A recent study by Corporate Absenteeism Management Solutions (CAMS) showed that absenteeism due to illness is costing South African companies R19 billion a year. There’s clearly a gap in the market for employee wellness programmes, and one person who is seizing the opportunity is Yossi Montrose, 28-year-old founder and CEO of Performa Ball, which offers a fun, effective and affordable exercise routine based on a stability ball.
Team players. Designed to improve the health of staff, reduce their risk of injury and enhance general well being,wellness programmes benefit companies by reducing absenteeism, improving productivity, lowering medical costs and making employees happier.
Through his corporate stability ball classes, Montrose provides a platform for regular teambuilding sessions where employees can interact with each other in a relaxed atmosphere.How it all began. Performa Ball was established in Johannesburgin 2005.
Montrose, who has always been passionate about exercise, spent several months researching the local market and assessing the viability of an exercise programme built around the stability ball and aimed at the working world.
“In Europe and elsewhere, there is a huge amount of research that shows how office workers can benefit from overall health improvement as a result of exercise,” says Montrose. “Naturally, the companies that employ them benefit too, as there is a resultant decrease in absenteeism and an enhancement in performance levels.”
Having trained with stability balls in the gym and at his own desk, Montrose was convinced that there was a place for this kind of exercise programme in the South African corporate world. He used his own cash to finance the launch of Performa Ball.
The company initially had low overheads and was able to grow slowly and organically. Only now is here locating to formal premises.His next task was to begin marketing his training and seating solutions. “The research also showed that office workers can benefit from using the ball as an alternative to conventional seating.Because this was a new concept in our market, I had the advantage of being first to go to market with the idea.”
Taking advantage of this, Montrose has marketed his business primarily through targeted editorial placements and the appointment of a public relations company. “In this business, PR has proved to be essential to our promotional plan and has also yielded the best return on investment in terms of marketing spend.”No sweat.
Performa Ball offers weekly, half-hour group classes in the workplace for a fee of around R3 500 per month for a team of 20. Montrose offers companies a one-month trial period. “If an organisation contracts with us, we supply the balls free of charge.
Why spend millions building a company gym when you can provide your employees with an affordable form of exercise that everyone can do together?” For more information contact Yossi Montrose, +27 72 513 2613,