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Entrepreneurship News

May 10, 2013

Alumni Profile: Jennifer Maanavi '00, Physique 57

Alumni Profile: Jennifer Maanavi '00, Physique 57


Jennifer Maanavi ‘00 has been involved in dance from early childhood, having performed many different genres throughout college. As skilled at the barre as she is in business, Jennifer left Morgan Stanley in 2005 to combine her passion for dance with her prowess for running a world-class business. Armed with a strong Wall Street finance background and an MBA from Columbia Business School with high honors, she launched Physique 57 in 2006. Read on as she shares her thoughts on the changing focus of the fitness industry and how her internationally renowned fitness company, Physique 57, fits in.
 

Tell us about Physique 57.
Physique 57 is an internationally renowned fitness company committed to sculpting bodies and changing lives with challenging, invigorating and empowering barre-based workouts.  We do one thing: bar exercise and practice continuous exercise innovation while employing world class business management concepts. Physique 57 has five upscale US studios - three in Manhattan, one in the Hamptons and one in Beverly Hills – and one launching in Dubai this summer (2013). 
Our studio offerings are complemented by fitness retail boutiques, award-winning DVDs, online streaming workouts, and a highly regarded book, “The Physique 57 Solution”.  The company’s mission is to empower women (and men who dare!) to transform physically and mentally into the best version of themselves. 

What has been your biggest “A-Ha!” moment to date and how did it change your business?
I am a voracious consumer of management books. Running one successful studio required a good product and lots of hard work. Once we opened our flagship studio on Spring Street it quickly became apparent that we needed more and better coordination, communication and trust across a fast growing management team. One of the books I read was “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Mark Cunningham. The book’s premise is to focus on individual strengths, not weaknesses. We test all managers and as a team study their strongest capabilities and personal traits.  The final step is to post these strengths for everyone else to see and to communicate based on each other’s strengths. 

Where do you see your company in 5 years; how do you see the fitness industry changing in the future for your target audience? 

I envision Physique 57 in major international cities, along with NYC and Los Angeles.  Our mission is to bring our unique and impactful client experience to women across the globe. The demand for health and fitness is growing much faster than the general world economy.  Clients expect more from the fitness brands and when they get it, they are loyal.  The best companies will focus on delivering outstanding and memorable client experiences rather than just new products and services. I anticipate meeting these needs through traditional bricks and mortar growth and hopefully enhanced digital delivery mediums.

What advice would you give to a graduating student with entrepreneurial aspirations?
Being an entrepreneur is a state of mind. It requires focus and uncompromising commitment. Your company’s success should be your Plan A, B & C!  It is very hard to make a new business work. If you have other opportunities in the back of your mind, you may not be able to marshal the resolve to work through the inevitable challenges that at any time could portend doom.
 

Spring 2014 Events

June 17, 2014

Columbia Business Lab Demo and Mentor Appreciation Reception

 

May 27, 2014

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia Demo Event
6:00-9:00pm
Venue - Morgan Stanley

 

May 21, 2014

Commencement

 

May 8, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop #6
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 301

 

May 6, 2014

Lang Fund Board Meeting
9:00-2:00pm
Venue TBD

 

April 28, 2014

Greenhouse Class Reunion Dinner
6:00-8:30pm
Felberg Space, Warren Hall

 

April 21, 2014

Spring Venture Showcase
6:30-9:00pm
Uris Hall Classrooms 301, 303, 329, 331, 333

 

April 17, 2014

Brian Cohen Workshop
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 142

 

April 15, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Austin Okere Workshop
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 140

 

April 14 2014

Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab Deadline

 

April 11, 2014

#StartupColumbia Festival
Columbia University
 

 

April 10, 2014

Entrepreneur in Residence Jim Moore Workshop
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 332

 

April 8, 2014

Pitch Workshop with David Rose
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 301

 

April 7, 2014

Spring Venture Showcase Applications Due
MIDNIGHT via Gust

 

April 3, 2014

The Ecademy Awards
3:30-4:30pm
Alfred Lerner Hall Auditorium

 

March 27, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop #3
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 307

 

March 27, 2014

Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab Event
6:00-9:00pm
Calder Lounge, Uris Hall

 

March 25, 2014

Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab Event
6:00-9:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 332

 

March 10-20, 2014

Columbia Business Lab Interviews
9:00-6:00pm
Uris Hall Conference Room TBD

 

March 7, 2014

A. Lorne Weil SharkTank Competition
1:00-6:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 332

 

March 6, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop #2
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 307

 

February 27, 2014

Entrepreneurs in Residence Workshop #1
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 307

 

February, 2014 - TBD

Columbia Business Lab Application - Link opens for submissions
(closes Sunday, March 9)

 

February, 2014 - TBD

Columbia Business Lab Info Session
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 140

 

February 6, 2014

Lang Center Info Session
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 140

 

February 4, 2014

Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab Lunch 'n' Learn
12:30-2:00pm
Uris Hall Classroom 333

 

February 3, 2014

Entrepreneurial Sounding Board Begins

 

January 13-17, 2014

Lean LaunchPad Block Week Course