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Pune-based Abhimanyu Sable talks about his journey as an entrepreneur

The founder and chairman of ABS Fitness says that passion and education is important to be successful.

pune Updated: Jan 27, 2019 15:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Startup Saturday,entrepreneur
Abhimanyu Sable started working as a fitness trainer at Hotel Sagar Plaza with a starting salary of ₹800 in 1991. (HT PHOTO )

My background:

I come from a humble background. I have stayed in a chawl for 31 years of my life but, I always believed that, to be successful you need two things, passion and education. There were days when even one meal was not possible but one thing that my father taught me was to exercise. Despite all financial challenges, I managed to graduate and went on to do my Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

How I began?

I started working as a fitness trainer at Hotel Sagar Plaza with a starting salary of ₹800 in 1991. I then joined Poona club as a trainer but the turning point was when I joined Holiday Inn as Assistant Manager, Fitness club. I got this opportunity because I had an MBA degree. At Holiday Inn, I learned systems, processes and standard operating procedures. At Holiday Inn I realised that I need to educate myself in fitness. Holiday Inn helped me to go to USA to study in the American College of Sports Medicine. I opened my first ABS centre in 2005 at Nucleus Mall, Pune and implemented everything I learnt at Holiday Inn and that was the beginning of a beautiful journey of ABS Fitness.

My business today: Since the first centre was set up in 2005, the club has seen wide variety of designs and equipment setups. It has grown from one club to 30 clubs in 16 cities; from 5,000 sq feet to 50,000 sq feet; from 20 fitness professionals to 500 fitness professionals and from 500 members to 60,000 members. ABS have been innovative in launching a variety of fitness clubs from boutique clubs to large sports clubs. From women’s only clubs to functional training clubs. Apart from the facilities, one thing that has always been constant all these years is our commitment towards spreading fitness and inspiring people to live an active life.

Hits and misses: I have had equal failures as compared to my success. I opened a women’s club called ABS for Her, which I felt was ahead of time. I also started functional training clubs which we closed down. There have been tremendous failures and these failures have made me stronger. It’s always better to try and fail. Otherwise most people are so scared to fail that they don’t even try to do new things.

My vision: Presently we employ 500 fitness professionals. My vision is to employ 1, 000 fitness professionals in the next three years. Also, I have a vision to take world- class fitness facilities and fitness education to rural villages.

First Published: Jan 27, 2019 14:59 IST