Jay Devaraj Thevar is the founder of The Fesique Lab, a gym in Singapore that prides itself on high quality personal training and customer service. Jay spent two years as a trainer for The Singapore Civil Defence Force before he went into gyms, so he has a lot of experience in helping people get into shape.
Jay, why (and how) did you start the ‘Fesique Lab’?
Back then when I was a freelance Personal Trainer, one of the biggest challenges was training clients in overcrowded facilities, let it be a commercial gym or a condo gym. Weights, machines and benched are usually taken during peak hours. And then there was also dangers of having clients being poached by other trainers.
But the biggest reason is I have always been a entrepreneur and I always had an idea on how a gym should look like and function. As a freelance trainer for the past 16 years, I realised that the only way to go about making my ideas a reality was to own my own gym & carry out those plans that I had for a gym.
I started looking for a good location in the CBD area to set up a gym and at the same time kept a lookout for good trainers to join my team. When I found our current location in Bugis, I immediately fell in love with it and decided to set up a gym there. And the rest is history.
Can you tell us about your background?
Well, I was always that skinny fat kid in school who got teased a lot for being the male version of an “Anorexic Runway Model”. Right after my O’ Level exams, I had a 6-month break before I went on to my tertiary education. It was during this time when I was at home watching TV & I chanced a upon this “SELLAVISION” ad where there was this Fitness Model with a great ZEUS like physique. I immediately looked at my skinny arms & belly & told myself…”I gotta look like that man on tv!”
Soon after I joined a gym & started working out. I got noticed by the bodybuilders & athletes in that gym who coaxed me into joining two Bodybuilding Competitions; Pesta Sukan in 2002 where I competed in the 65kg category & received a Silver Medal & NUS Muscle War in 2003 where I competed in the 70kg category where I won another Silver Medal. & it didnt just stop there.
Right after Manhunt 2014, I decided to give competing another try again. I took part in a Bodybuilding & Physique competition organized by a local federation. I competed in the Local & International Sports Model Categories where I won Gold for both. In that same event, I also competed in the local & International Athletic Physique Categories where I placed 1st in the local & 4th in the international categories.
What is the major point of differentiation between your business and others in the industry?
If you go to any of the commercial mega gyms in Singapore, you will face this common problem. OVERCROWDING! & apart from this, if you were to engage a Fitness Coach to assist you in your fitness goals, you end up paying for more than just your PT Sessions. There are other costs like SIGN UP FEE, REGISTRATION FEE, ADMIN FEE, MEMBERSHIP FEE, GST, LOCKER FEE & other Misc/Hidden Costs.
At the Fesique Lab, I make sure that the gym is never overcrowded & place a cap on the number of clients at one single time so that our clients get the best value out of their PT. Our clients absolutely pay for nothing else other than the Personal Training Sessions that they sign up for (did I mention we provide Complimentary Permanent Lockers for them). We have one of the biggest shower facilities that a gym can provide.
Apart from this, my team of trainers and myself, with 40 years of combined experience, guarantee results to clients. Why? That’s because we are extremely confident in our tried and tested training methods and our ability to bring out the best in each and every one of our clients.
What does excellent customer service mean to you?
To me excellent customer service is all about going the extra mile in making sure a customer is happy and satisfied with a company’s products or services. It also involves providing service to a customer in a timely, pleasant manner.
Can you provide us a few examples of the best results some of your clients have obtained?
Let me describe two success stories for you:
First: Paul Singh. Paul was referred by his mum who was my client. Paul was obese. Due to years of bad eating habits accompanied with alcohol abuse, Paul went from 80kg to 120kg. He wanted to lose weight to 100kg in time for his big day which was 6 months away. Wasting no time at all, I put Paul on a strict diet and a training regime which started at 3 times a week and increased to 5 times weekly over a course of the next few months. One month before his wedding day, we hit 78kg.
Second: Sofia Jane. Sofia weighed in at 71.4kg before starting training. By the end of her PT program, she weighed in at 47.8kg. She lost body fat and gained some lean muscle along the way.
Thank you Jay for sharing your thoughts with us.
You can follow up with Jay Devaraj Thevar at www.thefesiquelab.com.sg