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Fitato: Aims to be the Umbrella Brand for All Niche Fitness Facilities in the Country

Fitato lets users access 100's of Gyms & Fitness studios in the city – all through a single membership. Fitato gives you the flexibility to workout anytime you want and indulge in various activities all around the city, be it near your house or your office.

Fitato as an idea was started in October 2014 by two college kids Karan Murada & Aditya Srivastava. It took them 11 months of multiple pivots, understanding of the markets, convincing of parents & 8 interns, one of them who joined them as the co founder now Pawani Khandelwal, to launch Fitato.

Fitato lets users access 100's of Gyms & Fitness studios in the city – all through a single membership. Fitato gives you the flexibility to workout anytime you want and indulge in various activities all around the city, be it near your house or your office. We want you to dance your way to fitness with Zumba, get flexible with Yoga, learn self-defense with Martial Arts, get high on rock climbing, do laps in a pool or pump iron at the Gym of your choice all through ONE single membership.

Operating in Pune for the past 8 months, Fitato has 250 partners onboard and over 1000 paid users and is operationally profitable.

What is your view of the market/competition?
The fitness market is very vast and the scope of disruption is huge, and they are clear indicators for the same across all industries, right from cooking oil to our very own Prime Minister promoting Yoga.

After the massive success of Classpass, a global competition in the same space, a lot of Indian start-ups boom with ideas not very different from each other. Over the course of this year, we saw most of our competition either pivoting or shutting down and a few achieving little success now. We understood that global ideas can be replicated in India but the execution here, specially the fitness industry is an entirely different game, which is where the challenge lies. Exhausting cash is not the solution or mechanism to create a market. Fitato is all set to get deep into those challenges and work out a sustainable and value generating business.

How is Fitato different and what challenges have you faced?
Fitato is in constant process of providing the right value to both the user & the partners and getting the model right, before ramping up expansion to other cities. A lot of aspects have been worked upon in the model such as providing unlimited sessions to a user rather than restricting the number of times he can go to a particular facility, focusing on uplifting niche facilities rather than branded chains, optimizing our customer acquisition strategies and using numerous growth hacks right from a father’s day fitness hamper to a 9,000 member Facebook group, proximity & convenience playing an important role & at last ensuring the finances are put to right use to reach operational profitability within 3 months of our launch.

What's your current funding Status?
Fitato has received a seed round of $80,000 last year and has been recently selected for the FbStart program, an initiative by Facebook for early stage mobile start-ups to build and grow their apps and access $40,000 worth of credits and services from Facebook and its partners.

Where do you see Fitato? What is your vision for it in the next 2 years?
Talwalkars, the largest gym chain in the country launched in 1932 and currently has 156 branches across the world. Fitato has 236 fitness access centers in Pune itself. Fitato aims to be the umbrella brand for all niche facilities in the country. If you want to start your own Yoga class on your office terrace tomorrow or any fitness class for that matter, all you have to do is register the class on Fitato and the customer & revenue inflow will begin from day 1. On the consumer’s side, Fitato wants to be have the largest array of fitness activities, providing users with ultimate flexibility through a single membership.

What has been your most memorable experience over the course of this journey?
Starting up is tough and besides all the media hype, the ups & downs in this journey are tough but there are certain instances that reclaim your faith on why you started. We had a Fitato member with a three year old son whose motherhood had lead her to take a backseat in fitness. She joined Fitato as a medium of fun things to do. Within a month, she particularly liked Zumba and now she is a licensed Zumba instructor and has her own class on Fitato.


Tags assigned to this article:
Fitato Pawani Khandelwal Fitness centres gyms yoga facilities

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