Fit as a fiddle

Fit as a fiddle
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First Published: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 01 15 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 09 03 PM IST
New Delhi: The economic slowdown may have begun to hit many businesses, but fitness centres are bucking the trend. Many pan India chains are continuing with their expansion plans and investing big money. International chain ’Fitness First’ is ready to open four centres this year with an investment of Rs53 crore. Talwalkars, a Pune based gym that now has centres across the country plans on opening 35 gyms after investing Rs112 crore. With commercial rental prices correcting due to the slowdown, many gym owners think it’s a good time to get into the business.
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Says Rahul Dev, a former model who recently opened a new gym Breathe, ”It’s the best time to expand because when economic activity was great, real estate was a commodity which was really hard to come by.”
Rahul has opened Breathe with actor and former model Milind Soman in Delhi and the duo are looking at opening at least two more gyms this year. They hope to invest Rs4.5 crore. But many suspect raising money for the business may not be easy. In the current liquidity crunch, bankers may prefer lending to more conventional businesses. But many health club owners say they will be able to gauge the real impact of the slowdown by March when the peak season for the business begins.
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First Published: Wed, Jan 28 2009. 01 15 AM IST