As people stay indoors to contain coronavirus spread, the at-home economy has come into action, whether it is food delivery, online education classes or telemedicine. Fitness isn't behind too. Since people don't have access to gym or their aerobics centre, they are flocking to online fitness classes to burn calories. As lockdown started, healthcare startup Cure.Fit launched online fitness classes to ensure that its users continue their workout sessions. Within a month, a million users are accessing the online platform on Cure.Fit app and website to lead a healthy lifestyle within the confines of their homes. After the success of the digital product, the Bengaluru-based firm is now launching its freemium version.
"Digital product was always in the pipeline to have a pan-India reach. With just physical centres, it is not possible to reach beyond top 20 Indian cities. Due to the lockdown, we fast forwarded our plans to launch online version by six to nine months," says Ankit Nagori, Co-founder, Cure.Fit.
The original plan was to launch it in the first quarter of 2021. With its success, the firm is now launching the freemium model this month. The free version will continue to be there. In the new freemium model, a part of the content will be free but to access better experience, users will have to pay.
The better experience will mean more content and much better technology features, says Nagori. Without divulging more details, he says, the focus will be on a host of social features, such as user's ability to create groups. The current energy meter feature would be expanded to tell the energy level of a class.
The paid online classes will be 20 per cent of what they pay for Cult.Fit fitness centres. There will also be a free trial period for specific hours of content. Home fitness classes seem to be a business continuity plan for the offline fitness centres., Nagori predicts a 12 month cycle of business recovery. Demand will catch up from October onwards. "We are half way through it and the other half is left. The Q1 2021 will see the same demand as Q1 of 2020," he says.
He adds, "Of course, macro-economic aspect will come into play, but health and fitness will now be seen as a non-discretionary spend. People would want healthy lifestyle and to achieve that they will prefer branded players due to their much better standards for health and hygiene."
Founded by Nagori and Myntra cofounder Mukesh Bansal, the Bengaluru-based firm recently let go of its 250-300 trainers (from 2500) to keep cost structures sustainable. The founders announced they are forgoing their salary, senior management is taking a 50% cut and the rest will take 20-30 percent pay cut June onwards. The health and fitness app HealthifyMe too has launched home workouts on its app that have fitness, yoga and workouts sessions which are available for free and are suitable for users across all fitness levels.