“The Covid-19 pandemic has raised people’s awareness of healthy eating”

The fitness and wellness industry in India is growing at an unprecedented pace as more people adopt fitness and a healthy lifestyle as a way of life and are much more inclined to achieve their fitness goals. “The saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ has now become firmly anchored in the minds of consumers. The category is now becoming mainstream as online and specialty stores increase consumer awareness of such products. Financial Express Online spoke with Praveen Chirania, Founder, Muscle and Strength India, a leading retailer of fitness supplements and nutritional products on the industry, the company’s business, and future plans. Excerpts:

How do you see the market for dietary supplements and what is the impact of Covid-19 on this segment?

Consumers are increasingly turning to health care. In addition, the increasing focus on holistic wellbeing and strengthening immunity has led to some significant changes in consumer eating habits. The growth of the market can be attributed to the growing awareness of consumers about health care, health awareness, a changed lifestyle, increasing purchasing power and increasing cases of lifestyle diseases. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a growing awareness of healthy eating among people, which has further fueled the growing demand for nutritional supplements, a pattern that has grown steadily in recent years as they boost immunity and provide nourishment. Even if the fear of a pandemic subsides, these behavior changes are expected to continue.

Given that the market is flooded with counterfeit nutritional supplements, what do you think in that regard?

Maintaining health and being fit is a modern need of all generations today. Because of this, diet with nutritional supplements has become immensely important and part of the overall family program. The question arises as to whether or not fitness enthusiasts consume authentic nutritional supplements? Given that the market is being flooded with counterfeit supplements, this distinction is crucial. Fake supplements usually contain banned substances like steroids, harmful chemicals, and counterfeit ingredients, and also resemble real ones in color and texture, which causes permanent damage to the body. It is very important to all of us because it is not only a waste of money, it is also a health hazard. It also has deeper physical and psychological effects. Hence, you should buy nutritional supplements from real retailers of reputable brands as investing in health is a top priority. A reputable dealer always takes the necessary precautions to sell good quality. All of our products are sourced only from the authorized channels and go through quality controls before going to the online warehouse or physical stores with a unique verification hologram code on each product.

Please provide a brief overview of your trademark since it was founded.

Muscle and Strength India, headquartered in New Delhi, was founded in 2018 and is one of the country’s leading retailers of fitness supplements and nutritional products. The company currently has 15 stores in 12 cities across the country and offers a full range of real high quality fitness and nutritional supplements in categories such as proteins, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements, etc., made by international fitness brands under one roof at a great price. In a short period of time, Muscle and Strength India has become one of the fastest growing retail chains in the dietary supplement market in India. The company was also recently recognized as a startup by the Ministry of Industry Promotion and Inland Trade of the Government of India.
The youth icon Prince Narula has a stake in the start-up company Muscle and Strength India, which specializes in retail food supplements. He plays a key role in the company’s strategic expansion plans, including marketing and promotion. Mukesh Singh Gehlot, renowned bodybuilder and powerlifter who has won several gold medals in national and international competitions, and Bhupender Dhawan, recipient of the Indian President’s Dronacharya Award in Power Lifting, are also part of Muscle and Strength India and have been involved in activities of marketing initiatives.

Praveen Chirania, Founder, Muscle and Strength India

What different product ranges are there in your branches?

Muscle and Strength India has the largest range of over 1000 fitness supplements and nutritional products from over 42 brands. The company’s sole goal is to make health and wellness a priority for everyone. Muscle and Strength India also recently started manufacturing its own-brand Perfect Series in the Sports Nutrition category and will be adding to its portfolio in the near future. The company has already received USFDA-registered® certification for its private label product. We want to expand this year and bring more products in different flavors to the market that focus on different health and wellness categories and segments.

How high is the investment in furnishing the individual branches? What is the expected ROI and how long does it take for a deal to balance?

In terms of investment, our franchise business requires an investment of approximately 10 lakhs. However, it can vary to some extent depending on the location of the store. Indeed, it is important to calculate ROI before investing your hard-earned cash in any business. In our business, break-even occurs within 2-3 months, while the ROI is achieved within 12-18 months. It is therefore reasonable to assume that an investment in our franchise should bring a return on both the money and the time invested in the company. Great franchises not only provide the plan, but also support, marketing materials, and help you grow your business.

What are your expansion plans?

Muscle and Strength India is looking to aggressively expand in the country and plans to open 100 stores this year. The company intends to invest Rs. 20 crore next year to deepen its presence in India’s growing nutritional supplement market. This investment is financed through internal provisions including investments by franchisees. Aside from the subways, we believe the real demand is in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where the availability of updated, real, and affordable additions is still a challenge, and we want to tap into this market. Muscle & Strength India’s expansion plans also come at a time when there is an increased focus on health care in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Our goal now is to grow consistently over the next few years and invest in the health and fitness industry. We also believe our growth is due to the original products available in our stores at reasonable prices and we hope to be one of the largest chains in India in our segment by the end of this year.

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