Edgard Corona is the chairman and the founding partner of Smart Fit. He has over three decades of involvement in the fitness industry. Edgard Corona Started his business in 2009. Since then, he has expanded his company’s presence to 13 countries in Latin America and is regarded as a trailblazer in the fitness industry.
Despite having more than three decades of experience in fitness, Corona’s interests extend beyond just gym facilities. He is passionate about authentic transformation; an invaluable advantage he provides to his customers when they select one of his gyms.
Smart Fit gym chain aims to become a leading force in Latin America. To achieve this goal, it plans to debut on the Stock Exchange with the aim of using the funds raised to acquire new businesses and expand its existing network of gyms in the region. Smart Fit has set the price of its shares at R$ 23 for its initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to generate R$ 2.3 billion. Although the company is well-established in Brazil, it has also expanded to 12 other countries, boasting 940 gyms across Latin America and serving 2.4 million customers.
Entrepreneur Edgard Corona has been involved in the gym industry in São Paulo since 1996, mainly through his high-end gym chain Bio Ritmo, which catered to classes A/B. However, in 2008, Corona became interested in low-cost gyms, which he discovered during international research.
He recognized the potential to democratize fitness by offering affordable gym memberships, a relatively new concept in Brazil at the time. This idea included using the most advanced and contemporary equipment, as well as modern architecture and decor. Within the first five years of operation, the company successfully increased Grupo Bio Ritmo’s revenue from R$40 million to R$420 million and grew its customer base from 70,000 to 580,000 students. The affordable and high-quality business model gained significant traction in 2010 when the company partnered with the Pátria investment fund and secured R$70 million.
The company expanded further in 2011, opening 18 new units and venturing into the international market by establishing four locations in Mexico, thus becoming the first Brazilian gym chain. The expansion continued in 2012 with 29 new units, focusing on the Northeast and Midwest regions, and 35 additional units were opened in 2013. As a result of this growth, the Group became the 11th largest globally and one of the top 25 largest companies in the fitness industry globally.