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Flexing For Success: Nitesh Seebran, COO, Gold’s Gym

Flexing For Success: Nitesh Seebran, COO, Gold’s Gym

Ever keen for a workout, COO Nitesh Seebran explains how he hopes to lift the Gold’s Gym brand to the top of the GCC fitness market.

Nitesh Seebran admits to working out as often as he possibly can, and has a particular fondness for RPM and body combat classes.

But his goal is not a marathon, body building contest or even just to stay fit. He uses the experience to gauge what his members are experiencing on a daily basis as he pushes the Gold’s Gym brand across the GCC.

In a region better known for its sedentary lifestyles, Seebran is looking to tone and tighten, with a pedigree of experience beginning with South Africa’s Health & Racquet in 1997 and including Virgin Active, Fitness First and Kuwait’s Palm Beach Hotel & Spa.

“At that time, Health & Racquet was the biggest fitness chain in Africa and my passion grew from day one, because we had the amazing opportunity to change people’s lives, one member at a time. I was hooked,” he exclaims.

He has since turned his attention to the UAE, a market he describes as one of the fastest growing in the industry, admitting however that residents are “spoilt for choice” with the wealth of international brands present.

Amid this competition, Seebran says he is striving for the same local success as the California founded Gold’s Gym brand has achieved globally, seeking to differentiate with a non-cookie cutter approach that aims to make each facility feel uniquely different.

“I personally believe we will continue to grow as the UAE continues to get stronger, particularly leading up to Dubai Expo 2020,” he says.

In a country where most residential towers have their own gym facilities, Gold’s Gym is looking to lure members with the promise of a larger range of equipment, more floor space and a better atmosphere, with the COO highlighting group exercise classes and personal trainers as the star attractions.

He argues that with the number of health clubs opening in the UAE and big chains still registering members, there are clear signs that people are looking to live more active lifestyles, with Gold’s Gym’s average usage per member increasing over the past 12 months.

And Gold’s Gym’s members aren’t the only ones upping their activity; Seebran expects to lift the company’s total number of clubs to 22 by the end of the year following a series of openings, while adding extra weight through expansion into Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.

He adds that the company could also bulk up further, with expansion to other countries potentially down the line and single gender clubs a consideration to meet cultural and religious needs.

“Our ultimate goal is to achieve a minimum of 50 clubs as soon as possible. The Middle East & Africa are still growing markets and we see huge opportunity for Gold’s Gym in these regions,” he says.

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