Anytime Fitness to Open Clubs in India With New Deal

About a year after the company closed its four clubs in India due to conflicts with a franchisee, it announced a new master-franchise agreement with a company that will open six clubs in the country by the end of the year.

Anytime Fitness, LLC, plans to open about six clubs in India by the end of the year through a new franchise deal.

The Hastings-based company announced Monday that it has signed a master-franchise agreement with New Delhi-based House of Fitness Private Limited, which will develop the new clubs.

Anytime Fitness spokesman Mark Daly told Twin Cities Business that the company expects about 200 new clubs to open in the country within the next five years, including the six it will open this year.

Under the terms of the franchise agreement, House of Fitness can operate its own franchised clubs in the country and sell franchises to others. The company also has exclusive rights in India to the Anytime Fitness brand’s trademarks, systems, and intellectual property.

“We are extremely enthusiastic about the growth potential for Anytime Fitness in India,” John Kersh, vice president of international development for Anytime Fitness, said in a statement. “Our Indian associates from House of Fitness are well respected and they have a solid combination of fitness industry experience and business acumen which, we are sure, will contribute to strong performance of the brand.”

The new agreement marks the company’s second foray into the Indian market. It first entered the country in 2009, when it signed a master franchise agreement with Chandan Lunawat, who subsequently opened four clubs. But the clubs closed in May 2011 when Anytime Fitness cut ties with Lunawat, alleging that he violated the terms of the franchise agreement. Daly declined to provide details about the alleged violations.

Daly also declined to provide the locations of the four clubs that closed, but said that none of the clubs opening this year will be near them and will instead be located in and around New Delhi.

Founded in 2002, Anytime Fitness now has more than 1,900 clubs, which are designed to provide a smaller alternative to large and expensive health clubs. Members can work out around the clock thanks to computerized key fobs that allow entry 24/7—and they have access to all clubs worldwide.

Anytime Fitness was one of Twin Cities Business’ “Small Business Success Stories” in 2009.