‘Fitness is no longer limited to the gym—it’s part of an individual’s lifestyle’

Trupti Bhandari of GSK Consumer Healthcare interacts with Rameet Arora of HT in Episode 6 (Part 1) of Brand Studio Live, Season 2.

“Fitness was once limited to only the gym. But now it has become a part of an individual’s lifestyle,” said Sameer Maheshwari, founder, HealthKart. “It is not about going from point A to B in the gym; it’s also about adopting a habit of healthy eating,” he added.

The sixth episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2, has industry leaders like Maheshwari focusing on India’s burgeoning wellness generation.

“Fitness is one of those categories that can grow multi-fold through education. A lot of people want to be fit, but they have a hard time figuring out the right diet and the right regime to follow,” Maheshwari further said.

However, with an abundance of information available and the omnipresence of technology, it’s increasingly hard to tailor offerings to the specific needs of the consumer. Why should a consumer believe in a brand or its product?

Pankaj Duhan, CMO, Reckitt Benckiser-South Asia Health, thinks that it all comes down to the character of the brand in question and the change it seeks to drive.

He said: “Truly confident brands and brand leaders need to be okay with losing control in a conversation and steering it in a direction feasible to them, in real time. That requires patience, guts and a lot of thought.”

While brands are vying for the consumer’s attention, it’s important to realise that in-depth R&D, along with a personalized focus is non-negotiable.

“Everyone has a different perspective when it comes to being healthy, but they are all point-in-time ideas,” said Marut Setia, CMO, GE Healthcare. “What we need is a consistent approach with the knowledge of certified doctors behind it. That will lead to a higher traction, stronger results and longer impact.”

Talking about the growth of the B2C industry in healthcare, Setia said, “We do not have the resources to make every person in the country healthy. So, an emerging trend in the wellness industry is to take a smart move and make sure people don’t get unhealthy in the first place. That’s why I believe that B2C will be big.”

With fake information available aplenty and consumers self-diagnosing their conditions, creating awareness about wellness is crucial. In order to avoid an existential crisis, brands need to adopt a mix of educational and emotional storytelling, according to Trupti Bhandari, Global Business Lead-Family Nutrition, GSK Consumer Healthcare.

She said: “It’s important to give the consumer the right science, the right benefits and create an entire ecosystem around it. The communication can’t be dependent on just traditional media; it needs to happen across platforms and educate consumers about the category and the importance it holds.”

HT Brand Studio Live is a series that gets the brains behind India’s top brands to decode marketing innovations and more. It is anchored by Rameet Arora, Chief Operating Officer, HT Digital Streams, and co-hosted by HT Brand Studio and DMAasia.