Vietnam’s Wellness Ecosystem With Dane Fort, Fitness & Lifestyle Group — VNI Ep.26 Recap | Vietcetera
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Vietnam’s Wellness Ecosystem With Dane Fort, Fitness & Lifestyle Group — VNI Ep.26 Recap

The CEO of Vietnam’s largest fitness group lets Hao Tran in on his fitness routine and explains why wellness products need to be localized to work.

Vietnam’s Wellness Ecosystem With Dane Fort, Fitness & Lifestyle Group — VNI Ep.26 Recap

The pandemic has attuned the Vietnamese to their health, says Dane Fort, CEO of Fitness & Lifestyle Group Vietnam. | Source: Tin Phung for Vietcetera

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Listen and subscribe to “Vietnam Innovators” in Vietnamese: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | YouTube

No fitness club membership? No problem, says Dane Fort, the CEO of Fitness & Lifestyle Group Vietnam. For the country’s largest fitness group by market share, democratizing wellness means spreading the gospel of fitness among members and non-members alike.

The group’s latest product, the LivWell app, looks to be a step in that direction. Breaking the mold of a traditional fitness software, the free app creates value by gamifying exercise, with LivWell coins — redeemable at the group’s own locations and through a network of partners — awarded to those who make movement part of their lives.

On the nutrition side, the app’s counseling functionality promotes healthy eating through highly localized content. You are more likely to stick to a new diet if it means eating the food you know and like, argues Dane. The same principle applies to LiveWell’s workout content: the 50,000-plus free videos make use of whatever exercise equipment is available to an average Vietnamese, at home or in parks.

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A shot in the arm

Growing its online presence allows the group to tap Vietnam’s ascendant middle class as well as building brand awareness in places where Cali is not yet present. Powering its expansion into Vietnam’s second tier cities is another new product, Jetts — a chain of fitness clubs with a smaller footprint that is open 24/7, requires no contract and with monthly fees as low as USD 20. 

Dane, who swears by cryo chambers, nootropics and other treatments and supplements embraced by biohackers, often gets plaudits for bringing the latest in wellness tech to Vietnam. At Eri Clinic International, another brand in the group’s portfolio, booking an IV drip session is becoming as routine as coming in for a Botox appointment.

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The silver lining

The pandemic has attuned the Vietnamese to their health. Following the first lockdown, gym check-ins and membership sales went through the roof, making the months of May-August 2020 the strongest period in the 14-year history of Fitness & Lifestyle Group Vietnam. 

Using the analogy with the industrial and tech revolutions, Dane calls the post-pandemic period “the wellness revolution”, with population-wide lifestyle changes paving the way to improved mental health and overall wellbeing. The company’s goal is to have every Vietnamese person subscribe to the notion that “health is new wealth”, by 2025.