By : Profectus Magazine / 15 Feb 2022 / Entrepreneur Story / Success Story
Manoj Rajput; Founder of SFW the Gym, whose concepts of Fitness with Fun and Fitness Gym with Library has achieved new heights in fitness Industry
Thinking of being fit and going to the gym are two very different things for millennial. Most of us sit through the day working and when it comes to going to the gym it can be boring sometime to many of us. But never thought of a fun gym that even has a library in it (nerds love it!). Well, Manoj Rajput thought of it and now owns one of the largest gym chains in the state of Gujarat.
Born in Faizabad city in Uttar Pradesh, Manoj’s parents migrated to Ahmedabad, Gujarat when he was a kid. Manoj holds degree in Economics Major from Gujarat University. Post graduation, he started gaining his Sales experience working with Eureka Forbes for almost 10 years. He later owned two startups and now finally runs one of the largest operating gym chains in Gujarat with 23 branches across the state.
Sport Fitness World as in SFW the Gym was co-founded back in 2012 by Vijaysinh Solanki & Ajay Kaswala. Manoj being fitness enthusiast due to his obsession in joining defence services was a member of the gym. Later he took over SFW the Gym as a Founder. For someone having a degree in Economics and experience in Sales and still accepting the challenge to get a barely surviving business running needs a lot of guts. Manoj knew that rebranding wouldn’t save the business, so he started spending 12 hours a day in the gym figuring out member’s interest, expectations and reason of quitting the gym
‘After spending 12 hours a day at the gym, It made me realize that people want to come but it's not fun enough for them to come daily. So we changed the concept in our gym with a new holistic environment by implementing fitness with fun. Adaption and implementations of new concepts helped SFW in growing rapidly. We started engaging members in different kinds of celebrations, competitions, social awareness programs in societies, institutes and colleges. Resulting in business growth by 300% from very second month. says Manoj Rajput, Founder at SFW the Gym. ‘
Opportunity can come out from anywhere says Manoj. Certainly this came as an opportunity with less investment. Bought it, revived it and now made it largest chain of gym in the state.
Manoj has always given priority to his fitness but ending up owning a gym chain was never a plan. Manoj feels that miracles can happen anywhere and anytime. Joining the fitness industry was one such miracle for him. In the beginning people around him weren’t much confident about Manoj owning and operating Gym Chain as it isn’t an organized industry. Sometimes we aren’t showing the good side of the industry, but Manoj did showcase it perfectly. Not only He managed the barely surviving business, He dared and succeeded in challenging the traditional gym concepts with new ideas that can encourage members. As a result, within five years they opened 10 more branches in Ahmedabad and 23 branches across the Gujarat state,
Back in 2014, the gym was kind of a luxury, with its affordable gym plan and fitness with fun concepts SFW allure every household in neighborhood. Along with Fitness with Fun, SFW offers library in all of their gyms. In Support to the “Vocal for Local” initiative, 90% of books in SFW Gym Library are of local authors. Promoting Women Empowerment, all SFW Gym Branches are led by women.
Today SFW the Gym has more than a 40,000 member base currently. Relation and Bond they are maintaining with members is the reason they were able to retain all members during pandemic and post lockdown. Despite the gym being closed for eight months during the pandemic, they were providing beneficial services to all their members online. Not only to keep them fit physically but also morally thus SFW the Gym claims no known COVID case among their gym members.
‘When the first lockdown hit, we didn’t expect that it would be for long. We couldn’t see migrant workers and laborers suffering. So, we took the responsibility of providing food and other essentials to them. Our team also worked with municipal corporations in distributing the essentials to every corners of the state. Even when the gyms were closed all our staff, members of the gym and well wishers supported us immensely due to which we were able to survive the lockdown,’ says Manoj Rajput.
Since Childhood, Manoj wanted to join defence services. He also attended defence entry exams to join in the military. But life had different plans for Manoj and eventually It worked out really great. Today with the help of Gym chain and Maars foundation, Manoj does a lot of social work and fitness awareness programs. SFW the Gym conducts fitness awareness programs in corporate, industries, schools, colleges, and societies. Many companies they have conducted awareness programs with have already started allocating fitness break to their Opportunity can come out from anywhere employees.
Everyone has a different work schedules, Fitness break during the working hours can help individuals to be fit physically as well as Mentally
- Manoj Rajput
Manoj believes that if the government brings out a rule like 30-minute workout sessions at work, then the upcoming generation would have higher chance to be Healthy and Fit. He further adds that a bit of tax relaxation would benefit the industry very well. GST at 18% does affect a lot when we have to acquire new technology equipment and maintain the infrastructure. Since we have to make sure the safety of all members, higher GST affects a lot in survival.
Talking about over-exercising and steroids Manoj says, ‘Gyms doesn’t help you achieve your fitness goals overnight. Sometimes individual who wants to be a bodybuilder starts a gym without knowing other elements and resulting disappointment or life-long disability. At SFW all our trainers go under certification before joining the gym to train our members. Individual who wish to stay fit and healthy doesn’t need 2-3 hours of workouts, proper 30-45-minutes workout is sufficient for them. The second factor that can harm your body is adulterated products or supplements. We’ve restricted use of artificial supplements, only natural supplements are advised and allowed at SFW the Gym’
SFW the Gym would soon expand in major cities like Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Jaipur. They haven’t started the franchise based system yet as maintaining the standards and the culture is main priority for Manoj.
Culture at SFW is so holistic as we see people miss coming to the gym even when they skip it for a day. We provide such a friendly environment to everyone at SFW and we cannot compromise in that by franchising SFW the Gym - says Manoj Rajput
One never knows when is their chance, so think good, think big!
TagsSFW The Gym, Manoj Rajput, Fitness Industry, Gujarat, India, Maars Foundation , Fitness With Fun, Fitness Gym with Library, Ahmedabad, Home