Before we start presenting our latest success story, let us wish a Prosperous and Happy New Year to all our readers, be them clients, partners, users, E-Fit trainers or their guests! 2019 has brought us many joyous moments: seeing the progresses that our clients achieved in their businesses throughout these 12 months make us thankful and motivated to keep following the road we began. One of last year’s most fascinating accomplishments has been reached by our Brazilian distributor. Despite E-Fit Brazil's kickoff came to pass only in mid-2019, they left a remarkably fruitful year behind. We asked Fernanda Arraez, partner and manager of studios operation and brand marketing in Brazil, to answer some of our questions relating to the beginnings, actions, processess and long-term goals of their enterprise
Would you give us a glimpse into the EMS and fitness markets of Brazil?
Of course! Let’s start: Compared to all the other countries on Earth, Brazil’s fitness services market is the second largest in terms of number of fitness facilities: there are approximately 33.000 gyms and fitness studios all over the country. The number of people doing sports frequently is also remarkable: Brazil has the fourth biggest regularly exercising population in the world. We are also among the top 10 countries measured by number of fitness centers per capita! Can you imagine 8 millions of customers going to the gym every week? On the other hand, this also means that only 4% of the Brazilian population attends a fitness licensed establishment, which is far from the expected.
The changes of the fitness services market in Brazil have been driven by the increasingly widespread sedentary lifestyle and lack of proper nutrition. These have led to the rising problems of obesity and diabetes which hits a significant part of the population. The fitness segment’s revenue achieved US$2.5 billion in 2018, but even in 2015, despite the severe economic crisis, the fitness segment’s (inflation-adjusted) real income increased by 8%. According to the ABF (Brazilian Franchising Association) there are around 8,000 franchised fitness centers and this segment increased by 80% in the last 5 years.
Brazil, following Europe and the US., is also facing the new global tendency, with the expansion of small studios offering personalized services, like E-Fit. The EMS Market is just at its first years in Brazil. Although the technology first appeared in the country 2015, this sector generates “relevant” business results since 2017. There is no better proof of potential in the EMS sector than the fact that there are currently only 50 studios in the country, despite the huge interest in technology.
We can say that E-Fit is already quite well-known in the Brazilian market. A lot of people refer to us as the brand that is acting throughout Europe and the USA (even if the E-Fit products have been approved by the Brazilian regulatory agencies in June 2019).
Portugal has loads of similarities with Brazil in terms of culture and customs, although, there are some very different characteristics that differentiate them: geographically, economically, politically, organizationally and in terms of security as well. Geographically we have a huge challenge - the size of Brazil. Economically and politically we have experienced many instabilities in the last 5 years, and Brazil is a very bureaucratic country - by this feature you can understand the low participation of EMS brands in the country.
After the sale of our company (corporate market), we had a plan to move to Portugal in 2017 and we started looking for successful franchises. E-Fit Portugal appeared to us as an excellent business opportunity. However, we aborted the plan due to some personal issues and we pointed our efforts to Brazil. We started studying the Fitness and EMS markets and identified the opportunity and business potential that it could’ve had in Brazil as it has still been really unexplored. That's when we decided to bet on E-Fit and start its homologation at the Brazilian regulatory agencies.
We were looking for a business that is financially viable, presenting great opportunities in our market, ha similar values to ours, could enhance our customers’ quality of life, and could also challenge us. E-Fit met all the requirements.
As a loyal and very respectful company always looking for the best technologies and products. E-Fit has been a great partner in understanding the peculiarities of the Brazilian market and legislation.
By 2020, our main goal is to expand the brand through franchising and selling equipment to PTs and we need with all the expertise of E-Fit and its global partners.
To be continued…