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COLIN GRANT


Pure Group is developing into a global business – a new Pure Yoga is opens in Shangai in October 2013


who were great at teaching, but didn’t have the money, the business ideas or the connections to do something bigger.


How quickly did business pick up? Within three months of opening, we’d rented the rest of the fl oor in the building, taking us up to 10,000sq ft. The largest studio we’ve opened to date is 35,000sq ft, with 55 showers in the ladies’ changing rooms. That location does about 1,000 students a day.


Can you sum up the off er? We offer a choice of up to 60 types of yoga taught by passionate teachers in facilities that allow people to work out, to sweat, or to get deep into meditation and different kinds of yoga. It’s not religious and it’s not like a gym – it’s somewhere in the middle; a sanctuary of strength and spirit. We have opened the door to yoga for a lot of people. We also provide towels and mats,


www.leisurehandbook.com


attractive studios, pleasant changing rooms and a nice lounge afterwards. That all creates a better experience.


What were the biggest challenges of the fi rst few years? Being so busy and trying to manage the quality. We started with three staff and I used to hand out towels at the counter; when you are a small company you don’t have time to step back and focus on quality. You’re so involved in the business on a day-to-day basis. Now it’s different. Today we’ve got 1,200 staff and a great team, so I can step back and focus on other parts of the business. You also have Pure Fitness, Pure Dining and Pure Retail. How did these evolve? It was a natural extension to the yoga business. When you have 700 people doing yoga, a lot of them have partners who prefer to go to a gym. We also had people who wanted to do both yoga classes and go to a gym, so it made


sense to add fi tness facilities. For many people, working out is a social thing, somewhere they can meet people, which is why we decided to add a restaurant. Our restaurant is not a health farm – you can have champagne, a gin and tonic, a chocolate pudding. It’s a full service restaurant.


People come in, they do some yoga, or


a core workout, they can go and relax in our restaurant. It’s all about a balanced lifestyle.


Also we’re trying to build a community, and this ties in with that. We hold a lot of member events, parties and corporate events at the restaurant.


Does the restaurant incorporate the Pure Yoga philosophy in any way? No, not really. If you walked into the restaurant, you wouldn’t think it was connected to the gym or yoga studio. It’s a place for people to go for a beer or a meal after their classes.


LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014 41


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