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As More Romanians Work Out, One Pioneering Club Chain Leads the Pack

At first glance, the Swedish and Romanian health and fitness landscapes don’t appear to have much in common. Competition is fierce among health clubs in Sweden, and consumers have high expectations as a result. Romanians, however, are in the earlier stages of incorporating fitness—and health clubs—into their lives. 

Despite these disparities, Kent Orrgren—who has managed clubs in both markets—sees more similarities than differences.

“Both people are open minded and curious to explore new things and experiences,” he says. “I could say that Swedish people are more structured and Romanians are more spontaneous—very sociable—but in the same time demanding in terms of expectations.” 

Orrgren is putting his 28 years of Europe-spanning fitness experience to use in his current role as CEO of World Class Romania. The business runs 30 clubs that serve more than 52,000 members—not bad for a burgeoning market in a country with fewer than 20 million people.

Putting Customers First (and Keeping Them Close)

While competition in Romania isn’t as tough as it is in Sweden, the battle for market share still exists. World Class has managed to pull away from the pack by putting people at the very center of the business—something Orrgren is passionate about. 

“I strongly believe that the people behind it—both our members and our team—are the ones that make World Class Romania successful and the number one in health and fitness in Romania,” he says. 

When it comes to customer service, Orrgren and his team follow a simple rule: keep your customers close.

“From the moment you get in contact with them and all throughout the customers’ lifecycle, we have to understand that the customer stands at the core of the business,” he says. “It is necessary to learn how to work with different kind of people and value each of them. The health and fitness business is made by people for people. It is a service industry and you need to understand how to service people and lead them into making a difference in other people’s lives.” 

Delivering a Diverse Range of Offerings

World Class’ member-centric approach doesn’t stop at the customer service level. The club chain strives to meet its members’ increasingly high expectations by delivering a diverse range of offerings that keep them coming back.

“Our members enjoy a great flexibility in choosing where and how to train within the largest network of health and fitness centers,” Orrgren says. “We provide them a wide range of premium facilities and services, together with access to 30 clubs—close to work or home—top-of-the-line fitness equipment, diversified training programs, and internationally certified trainers.”

World Class aims to provide the most diverse fitness portfolio in its market, offering a variety of group X classes, constantly updating its training methods, and maintaining top facilities and amenities.  

Going forward, Orrgren hopes to further World Class’ position as a pioneer in the Romanian fitness industry.

“The greatest challenge remains to motivate more people in Romania become more active, more often,” he says. “We are the ones to inspire; as such our goal is to open new roads to helping people make their lives better.”