60 seconds with: Steve Hewitt, CEO of Gymshark, one of the UK's fastest growing businesses

60 seconds with: Steve Hewitt, CEO of Gymshark, one of the UK's fastest growing businesses

Posted: Thu 7th Jun 2018

In 2012, 18-year-old Ben Francis founded fitness apparel and accessories brand Gymshark in his bedroom with some high school friends. Fast forward to 2017 and the business hit £40m in sales. It now has customers in 131 countries and 5.2 million social media followers.

We asked Gymshark chief executive Steve Hewitt a few quick fire questions about one of the UK's fastest growing businesses.


How did Ben come up with the idea for Gymshark and turn it into a business?

As an 18 year old gym fanatic, Ben created product that simply didn't exist in the market and decided that other 18 year olds probably had the same need, hence the business opportunity.

Why did you decide to join Gymshark and what steps did you take to grow the business?

I saw that the brand had something really special and an opportunity to really connect and understand its core consumer together with an ability to scale the brand globally as a result. The consumer engagement into the brand is like something I have never seen in 20 years in being in the industry.

In terms of growing the business, it's all about having the right people, with the right culture with a well built infrastructure so as to maximise the opportunity.

How have you broken into the international markets you sell to?

Very focussed on the same consumer group (16-25 year olds) irrelevant of territory, which means our tone of voice and product offering becomes a global proposition and consistent.

Advice on exporting is keep the business model really simple and make sure you work with the best final mile delivery partner relevant to that market, as the experience you give customers re: service is key.

The company has a very big Instagram following. How have you achieved that?

A lot of companies chase number of followers, however, engagement within the following you have is far more important than just the volume of followers.

What do you think are the key factors behind Gymshark's success?

People, culture and being customer obsessed.

Why do you think small business owners should come to Summer Start-up Saturday?

I think the opportunity to listen from people within a real life business environment is better than any theory you are going to read off a shelf.

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

You might also like…

Get business support right to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive business tips, learn about new funding programmes, join upcoming events, take e-learning courses, and more.