Understanding the needs of Indian consumer – Health and Fitness industry

In this blog we will discuss mindset and needs of an Indian consumer.  In my last blog I had mentioned about the trends and opportunities in Indian market giving an overview. This article will be about the needs of the consumer analyzing the demand side.

Are you already bored??? Don’t worry there are lots of fun stuff ahead just read on..


So what does a typical Indian consumer want from his fitness/wellness regime ?

Is it an attractive physique ?

Is it a robust immune system ?

Is it the freedom to eat anything he wants and not go out of shape ?

Or is it just to bust stress and have a good leisure pass time activity?

Well frankly maybe a combination of all of these.

Lets begin the fun… I interacted with some people to find out what exactly they want from their fitness regime,  The most common answer which I got was value for money…. well this was not a surprise, people in India are obsessed about the mileage of their vehicle then why not with their fitness regime 😉

So how I did it?


I went ahead and had a conversation with around 30 people(20 males,10 females) among everyone I know who had been working out/hitting the gym. I dint had any structured questionnaire in place, all I wanted through this exercise was to know what are the reasons that drive them to a gym/workout place and what are the areas where they get disappointed.

Well hold your breath… here goes my findings :

  • The driving force for most of the guys was a lean physique (Being in a sedentary job structure most of them wanted to loose weight)
  • For girls it was purely about loosing weight and looking lean, although they do mentioned a want for increased stamina/appetite as a by product.
  • Some of them(around 5) wanted to look good/attractive for an event (like marriage or some auspicious occasion or for some competition)


As for disappointments,well I had a few surprises to mention if not many, generally here I was expecting that people will come up with points like they don’t get enough time or they lack discipline to control the cravings but here was what I got:

  • Problem with Goal setting (they dint know how to set a target and no one reliable was helping them with that)
  • Lack of clarity on whether they were actually achieving anything or not from the schedule/lack of definite progress measures
  • Information clarity meaning they dint knew whether a supplement recommended by their trainer was good, or there was a personal benefit involved in that
  • Value for money was a chief concern, there spends were digging a hole in their pockets but they were not getting value out of that (atleast supposedly)
  • Finally one more disappointment that I came across was there was a lack of motivation owing to multiple factors like no training partner or no push from trainers etc
  • Lot of injuries owing to climate/wrong training style


So what is the resolution,

Well in my opinion building the trust factor among the consumers is the single most important factor that can make all the difference in this industry. Spending some X amount on a particular protein supplement/fat burner or spending a Y amount on a gym membership/trainer fees always comes with an uncertainty that what if this doesn’t work.

Building Trust Model Illustration Design

Although this is nothing new because everything is life comes with a risk and benefit ratio… In some cases taking a risk pays off in some other cases it doesn’t. The question here is have the big/small players in the industry  built that trust ? .. The answer is No … Building the trust requires nourishing the customer even before he is acquired for the right cause(his wellness).

Currently there is no player in the industry who puts customer ahead of revenues. Seeing the customer as a source of revenue will never help a firm . Perceiving them as an asset who needs to be nourished with time to grow to their full potential (here it may be to reach their optimum fitness level)  will be the first baby step towards winning a consumer trust.

What happens if you loose money?

What happens if you can’t hit your revenue targets?

Essentially nothing…

But What happens if a consumer feels cheated and loses his trust?

The future of the brand is pushed towards doom. Taking some beating for the longevity is always justified. Once trust is built everything else will fall in place.


Hope you enjoyed reading this. We will discuss more on various aspects of diet in my next blog stay tuned…. 🙂




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