Witnessing the growing popularity of boxing gyms for exercise and recreation among young people, Chutima Pruangmethangkul decided three months ago to establish a clean and modernised version of a boxing camp in the heart of Bangkok's Siam Square.
Besides its unique location and its boutique and safe-place features, Chutima’s Boxing King differs from other boxing gyms in Bangkok by also offering a new workout method with one-on-one trainers that is currently trendy among young Thais and higher-income consumers, at the same venue in Siam Square Soi 1.
"Muay Thai has been a big hit. Having been a customer ourselves, we found a ‘blind spot’ in that these gyms are not very convenient for us to go to," she said.
Opened just three months ago, Chutima said her Boxing King had been more warmly welcomed by customers than expected, and that helped persuade her and her partner Pavita Leesakul to open a second branch quickly, by the end of this year. Some of the credit for this is also owed to the fact that during the past couple of months, the boutique gym was shown on four television programmes and was used in photo shoots for some of Bangkok’s trendy magazines.
Not only that, some celebrity customers were kind enough to post photos of Boxing King on Instagram, she said.
Pavita said she initially expected Boxing King to appeal mainly to teenagers and young workers, but she was surprised that it has also attracted older customers – some of them parents accompanying their children to tutorial schools in Siam Square – who care about their health and keeping their bodies beautiful.
"We are fascinated to see how people nowadays care so much about their health," she said. "They are looking to play some sports that can help them not just to lose weight. A boxing gym is different from a fitness gym because it can also be used as a ‘playground’ for people to socialise, as they can play in groups."
About half of Boxing King’s customers are 15-30 years old. Women account for 60 per cent of its total customers. The youngest customer is just four years old.
The fees range from Bt550 for a 90-minute course to Bt85,000 for a yearly subscription for unlimited sessions for small groups of up to three people. The fee for one-on-one fitness sessions with certified trainers is Bt1,500.
Chutima said Boxing King was also gearing up for customers looking to be trained for professional boxing, since all of its trainers are current and past professional boxers.
Boxing King is the third business that Chutima has opened with Pavina, a member of the Leesakul family who owns and run TRC Construction, over the past two years since she quit her job to go into business for herself. The duo will open their fourth business – the Beverly Hills Wax Spa at Siam Square Soi 6 – next month.
Chutima, whose family is involved in the Beer Chang concern, will also launch her Diamond Solutions and Shi Ko facial-cream brands in Myanmar next month.