Tumbles kids' gym is taking its exclusive model of combining gymnastics and exercise with STEAM education (Science, Technology, Education, Art, and Math) to the Middle East. It will be the first U.S. children's fitness franchise to open in Qatar, which is planned for this summer.
Tumbles was founded to combat childhood obesity with the strategy of "get fit for the fun of it."
The new facility is located in the capital city of Doha in the City Center Mall in a space that is about 800 meters (about 8,600 square feet), including a larger-than-US-spec sized gym, two STEAM classrooms, and a supersized Tumble Zone indoor playground.
Tumbles' founder and CEO, Manish Vakil, says that his company chose to franchise in the Middle East because its countries have the highest incidence of childhood obesity in the world.
Additionally, says Vakil, "There's a lack of companies focused on wellness for kids going into the GCC. We want to be part of the solution in the region and saying these areas should not be neglected. There are a lot of dollars and investments being made in these countries but not enough specifically in children's health. We want to be there at the forefront and work with the people towards awareness and a solution."
Vakil points out that the U.S. Commercial Service in Houston played a critical role in Tumbles' ability to franchise in Qatar. The Commercial Service acts as a matchmaker between foreign businesses that are interested in U.S. brands and U.S. companies that want to expand internationally. Vakil says the relationship is symbiotic: foreign entities get a Western brand that comes with a good reputation and product, and U.S. companies benefit from their exports.
Senior International Trade Specialist Steven Garrett serves as Tumbles primary U.S. Commercial Service partner and worked closely with CEO Vakil negotiating the franchise agreement in Qatar. Says Vakil, "Our entire deal in Doha would not have happened if it wasn't for the Commercial Service. They took our company info and pitched it. They made contact, initiated it, and they're the ones who called me directly, saying, 'We have a person who wants to talk to you.'"
For more information about Tumbles, visit www.tumbles.net.