written by Sourish | April 30, 2021

How To Start Gym Business In India?

The fitness industry is a highly rewarding business for those who can pursue it. Gyms have always been popular in the country. Although it is possible to work out at home, gyms offer numerous benefits that come with it. Gyms can offer equipment that is either too expensive to buy or occupy too much space for most people. They can also offer a wide range of exercises. More than all of that, gyms and the people who work out are sources of motivation for those who are starting or those who feel tired to continue. 

The fitness industry is expected to see an overall growth of $32 billion by 2022, with gyms and slimming services contributing over $6.6 billion to the total. For those contemplating a gym startup, this blog has all the information needed on How to Start a Gym Business in India and turn it into a profitable business in the long run. 

Pick the Business Model 

The business model you choose can determine how well your gym can do in the area you have set up. Depending on what you are willing to settle on, your business models can be: 

1. Membership Model: 

    • This is the normal business model that gyms have used for a long time. The customers pay a monthly fee, and it gives you a regular income. 
    • If you are set up in an area where there is a good demand, you'll have more customers. This model can be quite profitable. 
    • If your monthly expense is Rs. 50,000 and the monthly membership fees are Rs. 1000, then you will need a minimum of 50 members to cover your expenses.

2. Pay As You Go Model: 

    • This model works best if you are just starting out and are looking to get new customers to the gym. 
    • It is great for people who cannot be regular to a gym and would rather pay a small amount for every visit to maintain their fitness. 
    • For example, if the package is Rs.1000 for 10 visits, they can visit the gym 10 times whenever they need. 

3. Dynamic Pricing Model

    • This model works out if you start a gym or a franchise with coaches for weight loss or bodybuilding, or other fitness-related programs. 
    • The customers will be offered different packages based on their needs and goals. It’s a more profitable model if you open your gym close to high-end localities in big cities. 

4. Integrated Model: 

    • This model combines the membership, and the pay-as-you-go model helps both gyms and customers. 
    • Regular members can benefit from the membership model, while irregular members can choose the other. 
    • It makes sure you have a high customer base and a steady income. 

Selecting a Location 

The location is a factor that can make or break your gym business. It is ideal to set up your gym close to residential areas, gated communities or apartment complexes. If there is no space available close to the residential area, then pick a large space at the next closest possible location available for a lower rent. 

Gyms close to residential areas tend to get crowded in the morning and evening hours. So people wouldn’t mind going a bit further if they can work out in a less crowded and more relaxed space. 

Cost to Set up a Gym in India 

The cost of setting up a gym in India can vary depending on the size, the facilities, quality equipment and the kind of trainers you are going to hire. Here is a breakdown of everything: 

  • Space and Rent: Gyms need to be spacious to attract more people. So at least a 10,000 sq ft area would be required. Depending on the location,  space this big can cost anywhere between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 5,00,000 to rent. 
  • Equipment: Good gyms will have to offer a wide range of equipment, and in multiple numbers, so more people can work out at the same time. If you’re starting small, then the basic equipment costs would come around Rs. 5,00,000 while a great gym with advanced equipment can cost more than Rs. 50,00,000 to set up.
  • Interiors: If you are going to attract customers from the upscale parts of the area, then your interiors should feel classy. The interior designing costs can range from Rs. 2,00,000 to Rs. 5,00,000.
  • Maintenance Staff: Maintenance staff, including the front desk receptionist, would need to be paid from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60,000 depending on how many you employ.
  • Trainers: Hiring qualified trainers can cost quite a bit. It could go over Rs. 1,00,000 depending on how many you employ.

Also Read: How to set up a Garment Store in India

Obtain Required Licenses 

All businesses must meet the legal guidelines and set regulations by the government. Here's what you need to pay attention to: 

  • Gym Registration. Like every other business, your gym needs to be registered as either a sole proprietorship, Partnership Firm or a Company.
  • Other documents include building permits, initial investment-related agreements, tax registrations, procedures, etc.
  • Special permits for gym amenities such as indoor swimming pools, spa, locker rooms and more. 
  • Insurance is also a major part of gyms as there is bound to be accidents and equipment related damage that needs to be covered. 
  • GST registration is compulsory if the business records a turnover of more than Rs. 20 lakhs, or Rs. 10 lakhs in some states.
  • Police department clearance is also a must for all fitness-related businesses.  

Hire Fitness Trainers 

Hiring fitness trainers are important when you start a gym business. Fitness trainers can help in proper training routines and offer personal advice to clients. These services, in turn, will ensure their long term membership.

