Smart50 Awards Proarc International

Proarc International

REVENUE: $4.77 million
GROWTH: 90.36%
FOUNDER: Mike Nysten (51), Jon Davie (51)
INDUSTRY: Fitness/Gym

How it started

The founders were motivated to build an environment where anyone of any fitness level could come and achieve results, and used that as a guide to build out their World Gym franchise model in Australia.

However, starting the business shortly just before the global financial crisis, they quickly found themselves in a struggle for finance.

“Both Jon and I worked full time jobs in the early days and built the World Gym business after hours and during any spare time we had,” co-founder Mike Nysten says.

“The biggest lesson we learnt was rushing into business with partners and franchisees that were not a good fit with us.”


Following two steady revenue years during the 18-19 and 19-20 financial years, of $2.5 million and $2.6 million respectively, 20-21 saw a massive spike to $4.77 million.

That was despite being closed for three months, without any income at all. The founders built an online platform that was free for members, and non-members, with 2000 new users signing up at the time.

Coming out of the lockdown, the member base grew by 2500, adding a total of 10,000 new members by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

Where to next?

The immediate goal is to surpass the 100,000 member mark while growing the franchise numbers, with Nysten telling SmartCompany, “we are confident that in our space we can successfully reach 50-60 gyms across Australia without jeopardising our foundations”.

Nysten says the business has already locked in an additional 15 locations to be developed and opened over the next 24 months.