New normal boosting home fitness equipment demand across Tier-I, II & III cities: Pratik Sud

New normal boosting home fitness equipment demand across Tier-I, II & III cities: Pratik Sud

The Indian fitness equipment market was valued at $207.5 million in 2019 and projected to reach $721.3 million by 2027; at 17.4% CAGR between 2020–2027.

If Covid-19 pandemic came with the hammer blow for a major part of the consumer durable manufacturing industry, it actually helped few industries to grow exponentially. The health sector is one of them and closely related to that is the fitness equipment industry.

With the emergence of new normal, the world is experiencing the surge of Work from Home (WFH), hybrid work pattern. The world has suddenly moved inward. These trends resulted in more health consciousness among the people.

According to research, the global fitness equipment industry size is likely to reach $15.2 billion by 2027 from $11.5 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 3.5%. The Indian fitness equipment market was valued at $207.5 million in 2019 and is projected to reach $721.3 million by 2027; at 17.4% CAGR between 2020–2027.

The fitness equipment industry consumers are divided into two segments – personal and commercial buyers. The home-based consumers are boosting the demand for fitness equipment across the country, not only in Tier-I cities but in Tier-II and Tier-III cities as well.

The fitness equipment industry is also experiencing several significant reshaping trends, including the emergence of connected technology in the new era. Autofintechs spoke to the Pratik Sud, founder of Synq.Fit to learn about the various aspects of the gym equipment or fitness equipment industry.

Edited excerpts below.

Q. The global fitness equipment market size is expected to reach $15.2 billion by 2027 from $11.5 billion in 2019, at a CAGR of 3.5%. Where do you see India in this growth path?

Globally, the market is expected to witness moderate growth as a huge chunk of the market is occupied by developed countries in North America and Europe. However, the market in the Asia Pacific, particularly in developing countries such as India, is expected to witness above-average growth.

The growth in India is attributed to factors such as rising disposable incomes, growing health awareness among people and a large youth population. Also, the growing trend of tech-enabled home workout programs is fueling the fitness equipment market in the consumer segment.

The Indian fitness equipment market was valued at $207.5 million in 2019 and is projected to reach $721.3 million by 2027; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% during the forecast period (2020–2027).

Fitness equipment

Q. Cardiovascular training equipment led the fitness equipment market share in 2019 and is expected to retain its dominance in the next decade as well. Can you put some light on this? Especially on the growth projection of the Indian market?

Consumers in the Indian market looking for highly effective, compact and economical training equipment options. Cardiovascular training equipment such as fly-wheel based bikes are very effective in improving cardiovascular functions. Moreover, these bikes require less space and are portable, when bundled with live, interactive, exercise programs, these bikes bring the gym experience to the users home.

As per our analysis, the Indian cardio equipment in the home fitness segment market was estimated at $39.9 million in 2019. 

Q. The Covid-lockdown, trends like Work from Home – How these impacted the fitness equipment industry business in India?

Covid-19 and the resulting ‘Work from Home’ trend have been a major driver for home exercise equipment in recent times. Spend on personal health and fitness are now taking the front seat in most households. Several fitness retailers stated that they witnessed a jump in revenues after lockdown.

For instance, Decathlon witnessed a 300% surge in its sale of cardio products during March–July 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Although the Indian government has now allowed gym centres to resume their operations, people are still concerned about the spread of the virus and are reluctant to go to fitness centres, and rightly so.

People are now setting up gyms at their own premises. This is evident from online searches for ‘home gym equipment’ increased to 12,000 in June. Further, the lockdown has even increased the number of people consistently exercising at home, who were hardly into fitness activities before the lockdown.

The home fitness equipment demand is booming not just in Tier-I but also in Tier-II & Tier-III cities. For instance, Flipkart stated a majority of demand is being received from cities such as Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Lucknow, and Patna. Likewise, Amazon is witnessing demand from cities such as Sircilla in Telangana, Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Karimganj in Assam, and Mansa in Punjab.

Fitness equipment

Q. What are the technologies reshaping the fitness industry?

The availability of live-interactive video training along with accurate data-analytics and instant feedback has opened new avenues for working out anywhere. The equipment available today is capable of harnessing data, tracking performance metrics for motivating individuals to their best potential. Also, proactive instructors are leveraging the technology available and their skills to effectively provide training based on the requirements of each individual. 

According to ‘Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends 2019’, virtual classes in group workouts have witnessed a 35% increase in 2019 from 2017 globally. Also, according to 2019 Les Mills Global Consumer Fitness Survey, 80% of the total fitness market comprises millennials and Gen Z, who are considered as ‘anywhere and everywhere generation.’ Individuals of these groups are extremely tech-savvy and their needs concerning technology constantly evolve based on their fitness experiences.

Live classes are one of the key trends that will have a far-reaching impact on the home fitness industry, as it offers in-person experience, creates referrals, retention, and enhances user’s perception of value. Thus, the introduction of on-demand and virtual services has raised the standards among live instructors. 

Fitness equipment

Q. Fitness equipment industry consumers are divided into two segments, personal and commercial. Which segment has been performing how in FY21? Can you put some light on this?

The consumer segment is anticipated to witness higher growth in FY 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic has already affected the businesses of the commercial segment, with gyms and hospitality being among the most affected ones. The investments by the commercial segment on fitness equipment are expected to decrease as they are focusing on cutting-down costs to moderate their losses.

Also, a majority of companies worldwide have announced Work-from-Home (WFH) to their employees. Several Indian companies such as Flipkart and Myntra have extended their WFH until May 2021. Also, EY extended WFH till June 2021. Other companies including Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), Infosys, and TCS.

These are the examples of certain Tech & IT giants, apart from these several other companies focusing on cutting down their operational costs by extending WFH option till 2021. This would highly impact the demand for fitness equipment in the commercial segment.

The WFH provision and people’s unwillingness to go to fitness centres due to spread of Covid-19 and a general trend towards home-based workouts would further create a demand for the personal segment, as they will opt for choosing home fitness activities. 

Q. The fitness equipment and fitness apps – How they are syncing with each other?

The future is leaning towards a convergence of fitness apps and equipment, ‘connected fitness equipment’, with the latest connected features, visual interfaces and sensors allow users to have immersive and individualized workouts.

Fitness equipment provides the much-needed baseline hardware and usability which is further enhanced by overlaying fitness apps. Certain trends, such as community-driven fitness, digital on-demand fitness, and virtual trainers, are expected to create more demand for fitness equipment synced with fitness apps.

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