By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE BURGEONING local fitness scene is set to be boosted some more with the recent launch of a premium international fitness platform designed to take healthy living and wellness to more people.
Officially launched last week in Manila, the GuavaPass platform is now live with the promise to offer fitness fans and advocates an elite list of classes to take.
“The easiest way to think about it is it is an online membership that gives you access to top premium fitness studios within your city. For example, if you want to take yoga, pilates, kickboxing, boot camps and what not, you just have to join our program and you get access to the studios we curate for a monthly rate. This is opposed to paying monthly fees enrolled in a gym,” said Jeffrey Liu, co-founder and chief executive officer of GuavaPass, in an interview in describing their whole concept.
With just a simple click, one can register through the GuavaPass mobile app or through its official Web site guavapass.com. For a monthly fee of P2,999, one gets the chance to enlist in as many fitness classes one can with the top premium and boutique studio partners of GuavaPass.
The fitness pass also assures members that they get to match their exercise needs with the right fitness partners.
“It is also a multi-city pass as we are available in 10 cities,” added Mr. Liu.
“So if you happen to be in Hong Kong one week then in Singapore on another, you can still use it. It’s like Uber. You just select the activity you want to do and geographically the more convenient place to do it [in] and just show up without taking any money from your pocket. You just have confirm your attendance,” he said.
Apart from Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore, GuavaPass is also available in Dubai, Shanghai, Melbourne and Sydney.
According to Rob Pachter, co-founder and president, the idea for GuavaPass stemmed from their recognition that their is “gap” and “fragmentation” in the fitness market.
“I’m originally from New York and I was influenced by high-quality boutique workout. So when I moved to Singapore, where I currently reside, I noticed that there was a major gap in the market and fragmentation of all these studios in Singapore but nothing that centralized them together,” he said.
“Not only did we realize that there are super high-end boutique classes but more [than that we realized that] there is no access to what is good and what is not. So we used our knowledge from the States, used the curated approach and made sure we had the best of the best in the individual fitness categories so that when the member joins he can experience the best,” Mr. Pachter added.
Experiencing firsthand the kind of enthusiasm and activity the fitness community in the country has, it was a no-brainer for GuavaPass to come to the Philippines, the officials said.
“Initially we identified key markets where we want to set up. In the Philippines, we considered the number of fitness enthusiasts and high-quality boutiques. We are taking a social community and wellness approach. We want to make sure that holistically that there is a lot of healthy living establishments like healthy restaurants and active lifestyle brands. And we are lucky enough to hook up with our current general manager. She knows all these high-quality studios. And after a careful study, we realized that all our assumptions about the Philippines are accurate,” said Mr. Pachter.
Now up for nine months since opening shop in April of last year, things are going well for GuavaPass, its officials said.
“We have been around since April 2015. It has only been nine months. But in that period we have been live in 10 cities. Manila, officially, is our sixth city,” Mr. Liu said.
“It’s been a Cinderella story in more ways than one. The reception across the board has been great. From every aspect of the business we have been getting awesome feedback. Also we are creating great partnerships with a lot of brands and studios,” Mr. Pachter said.
And the officials shared that they see the same growth for GuavaPass in the Philippines.
“We are very optimistic of the Philippine market. Just from our experience here we are blown away by the fitness community. It’s really rich. Everyone here are fitness-centric and loves to take care of their body. So it’s one of the fastest-growing markets and we are very excited,” Mr. Liu said.
While what they are offering is not exactly new as there are already other fitness passes available in the region like KFit and Passport Asia, GuavaPass said they are making a conscious effort to be different.
“Fundamentally and philosophically we are different from them. When we started this, we did not want to be a mass-market type of a company. We really wanted to have a one-to-one studio relationship with our studios and long term we really want to build a social community of fitness and wellness and create all these value propositions from the different parts of the ecosystem. And we take a premium approach in curating our program instead of enlisting all these studios that are available. It’s more of a quality product than a quantity product,” Mr. Pachter said.
“Our team is very fitness-centric. We have yoga instructors, nutritionists, taekwondo champions, air yoga experts and so on, who go out and try these different classes to make sure that what we offer is good for our members,” Mr. Liu added.
For CrossFit Manila instructor Gabriel Guerrero, who was present during the Manila launch of GuavaPass, the advent of the platform is a boon to the local fitness scene.
“Well, if anything it’s a good way for people to start getting into fitness. In case they still don’t know what they want, they can enroll in GuavaPass and have a variety of classes to choose from. If they remain undecided, at least they can try everything and from there make their choice. It’s a good thing as maybe for some people getting a month’s worth of gym membership may be too much for them and they are only doing a certain type of activity. So this gives them a variety of options,” he said in a separate interview.
“Fitness is also about socializing and through this you get to know like-minded people who share your passion and it’s a good thing in establishing network and friendship which makes working out more fun,” he added.
Moving ahead, GuavaPass said they are only starting and planning more for their product.
“Our goal has always been to build that social community. I think we have only scratched the surface with all these wonderful partners. And as we build this ecosystem we intend to tap more partners and do more stuff,” Mr. Liu said.
In Manila, one can choose from the different fitness routines by the following GuavaPass partners: 360 Fitness, Bikram Yoga Manila, Beast House, Beyond Yoga, CrossFit MNL, Elorde Boxing, F45, Flying Trapeze, Focus Athletics, Groundzero, HIIT Philippines, L!FE, Lift Hard, Ninja Academy, Polecats Manila, Plana Forma, Platinum Executive Fitness, Primal Ape Crossfit, Saddle Row, Sante Impact System, Ultimate Fitness, and Urban Ashram Yoga.
For more information on GuavaPass and what it offers, contact Samantha Rodriguez at 0999-887-0608 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.