Fitness industry in India has huge potential: Kiren Rijiju

Talking about the untapped potential of the Indian fitness industry, MoS Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said there is a huge potential in the business of fitness in India.

In an address at the India Sports Summit, he said there is enormous scope for young entrepreneurs and businesses to create economic value in the sports and fitness industry.

The Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya reiterated that there are many examples of breakout entrepreneurs who are willing to take big bets on sports and fitness as a big business opportunity. He assured the entrepreneurs of government support through policy initiatives.

Sanjay Gupta, Chairman, CII Sports Committee and Country Manager Star and Disney India said, “Globally, sports and fitness as a percentage of GDP averages between 2-5%. In India, it is less than 0.1 percent. This is our big opportunity. The sports and fitness industry have potential to grow 5 times from current levels to $10bn by 2024.”

He further added that charity and donations cannot create a revolution. It is essential to build a thriving and meaningful business enterprise around sports and fitness. The industry is at the same stage as IT was two decades back when the development of IT was recognized as one of the top five priorities.

Studies suggest a strong positive correlation between GDP and physical activity levels. In developing economies like India, the correlation is even more pronounced.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) published report on health and fitness levels across the world, covering 1.9 million people in 168 countries including India, it was found that 24% men and 43% women in India are physically inactive.

Gupta also said India is lagging behind countries such as China on basic health and fitness metrics. Many children may not be in the best of physical shape when they enter the working-age population. He said initiatives need to be taken to ensure children are physically fit.