If there are any career lessons that have stood out after two years of living with a pandemic, they are: 1) Stay adaptable, and 2) Seize opportunities as they come. Based on the expansion of homegrown yoga and lifestyle brand Yoga Movement, which has seen the opening of four new studios over the last 12 months, co-founder Alicia Pan seems to be on the right track.
February 2021, the time when we were sanguine about overcoming the pandemic, saw the opening of Yoga Movement’s 6,000 sq ft flagship studio in Orchard. That was followed by the launch of a sleek pod concept in Novena in August, matching the generally cautious sentiment towards studio practice at that time.
In November, the seventh studio opened in the heart of Serangoon Gardens, filling the yoga gap in the neighbourhood. Shortly after, in December, the eighth and latest studio opened in Tanjong Pagar’s Icon Village, presumably to target the CBD workers who are returning to the office.
From a consumer standpoint, the locations and timings couldn’t have been more apt. And these business decisions certainly came about as a result of careful planning.
Another key contributing factor to Yoga Movement’s growth: The launch of its app in 2019, well before the pandemic hit. With Covid putting a halt to many in-person interactions, the Yoga Movement app played a crucial part in not just allowing members to book classes or join waitlists easily, but also enhancing the social experience of being in a fitness community, with features such as inviting friends, sharing and gifting class packs, earning achievement badges, and more. Since its launch, the app has contributed to a 30% year-on-year sales increase, and sees over 28,000 users every month.
We speak to Alicia, who’s also a mum of two, to find out how she has been navigating her business and personal life during this time.