Cult.Fit: We are more mindful of our health care because of the COVID-19 epidemic. People are taking a more holistic approach to managing their health, in addition to working out.
By 2025, the Indian health and lifestyle industry is estimated to be worth $12 billion, expanding at a rate of 20% per year.
Cult.fit, with its diverse exercise and wellness solutions, received $75 million from Tata Digital to help it grow into the proactive health management area.
When ex-Flipkart employees Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori launched their health and fitness firm 6 years ago, there was rarely anyone looking at all areas of healthcare as a holistic ecosystem. Cult.fit‘s business strategy is a unique mixture of coaching, engagement, and delivery via a mix of online and offline media.
“At cult.fit, we strive to keep you fit & healthy through a range of holistic offerings that include fitness and yoga, healthy meals, mental wellbeing, and primary care. Now anyone can now stay healthy from the safety of their homes with just a single app that helps you to #BetterEveryDay”
Before progressing further if you’re as perplexed as I am about whether it’s Curefit or Cultfit, have a look at this:
The Founders were quite specific about who they wanted to reach. It was a ‘normal person’ who needed specialist equipment, not a ‘body builder.’ They thought that in order to be healthy, a person should engage in some form of physical exercise, eat at least a couple nutritious meals each day, get enough sleep, and have frequent medical screening.
“Health is not standalone. Health is a complex function of diet, fitness, mental wellness, and overall wellbeing. It has to be holistic.”
Founder Anit Nago
Curefit was founded in 2016 after the purchase of two Bengaluru-based fitness facilities, Cult and Tribe. To make the training exciting and pleasurable, Cult.fit studios offered a range of group exercise programs centered on Zumba, Boxing, Dancing and Yoga, Kettlebell workouts and Strength & Conditioning. Cult.fit’s members were allowed to socialise with one another during trainer-led group sessions. Members were also able to improve their exercises by monitoring each other throughout these sessions.
The creators thought that the availability of Cult.fit studios, the creation of unique exercises, and the socializing experience at their centers boosted customer retention. According to reports, a studio’s breakeven period is 15 months. Curefit set itself apart not just by the style and structure of its Cult.fit studios, but also by merging its offline exercises with the digital platform.
Curefit’s website went live in 2016, and the Cure.fit app started operating in 2017. Customers were instantly on board using the app. Customers were forced to reserve their sessions by selecting their preferred center, time, and class format, which was a first in the fitness business. Customers were normally placed on a waiting list if the session was completely booked, and were given a space if someone canceled.
Founder Mukesh Bansal’s Epic Journey
It’s been quite an eventful journey for CureFit creator Mukesh Bansal from being reared in Haridwar to studying at IIT Kanpur, forging a ten years career in Silicon Valley, returning to India to take the fashion and health business by storm, and now joining the Tatas.
Bansal’s business adventure began in 2007 with the launch of Myntra, a firm he co-founded with his IIT Kanpur colleagues Ashutosh Lawania and Vineet Saxena. Myntra began as a customized gifting company, but in 2011 it shifted its focus to selling fashion and lifestyle items.
It went on to become one of India’s largest fashion sites, acquiring various subsidiaries along the way, including Fitiquette, a virtual fitting room for consumers, and Exclusively, a members-only shopping site for Indian-inspired apparel.
Bansal sold Myntra to Flipkart in 2014 for $300 million, the biggest e-commerce transaction in India at the time. He joined Flipkart as Head of Commerce and Advertising Business, and he remained chairman of the Myntra board. Myntra had 150,000 goods from over 1,000 companies and served over 9,000 pin codes in India at the time of its acquisition by Flipkart.
After the success of Myntra, Mukesh Bansal wanted to revolutionize the Indian health and fitness sector by writing his first book, ‘No Limits, The Art and Science of High Performance.’ With Ankit Nagori, the former chief business officer of Flipkart, he founded his second company, CureFit, a fitness firm. For the startup’s launch, the founders pooled $5 million.
The big deal for Mukesh was the Tata Deal; Tata Digital announced that it will invest $75 million in Cult.fit and that Mukesh Bansal will join the company as President. This was Tata’s third major investment in a startup.
Mukesh Bansal’s life has come full circle, from selling his ecommerce company Myntra to Flipkart to now developing a consumer platform that might compete with Amazon and Flipkart.