Going for Gold

  • Chung Tze Khit took a gamble when he took the $40,000 his father had saved for his university education and bought a Volkswagen Caddy van instead.
  • With his father's support, the budding entrepreneur, then aged 23, stocked his van with a workout bench, dumbbells, exercise mats and other gym equipment, and plastered a white decal on the vehicle's window that read: "Singapore's 1st Mobile Gym".
  • The 29-year-old now runs Gold's Gym, the largest home-grown chain of personal training gyms, with 17 outlets across the island in places such as Tanjong Pagar, Upper Bukit Timah, Upper Thomson and East Coast.
  • He owns and operates one outlet, and manages the other 16 outlets with 10 franchise partners.
  • Speaking to Life! at his Upper Bukit Timah outlet, Mr Chung says of that $40,000 helping hand from his father: "I like to think of that money as my education fund that I put to much better use. It wasn't a loan per se. I contribute to the family and make sure my parents lead comfortable lives."
  • The tall and fit-looking bachelor, who came to this interview casually dressed in a fitted black polo tee, bermudas and trainers, smiles and tells Life! that his ensemble is his typical work outfit, even for business meetings.
  • Mr Chung says he still trains four clients, all of whom are friends who have stuck with him for between four and five years.
  • With an eye on expanding his business aggressively this year, he will be launching a spa and wellness arm, called Gold's Wellness Spa, in a few weeks.
  • In his leisure time, he hits the beach once a week to play volleyball, collects vinyl records and enjoys taking short holidays in places such as Australia, Bali, Hong Kong and South Korea.
  • He never takes long vacations as he does not like to stay away from the business for too long.
  • In between working as a freelance personal trainer operating the mobile gym, Mr Chung paid for his university education, obtaining a degree in sports science from Australia's Edith Cowan University via distance learning.
  • Not everything was smooth-sailing in business. Mr Chung says it took a failed venture in 2009 to make him realise how he wanted to run his business.
  • Today, there are 17 Gold's Gym branches in Singapore; Mr Chung directly manages the Changi branch. Without giving details, he says that "revenue is doubling year on year".