Monday, July 22, 2024

Revolutionizing the Fitness Experience for Pakistanis: An Interview with Ahmar Azam, CEO TriFit Pakistan

  • Tell us about TriFit. What is the story behind opening it?

Before TriFit, I was the CEO of one of the top 15 fitness chains in the world, based out of the Middle East. Being from Pakistan it was my dream to duplicate the same success story in my motherland.

Pakistan, which has a population of over 220 million people is still fragmented and unorganized in the field of fitness, and wellness industry. It’s still not a defined sector like banking, manufacturing, education, healthcare, etc.  If you look at the existing gyms in Pakistan, the pricing is usually high, the space is often small, and the quality of services and equipment do not meet the standards of fitness clubs that you would see outside of Pakistan.

Our partners and I saw this as a great opportunity, resulting in TriFit’s launch in Pakistan! With our vast experience of building and leading a multi-billion dollar, publicly listed chain, Global Top 20 chain of fitness clubs, we worked very hard to further refine our fitness concept, while keeping it affordable. At TriFit, we sincerely believe that if the same concept were to exist in Dubai, Jeddah, London, or New York, it would be the fitness club you would want to go to. Since we opened our first fitness club on Seaview in DHA Phase VI, Karachi, we are seeing the people of Pakistan responding in a phenomenal way.

Ahmar Azam, CEO TriFit Pakistan
  • How would companies and their employees benefit from TriFit?

We know that healthy employees build successful companies. Owners and leadership in most organizations realize that. With rising healthcare costs and a lack of decent healthcare facilities in Pakistan, the productivity of companies suffers when employees fall sick.

In addition, insurance premiums also reduce when employees go less to the hospitals.

Many corporations have aligned with TriFit clubs as our locations will be across neighborhoods in all the major cities of Pakistan. Companies would get certain financial benefits in buying bulk memberships. Some corporates then give complimentary memberships to their staff and work with TriFit on certain wellness metrics for their employees. There are also some corporates who charge a subsidized rate to their employees by making a monthly deduction from their salaries making TriFit club membership highly affordable. In my years of experience in the UK, US, and the Middle East, gym membership offered to employees is a powerful staff retention too as many employees do not leave their jobs because they do not want to lose their gym memberships.

As we rollout more and more clubs, and based on my experience, ideally, I would like 50%+ of our memberships to come from corporates.

  • How you are different from the competitors and what are the facilities that you are offering to your members?

There are so many things that make the TriFit experience different and unique. The average size of each club is about 25,000-30,000 sqft — which makes it a big box concept. In addition, the concept is highly tech-driven. We have our mobile apps that are complimentary for all our members: myTriFit and TriFit Muv. myTriFit is the main  member management app through which they’re able to book classes, purchase and manage memberships, and access regular services. The idea for our second app, TriFit Muv, rose from the ashes of the pandemic. One of the biggest teachings from COVID-19 was that in addition to working out inside a brick-and-mortar fitness club, members also wanted the option to train at home. TriFit MUV currently has 600+ on-demand classes and several thousand workouts. Our qualified trainers can help members plan and sync the workouts with their calendars, thus resulting in a proper and clear fitness regime. Additionally, we have an exclusive partnership with Myzone—the fitness industry’s number one wearable heart rate monitor and competitive training platform, used in over 6,000 fitness clubs across 65 countries. We are also proud to announce our exclusive partnership with Les Mills, the largest global leader of fitness content providers. This entire experience is delivered in a larger-than-life cardio and fitness space with hundreds of pieces of equipment, and multiple studios offering over 300 classes per week, delivered by our experienced internationally certified fitness trainers, comprising both local and foreigners..

In order to maintain a COVID free environment, inside the TriFit Clubs, we pump 60% fresh air. In addition, each club has 400+/- lockers, a recovery zone with massage chairs, a members’ lounge, a healthy sports café, a kid’s crèche, consultation rooms, etc.

Although not completely segregated, TriFit fitness clubs also boast separate sections for men and women for the convenience of our members safety and privacy—a result of extensive market research showing that women generally prefer to train in a female-only setup, in Pakistan and globally.

For more information you can also visit our website or simply call +92331 TRIFIT (874348)

  • What are the future plans that you have for Trifit in Pakistan?

The goal behind TriFit has always been to build a life-sized brand that goes beyond just being a fitness club. Our vision is to create a comprehensive health and wellness experience for members and our community that is a one-stop shop for all their needs. With our first club operational in Karachi, we are determined to create a loyal tribe of member base that is directly benefiting from the solutions that are provided by Trifit. Besides establishing a foothold within our target market, our goal is to expand the TriFit experience beyond Karachi and into other metropolitan cities like Lahore, Islamabad, etc. People crave convenience and we aim to bring our revolutionary fitness experience closer to them by inaugurating further clubs not just in multiple locations across Karachi but in other cities as well.

  • What type of fitness training do you plan to offer to your members?

As the Pakistani fitness market is still in its infancy, and to create a pool of qualified fitness instructors, we have created the Sporta Fitness Academy (SFA). Sporta is the world’s first fitness academy in Pakistan that is directly accredited by the International Confederation of Register of Exercise Professionals (ICREPS), the top accreditation authority in fitness. For the first time ever in Pakistan, we are able to train young men and women to become internationally-certified fitness trainers. Once qualified through Sporta, they’re able to find employment opportunities at TriFit in Pakistan or explore employment overseas specially Middle East, since the certification is recognized globally.

