Raunaq Singh Anand is the Co-founder of Flexnest, India’s leading Fit Tech Startup creating smart connected fitness solutions for the Indian market. Fitness enthusiasts to the core, he was driven by the idea of disrupting the traditional Fitness equipment space in India with revolutionary fitness solutions that India has never seen before and build a community of individuals who adopt it as an essential part of their lifestyle to follow a healthy fitness regimen. Raunaq pursued Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley and Masters in Management from Duke University in the US. He has worked with AMP Group in the Auto-Component Manufacturing & Luxury Vehicle Retail Industry since 2014.
Fitness as the ultimate goal of healthy living has picked up pace over the years. While in the pre-pandemic times, maintaining health and staying fit was all about hitting the gym, brisk walking, or even taking dance and yoga sessions, post-COVID, the fitness industry has upturned altogether. The pandemic pushed businesses to adopt new-age tech solutions so as to survive and thrive in the ever-evolving market and the fitness sector has been no exception.
Even consumer behavior and preferences have changed drastically due to the pandemic. They have become extra cautious and conscious about their health and immunity levels. They no longer want information on their vital stats but desire to gather knowledge about their calorie and nutrient consumption during the day, amount of calories burnt, pulse rate, body-fat percentage, etc. along with monitoring their daily progress. They prefer keeping a constant tab on their vitals throughout the day even when they are not working out with the sole aim to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
Digital disruption of the fitness industry paving the way for the at-home fitness
Technology forayed into the fitness industry and brought about major transformations that revolutionized the sector on the whole. To cater to the rising and ever-changing demands of the consumers, players had to incorporate tech innovations so as to have a competitive edge in the market.
The most remarkable trend has been the inception of start-up ventures and the emergence of the fit tech sector that ensure the provision of a holistic home workout. They strive to offer high-end, tech-enabled, and virtually stimulating fitness experiences and have led to the introduction and growth of the concept of at-home fitness. Right from fitness wearables and apps to state-of-the-art tech-savvy equipment, the industry has witnessed it all!
These fit tech start-ups have altered the fitness landscape and have made it smart and connected via their engaging and immersive content. They offer the latest equipment and modern fitness services along with offering features of measuring progress. Enabling you to set up a well-equipped home gym, fit tech companies have been helping consumers in indulging in productive workout sessions from the comfort of their homes.
Relevance and benefits offered by at-home fitness
The new-age technologies have modified our mindsets, fitness goals, our exercising patterns as well as have upscaled our lives. They have not only changed the way the consumers perceive and practice fitness but have also provided golden opportunities to businesses to enter the fit tech industry.
As per Research and Markets reports, the global market for wireless health and fitness devices was valued at 280 million units in 2020. It is projected to hit 573.3 million units by 2026 and will grow at a CAGR of 12.1%. The report further states that consumers are increasingly demanding for new-age fitness solutions and this pushes the demand for the growth of fit tech companies.
Stepping in as an effective and viable substitute for the brick and mortal fitness model, fit tech companies are growing significantly owing to the convenience, ease, and flexibility that they offer via their offerings. Owing to the pandemic-induced social distancing and work from home norms, at-home fitness is the new trend in the fitness industry. It has emerged as the ideal solution for the consumers to exercise and maintain their fitness while staying indoors. It not only reduces the chances of being prone to catching the virus but also offers the consumers the chance to indulge in their preferred physical activity as per their schedule and convenience. Additionally, with their connected immersive content and cost-effective features, they are gradually gaining prominence amongst the consumers!
New-age tech-enabled equipment for at home fitness
The fit tech companies come with equipment that can connect with the internet and sync with your phone and help monitor your health conditions. These smart fitness devices pave the way for an interactive and engaging workout session. They eliminate the need for the assistance of any fitness trainer and provide a modern and versatile workout session via their advanced equipment.
Specifically, bluetooth enabled smart indoor bikes have emerged as a game-changer in the cardio experiences. They can be connected to your tablet or smartphone and stream on-demand workout sessions and virtual cycling experiences directly to your bike in the comfort area of your home. The fit tech firms also offer adjustable strength equipment including flexible dumbbells and kettlebells that help in replacing multiple sets of weights. They enable you to easily change your resistance and switch smoothly from one exercise to the next by simply turning the dial and adjusting it as per your convenience.
Furthermore, the tech-enabled smart weighing scale helps measure not just bodyweight but vital body parameters such as body fat rate, BMI, Protein, body water, bone mass, skeletal muscle, visceral fat, etc. It helps users understand their body better and set their goals as per their present condition and preferences. Additionally, the players also offer fitness accessories for helping users in improving their mobility and flexibility during the workout sessions. These range from yoga mats, yoga blocks, foam rollers to hip resistance bands, body resistance bands, and high-speed skipping ropes.
At-home fitness along with fitness apps, streaming services, wearables, and connected devices have been rising exponentially. COVID-19 has further pushed the demand for state-of-the-art at-home fitness equipment and has helped users stay in shape while being at home. What was initiated as a temporary solution has now been able to create a permanent niche for itself in the market offering effective workout sessions at home. Technology has not only disrupted the fitness industry but has also revamped our lives. The digital disruption in the sector has led to the emergence of fit tech players and has transformed our fitness experiences thereby making them smart, connected, immersive, high-end, and digital. These firms are increasingly gaining recognition due to their tech-savvy and premium offerings along with providing at-home fitness and it is anticipated that they will be here to stay even when the situation will normalize!