Edgard Corona And His Journey Growing Smart Fit
Edgard Corona is among the most recognised sports and fitness industry names. He is mostly known for his efforts and successes as the founder and Chief Executive officer of Smart Fit, the most extensive Latin American gym network. He was born in Sao Paulo on 23rd October 1956.
Regardless of his success in the industry, he started his career in a very different direction. His family had been in the alcohol and sugar industry for a long time, and he took a chemical engineering course in FAAP, graduating in 1979.
However, his entrepreneurial spirit started shining through even before he graduated. He started with a material analysis laboratory and later partnered with some friends and opened the Wizard Confection. That was a clothing company which mostly sold jeans and t-shirts to young clients and even had several stores.
In 1995, Edgard Corona joined a swimming academy after an invitation from his friend. He was also into skiing but got an injury that required him to undergo physical therapy. That motivated him to start Bio Ritmo gym in 1996, forcing him to leave his family’s business. His first branch was in Santo Amaro, and it included some weight training and swimming.
Intending to develop a new business management model in the sports and fitness industry, Edgard Corona invested a lot of time and resources in his new business. He also monitored every mistake and took time benchmarking and gathering useful information from other experts. That proved successful because he opened another branch in Avenida Paulista two years later. He collaborated with Soraya Corona, his wife, to implement a new gym model. They invested in scenic lighting and other things that helped elevate their clients’ comfort and gym experience.
He also travelled abroad to attend industry conferences and exchange ideas with executives from other countries. In 2009, Edgard Corona embraced a different model and founded Smart Fit. He got the idea to implement the low-cost, high-end gym network after visiting America and seeing the idea at Planet, one of the biggest American gym chains. Today, Smart Fit has a network of over 1,250 gyms across 330 cities in 14 Latin American countries, serving over 4 million students.