Adhitya Lesmana - CEO & Co-Founder of R-Fitness

Adhitya Lesmana - CEO & Co-Founder of R-Fitness
Magani unites tradition with the new; reimagining the traditional batik shirt for the needs of our contemporary society. We combine Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage with the latest innovation in performance wear material to build the ultimate durable and comfortable shirt for the modern Indonesian man who is constantly on the move. 
As we celebrate Indonesia’s heritage, we also celebrate the individuals who are unintimidated by the sweat and hard work required to defy challenges, push boundaries, and move Indonesia forward.
Meet the #MaganiMen who have inspired us that with grit and endurance, there are no limits to what you can achieve. #NOSWEATNOLIMIT
#MaganiMen: Meet Adhitya Lesmana: CEO of R Fitness, as well as Chairman of Workout Embassy, and Executive Advisor of Ageless Galaxy.
Who is Adhitya Lesmana? Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Adhitya Lesmana, I was born and raised in Indonesia and lived in Canada before deciding to move back to Indonesia in 2013. I worked as a banker at HSBC for about 6 years and moved on to starting a fitness studio business. I’m now the CEO of R Fitness, as well as Chairman of Workout Embassy, and Executive Advisor of Ageless Galaxy. 

Can you tell us how you transitioned from the financial industry to the fitness industry? What was the motivation to transition?

I always knew I wasn’t born for the sedentary office lifestyle – I can barely sit still. I also didn’t feel very motivated any longer at my banking job because after a while things got very repetitive. What I really enjoy is the feeling of exercising and working out, and I knew that I was made for the active lifestyle. Fortunately, the opportunity suddenly presented itself when my partner approached me to start this business. I was like, you know what? Let’s give it a try.



Can you tell us about your journey from your first studio until now?

It has been full of ups and downs. We were one of the first fitness studios in Indonesia and we started before the market was even ready. At the time, the fitness community was very small. I was also building my own fitness community (which continues until now). We initially started R Fitness as Ride - an indoor cycling studio at a garage basement in SCBD Jakarta. We were targeting the B+ market, but unexpectedly people who came and understood what we were doing were the A++ market. We continued to learn more about our target market and pivoted and expanded to various strategic locations in Jakarta.



What was your biggest challenge?

The pandemic changed everything. We were forced to be creative to figure out how to sustain the business and be efficient with our operations and investments. The pandemic also changed people’s lifestyle and shaped new healthy behaviour to exercise. 



You’ve transitioned within RFitness from previous roles as General Manager to COO and now to CEO. How was the transition to the CEO role?

I think my role as a General Manager was the easiest because I followed and executed plans. Physically it was intense but mentally it was easy. The difference started with the transition to COO as I became involved in strategic planning and was exposed to investors. I had to understand the whole picture of the business. The hardest transition so far has been to CEO. Even though I have fewer field responsibilities, it is the most mentally draining role with the even bigger responsibility to think about literally every single thing. I think the higher you go, the more you have to acknowledge your flaws, so that you can figure out what your weak points are and how to grow. 


What would you do differently if you could start your journey all over again?

I would see a therapist much earlier in my journey! Balancing everything between the pressures of the company and juggling my growing family has been tough. I think prioritizing mental health should be more normalized, especially as a guy. Guys sometimes don’t realize what they’re feeling until it’s too late. We have to do more prevention and maintenance of our health before anything is injured; both physically and mentally.


How do you balance your time between work and family? 

There is an opportunity cost for everything, so you have to learn to accept the fact that you will lose on one thing rather than winning it all. If you want to win everything, you will destroy yourself. Everyone needs to make a priority list. My priority is always family first. Even if I’m at work/meeting and my family needs me or if there is an emergency, I will go to my family. However I make it fair for everyone in the company as well - because everyone is someone else’s family. If my team member has a family emergency, they are free to go and colleagues should help each other out because next time it might be them who has an emergency. You can only have this balance if you make it fair for everyone.



Can you walk us through a day in your life? 

In the morning, I drop my children off at school. Thankfully my studio is located in the same building so I can also come and monitor the business there. I’ll then go find a coffee shop, answer emails and work before starting meetings at 10AM onwards. After lunch I’ll visit our  Studio at Pacific Place to get a pulse on what’s going on and talk to the studio staff, trainers, and customers. I have more meetings after that and then I will go home to spend time with my family. Twice a week, I also have training sessions with my wife so we can spend time together outside of the business of everyday responsibilities, doing the one thing that brought us together: exercising.  


What’s next for your business?
The first priority is to survive because the pandemic has affected us significantly. I’m not ashamed to admit it because I know I’m not alone. I want to rebuild and re-grow the company so that we can repay all those who have helped throughout this difficult time. I also want R Fitness to become a gateway between regular people to the fitness world so I’m always seeking new ways to convert first-timers. Every single element in this business should be able to create a safe space for first-timers. We never say “burn fat” or promote any diets, and we never show before-after body transformations. We want people to like working out, have fun, and come again next time, and the next. We want people to be entertained and make this a habit and lifestyle that they enjoy rather than a pure utility. By creating fun experiences, we hope to grow our market base and therefore the business.

Tell us a fun fact about your industry that outsiders wouldn’t know.

Frankly speaking, the fitness industry in Indonesia is not attractive. I would say it’s very difficult to get first rate talent because the overall pie is not very big. Indonesian people like to exercise, but very few are willing or can afford to pay for it. Therefore the focus is always on utility, body transformations and so forth, rather than investing in your health through fun and entertaining experiences.  

What's next for Adhitya Lesmana? Or what is your personal dream / goal in life?

On my vision board, I dream of becoming the Minister of Sports of Indonesia one day. However my main objective now is to ensure my children’s quality of education and put in the right environment to network for their future. I want to be able to provide the best for them - physically, financially and mentally.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that is unknown by many people. 

I love food. Some people may work out to eat, but for me - food and working out are completely separate matters. I work out because I like it and I eat because I like it too. 

Anything you would like to highlight about R Fitness?

I’m here to help people get more active. What makes R Fitness different is we are an experience-based business. I tell my team that the class experience is important, but it’s not everything. The business starts when somebody says “Hi”. When somebody asks about us on Instagram, the strict SOP runs immediately. We believe that the biggest motivation that makes people keep coming back is the feeling they experience when they interact with R Fitness; not necessarily the tangible benefits that they get by working out with us. 

What about Magani resonated/appealed to you?
I feel that Magani is formal wear that doesn’t limit your mobility and allows you to be bold and different. Usually when we talk about formal wear, it should be an embodiment of authority and control, but in most cases it is the formal wear that controls you because you can hardly move around in it. Even more so, usually men have to wear a suit - and what will make you stand out when you wear the same black/blue suit as everyone else? I like the range of motifs and colours that Magani has because they’re all bold and not afraid to be different. I also think Magani is the only batik brand with significant branding like the logo embroidery on the collar.
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