Fitness expert Divya Himatsingka kept her focus intact during the pandemic
A hands-on gym popular with the city’s high and mighty young crowd, Skulpt has adapted to the changing times, and how. From giving personalised classes to getting onboard new members for a group session, the modern fitness centre never lost focus. Divya Himatsingka, 45, who started Skulpt five years back after an experience of over a decade in the fitness industry, believes it’s the loyalty of her staff and her clients that has always helped them to achieve their goal. “We are a very people-centric organisation. These seven months have shown me that everything that I have invested in 15 years, is worth it,” reflects Himatsingka, who is a die-hard Kolkata girl. The fitness enthusiast tells us about Skulpt’s renewed efforts and learning from the pandemic. Excerpts:
How did Skulpt brave the pandemic?
It took a few months for us to get over the sudden blow and surmise where or what we were heading for. It was during the end of April when we decided to do something instead of just sitting back and waiting for the wheels of time to turn. We employed a three-way approach. First, starting the online group training or classes and second, resuming the personal training for our existing members. We didn’t want to take the money from people and sit on it. Third, we started personalised training for non-members because not everyone was comfortable with group classes.
What were the challenges?
There were a lot of challenges including connectivity issues besides untrained and unaccustomed patrons and trainers, for both of whom online training was a relatively new concept. Further, we did not have the database with us! In August when we got permission to reopen. But, we were all apprehensive because we were taking responsibility for so many people. Hence, we have been very strict with the sanitisation process allowing not more than 20 people in the gym, keeping hourly appointments, decreasing the number of trainers and making a lot many smaller changes including stopping the coffee vending machine to discourage hangouts. We have also introduced exclusive hour-long sessions for those who want to work out alone.
What are the takeaways?
Lockdown has been a huge learning process for us. It taught us that if something is not working out then instead of focusing on those problems, we need to look for solutions and move on.
It’s difficult to plan anything at the moment. It taught us that there will be a large number of people sweating out online. So, we will have online programmes and we will monitor them on a day to day basis.