Equipped with 5 Signature Studios, TriFit will offer more than 300 classes of both general as well as customized courses curated by internationally-trained fitness consultants, and certified by Les Mills. Members have the option to choose from our many studios: Torque Cycling Studio introduces riders to heart-pumping spin classes indoors; the Inferno Studio presents high-intensity interval training regimens to push your fitness goals to the top; Blaze GX Studio offers high-energy workouts designed to motivate and energize; Soul—Mind & Body Studio offers restorative classes designed to calm the mind and body.

  • How do you plan to engage with your members and what have you decided to keep your members entertained?

People join a fitness club for many reasons, but stick around only when they find their tribe and when they get results. The “T” and “R” in TriFit are all about that. Apart from our many USPs, our goal is to connect with our members by delivering more than a large dedicated fitness space separate for men and women. We aim to provide value by being more accessible and transparent with our members in order to cultivate our relationship. TriFit’s first fitness club, which is also the largest fitness club in Pakistan, has not only brought new technology but a new way of thinking! With the help of interactive classes/ week in our 5 different signature studios, members can now experience the thrill of participating in programs with their peers as our highly engaging and enthusiastic trainers help them along their health and wellness journeys. At TriFit, we want to make sure every client is taken care of physically and mentally by providing programs accessible by the entire community. With access to internationally-certified trainers, 300+ Les Mills and TriFit signature classes every week, mobile apps for fitness on the go, Myzone, fitness gamification, and massage chairs in the recovery zone, we’ve got options for everyone. But the value we hope to bring to the communities of Pakistan extends beyond our doors in an effort to bring change and awareness. Keep an eye out for special events and collaborations with your tribe as we take off on your fitness journey together.

  • Are you currently offering any flexible payment options for the members or any other kind of special packages?

Certainly! At TriFit, we care about our members and are always striving to provide convenience without the hefty price tag. Not only do we have exceptional workout spaces and programs but very attractive membership packages too, like never seen in Pakistan before. Whether you’re looking for a short-term or long-term commitment, we’ve got special packages for singles, couples, whole families or groups of friends. Price plans are all inclusive.

  • In your opinion, what is the current state of Pakistan’s fitness industry?

Carrying on from the point I made earlier, the fitness industry in Pakistan has a substantial room to grow. The segment is still in its early stages of development and as awareness along with access to facilities like TriFit increases, we are bound to witness significant strides of growth in the market. Globally, people are leaning massively towards shifting their lifestyle choices to involve greater activity and mobility. Exercise, healthy dietary choices and mental wellbeing have become top priorities for people and the same trend is catching up in Pakistan rapidly too. With these factors in mind, I am positively enthusiastic with respect to the growth that the country’s fitness industry is experiencing.

  • How exactly are you incorporating technology into the health and fitness industry particularly in the Pakistani market?

Prior to launching TriFit in Pakistan, we conducted a detailed market research with one of the top global market research firms which helped us in developing a roadmap, understand the market needs, and localize our service offering without compromising our international service standards. We had a great opportunity to build something unique while educating the masses. And this is where our tech deck comes in. Myzone — consecutive winner of world’s best fitness wearable for the last 5 years. Myzone displays real-time heart rate, calories, and intensity with five (5) color-coded and personalized zones. This revolutionary technology is also equipped with a simple rewards-based metric called MEPs—short for Myzone Effort Points—that aligns with WHO guidelines for physical activity. This data can then be displayed collectively for group training or sent directly to your smartphone, or comes up on your cardio machines, wherein bringing together a community of real people united by effort. It is inclusive, gamification based, and has high social elements to build communities together on the Myzone app. 

Used by more than 1.8 million people in the world, Myzone technology provides engaging and motivational experiences that support behavior change to make health and wellness habits stick. By bringing this type of technology to Pakistan, our goal is to change people’s perception of what it means to take care of yourself. Staying fit doesn’t have to be a chore or a task. By providing access to the best trainers, equipment, and tech, we aim to bring a change and help our members build healthy habits that carry them forward for the rest of their lives.

We also have TriFit’s own fitness app, called TriFit Muv. Another highly interactive app available free of cost to all TriFit members. It has several hundred on demand classes, thousands of work outs, challenges, etc. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or an advanced fitness enthusiast, TriFit Muv has something for everyone. Whether you want to stitch your own workout and sink it with your calendar, or you want to enjoy highly engaging and enjoyable on demand virtual classes at home or at TriFit club, TriFit Muv has everything for you and more.

Last but not least, the mother app is My TriFit which is your own club management app. This app allows you to access TriFit Muv and Myzone from one platform. In addition, you can book as many of the 300+ classes/ week, book personal training with any of our internationally certified local or foreign trainers, manage your membership, and so much more. To sum up, when it comes to the tech offering, TriFit is already being recognized globally as one of the premier fitness brands. However in Pakistan, TriFit is light years ahead of what the fitness market was offering before the advent of TriFit.

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