  • They can help with coordinating workout sessions and allot necessary exercise routines and machines to the members on a daily basis. This will also ensure fewer mix-ups and problems in peak hours. 
  • Hiring experienced trainers can not only improve the quality of service to the members but also improve word of mouth marketing. Their experiences can also give you more ideas for your new venture and how to make it better. 
  • However, keep in mind that hiring fitness trainers can be costly and may go over Rs. 1,00,000 depending on how many you need to hire.

Before hiring fitness trainers, here are all the credentials you can look for: 

  • GFFI (Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute) 
  • BFY Sports & Fitness
  • CBT (Certified Bodybuilding & Gym/ Personal Trainer) 
  • IAFT (Indian Academy of Fitness Training)

Equipment and Interiors  

High-quality equipment is important for all gyms. Your gym setup should have these basic pieces of equipment:

  • Training Benches: These are basic equipment used for a variety of training exercises. You will need these in good numbers as they will be used for weight training. The benches need to be of high quality and easy to adjust.
  • Free weights: Free weights include a range of equipment starting with dumbbell sets, barbell sets, kettlebell sets, weight plates and other equipment that use weights as resistance. Since these will be the most used equipment in the gym, make sure you have higher numbers of them for multiple members, even when the gym is at full capacity. 
  • Pull up frames and bars: These are meant for bodyweight exercises and will need wall or ceiling support for mounting. Squatting racks and also racks for holding barbells.
  • Cardio Equipment: Treadmills, stationary bicycles, and punching bags are all types of cardio equipment that are essential in all gyms. You will need to have anywhere from 5 - 15 of these for a large-sized gym to accommodate all the people. Punching bags can be fewer and will need ceiling support. 
  •  Accessories: There are a number of other equipment that are just as essential for gyms, such as resistance bands, fitness balls, rowing machines, abs wheels, mats, battle ropes etc.
  • Interiors: The interiors should be well made with bright lights, good painting and plenty of motivational posters around. The halls need to have walls lined with mirrors and protective bumpers at the bottom in the event the equipment rolls away. 

Member Incentives

Standard gym packages are no longer enough to retain gym members for long. You can also offer additional deals and activities such as fat loss programs, physiotherapy, Zumba, aerobics or specialised training that adds value to the members. 

Marketing Gym Business in India 

Marketing your gym can make a lot of difference to how well you will perform in the beginning and maintain growth in the future. You can do it in the following ways:

  • Start with creating your online identity by opening a website or app and getting on popular social media platforms. 
  • Your website should contain all the information about your facility and offerings. Write blogs and generate plenty of content for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Since the majority of users use Google to find what they need, having a strong SEO strategy will pay off big returns. 
  • Getting on Instagram is one of the best things you can do to quickly promote your business. Post pictures of your facility and people working out. Make interesting stories every day that people can watch and see what’s going on at your place. 

Gym Franchise

If you are looking for a gym business plan in India that doesn’t require too much experience, then picking up a franchise may be a great option for you. Although the gym franchise cost in India can be expensive, it saves you the hassle of starting everything from the beginning. Picking up a gym franchise can also help you learn a lot about the industry. With that knowledge, you can start your own gym and fix the problems.

Gym Management Software

If your gym business plans to be large with hundreds of members, then you will definitely need gym management software. The software can keep track of individual members, their routines, progress, special needs, comments and regularity. All of this information can help you determine essential business-related metrics. Softwares are a bit costly if you are starting out small. You can use one as your business starts to grow.

Also Read: How to apply for a business loan in India 


A good Gym business depends on the locality that it is set up in, the initial investment

into equipment, interiors, space and trainers and a long term business model. It is a good business option for those who are experienced in the industry or those interested in picking up a franchise. This information should be sufficient for you to lay the foundation for what to expect.   

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are opening gyms profitable in India? 

Profitability depends on the locality of the gym and the services offered. A rough estimation is that for an investment of Rs. 50 lakhs, your annual profit would be about Rs. 15 lakhs after the operational costs. 

Is it good to start a gym as a business? 

The main feature is the initial investment that goes into the gym. To run it successfully, you will need some experience in the industry. Based on how well you have set up and your business model, gyms can be a good business. 

How much investment needed to start a gym in India?

To start a good quality gym in a decent area where you can expect many customers, you will need a minimum of about Rs. 50 lakhs. If you are on a limited budget and starting small, it can be done within Rs. 10 lakhs. 

What is the salary of a gym trainer?

Freshers need to be paid anywhere from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000. Experienced trainers can cost from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 1 lakh.  Those with special certification get paid about Rs. 60,000 as starting. 

What are the common problems Gym owners face? 

The main problem, in the beginning, is getting new clients. Then comes managing the staff, expenses and finances. 

How many members do gyms normally have? 

Large gyms, on average, have about 1000 members, especially if they are franchises. 

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