we aim to tap that market. The expansion plans of Muscle & Strength India also come at a time when there is increased focus on preventive healthcare as the world is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic. Our aim now is to grow and invest consistently in the health and fitness industry over the next couple of years. We also believe that our growth has come because of the original and rightly priced products available in our stores and we are hopeful that by the end of this year, we will be one of the largest chains in India in our segment.
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