Edgard Corona: A Fitness Visionary Paving the Way for Smart Fit’s Success

Edgard Corona, the brilliant mind behind Smart Fit, has emerged as a key player in the fitness industry, redefining the concept of health and well-being across Latin America. As the CEO and founder of Bio Ritmo, one of Brazil’s leading sports activity companies, Corona has also earned recognition as a trailblazer in sports business management.

In 1996, Corona established the first Bio Ritmo gym in Santo Amaro, a neighborhood in São Paulo, with a single unit and minimal knowledge of the fitness sector. Since then, he has held the reins as the CEO, steering the group towards unprecedented success. While Corona initially pursued a degree in Chemical Engineering at FAAP, his life took an unexpected turn when he faced challenges in his family’s sugar and alcohol mill. It was then that he decided to chase a long-cherished dream—to create a swimming academy. Over the years, the academy expanded and evolved into a full-fledged fitness center, setting the stage for the group’s future expansion.

However, it was the introduction of the “low-cost” concept that truly catapulted Corona to greater heights. In 2009, the visionary entrepreneur launched Smart Fit, which quickly gained widespread popularity, boasting over 360 branches across Latin America and establishing itself as the largest gym network in the region. BM&C has carefully analyzed key milestones in Edgard Corona’s journey to becoming the newest Brazilian billionaire after the IPO.

His Journey in the Industry:

Edgard Corona inherited a nearly bankrupt sugar cane mill in the mid-1990s. Employing sound business management practices, he transformed the company into the 13th largest producer in Brazil. However, a shareholder issue forced him to step away from the company, marking the end of his career as a sugar mill owner. Undeterred by the setbacks, Corona shifted his focus to a small family-owned swimming academy—an area closely connected to his passion for swimming. He aimed to turn the academy into a thriving business. Listening to business experts’ advice, he incorporated swimming pools and circuit training spaces into the academy’s offerings. During a trip to the United States, he encountered a consultant who introduced him to the concept of “metanoia,” a hierarchical management approach that encourages employee participation for more significant results. Embracing the idea, Corona tested and applied it to his business.

Absorbing insights from various market experts, Corona attended a congress of fitness academies in the US in 2003. The event exposed him to different perspectives on the industry, including concerns about the potential dominance of large players over smaller businesses. This wealth of knowledge, to varying degrees, contributed to the foundation of Smart Fit—a democratic gym model that standardized its facilities, offering two or three layout patterns with motivational lighting. Affordable pricing (R$49) allowed both employers and employees to utilize the same space, revolutionizing fitness in Brazil.

Fortune Surges in IPO Debut:

On Tuesday, Smart Fit’s shares (SMFT3) soared by 34.78% during its debut on the B3 (Brazilian stock exchange), closing at R$ 31.00 per share. The IPO raised a staggering R$ 2.3 billion, boosting Edgard Corona’s fortune to approximately R$ 1.6 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates. Considering the Corona family’s other shareholdings, their combined stake is valued at R$ 2 billion. Though not selling any shares in the IPO, the family’s stake will be diluted due to the issuance of new shares. After the offer, their ownership in SmartFit may decrease to 14.85% if an additional lot of R$ 345 million in shares is sold.

The IPO has been a part of Smart Fit’s plans since December 2018 when the company expressed interest in listing on the Novo Mercado, a segment with the strictest corporate governance rules on the B3. In the same year, the company deferred the offering to seek a better valuation in the future. The billions raised from the offering will be utilized to fuel organic growth and acquisitions, according to documents submitted to the Brazilian Securities Commission (CVM).

Diogo Corona: Revolutionizing Fitness with an Integrated Approach

Diogo Corona, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Smart Fit, the largest chain of fitness studios in Latin America, is revolutionizing the fitness industry with his integrated approach to wellness. In a recent interview with Ideamensch, Diogo shared his insights into the future of fitness and his passion for creating holistic programs that cater to diverse customer needs.

Diogo’s journey in the fitness industry began during his senior year at São Paulo’s Insper Institute of Education and Research, where he started as an administrative intern at Smart Fit. Since then, he has held various roles within the company, leveraging his expertise in finance and strategic planning to drive growth and innovation.

As COO of Smart Fit, Diogo oversees operations across multiple countries, including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Peru. He is responsible for leading the expansion efforts, financial planning, and pricing activities of the company. Under his leadership, Smart Fit has witnessed remarkable growth and has become a household name in the fitness industry.

What sets Diogo apart is his belief in an integrated approach to fitness that combines traditional physical activity with technological solutions. By leveraging innovative platforms and personalized coaching, Diogo has created holistic programs that appeal to a wide range of customers. These programs enable individuals to track their progress, set goals, and receive personalized advice, resulting in a more engaging and effective fitness experience.

In addition to technological advancements, Diogo also emphasizes the importance of community building. He understands that a sense of belonging and connection to others and coaches is vital for long-term commitment to a healthy lifestyle. To foster this sense of community, Diogo has implemented group classes and online forums where participants can interact, share experiences, and find motivation.

Diogo’s integrated approach to fitness has garnered significant attention and is reshaping the industry. By combining technology, personalized coaching, and community engagement, he is providing individuals with the tools they need to achieve their fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In conclusion, Diogo Corona, the COO of Smart Fit, is transforming the fitness industry with his integrated approach to wellness. Through the use of innovative platforms, personalized coaching, and community building, he is revolutionizing the way people engage with fitness. With his visionary leadership, Smart Fit continues to thrive and inspire individuals to lead healthier lives.