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Old 11th August 2017, 13:44   #1
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Default Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

hi people,

I have been midst of a bit of turmoil and wanted your advise to bail me out. There is a very reputed gymkhana in North Bombay run by a cricket association which has open up its door for lifetime memberships. This gymkhana has all the sports / recreational / fitness requirements and is very conveniently located as well. The membership fee though is quite steep approximately a million INR for full family for life time.

Could you please from any of your experiences in any city across India guide me whether it is worthwhile spending a million INR on such a membership ? Considering that we are a family of normal salaried professionals (though earning a decent monthly sum) and not a high flying corporate or business family, is it worth considering such a membership.

Apart from the social status what else is on offer ? My line of thought was to get exposure to good sports infrastructure which is hard to find by in a city like Bombay.

I am also open to suggestions for any alternative options available if any in Bombay.

Thanks
Dieseltuned
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Old 11th August 2017, 13:57   #2
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
Apart from the social status what else is on offer ? My line of thought was to get exposure to good sports infrastructure which is hard to find by in a city like Bombay.
Disclaimer: I am not a member of any club myself, but know quite a few people among my close friends and relatives who are. The pearls of wisdom written below are from my interactions with them on this same subject

1. Apart from social status, it's a good place to network, which is especially useful if you are a businessman or a professional (Dr, CA etc.).

2. Like you said, if you or someone in your immediate family does gym/any sport regularly, then getting a club membership does make sense. Example: A health club near my residence had quoted 2.5L for 15 years - this included 0 charges for using the gym and swimming pool and 50% discount on any other sport (badminton, TT, squash, tennis, skating, roller-blading) - both for coaching and usage of facilities. So, considering that, 2.5L is quite reasonable. Similarly, I think 10L for a lifetime membership seems par for the course.

3. Dining facilities in clubs (if there is one in this club you mentioned) are cheaper than fancy restaurants outside.

4. Some clubs have reciprocal arrangements to let their members use sports, restaurant, accommodation etc. facilities provided by similar clubs in other cities at discounted rates. So, if you are a frequent traveler to various metros/tier 1 cities, this can be quite useful.

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 11th August 2017 at 14:25.
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Old 11th August 2017, 14:21   #3
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

1 million in INR is 10 lacs. At that price, a good club membership is actually quite cheap. Benefits of a good club membership are well worth this price, for instance, you can avail reasonably priced restaurants, bars, sports facilities, accomodation (in some clubs), reciprocal club agreements even allow you to use other clubs in india and overseas at nominal rates.

Additionally, some of these clubs have a lot of activities planned, such as musical shows, sports events, seminars on health, financial planning etc. All in all, I think for a family lifetime membership 10 lacs is a steal. Go for it.

Could you also tell me the name of the club, I might be interested in taking it too.
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Old 11th August 2017, 14:38   #4
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
hi people,

I have been midst of a bit of turmoil and wanted your advise to bail me out. There is a very reputed gymkhana in North Bombay run by a cricket association which has open up its door for lifetime memberships. This gymkhana has all the sports / recreational / fitness requirements and is very conveniently located as well. The membership fee though is quite steep approximately a million INR for full family for life time.
I am member of two clubs - CCI & NSCI.

To be honest, I do not make use of the facilities provided by them - primarily because I have access to a residential premise with all the amenities; and a society who organizes coaching classes, etc.

Coming to these clubs -
The few times I want to go and play with my friends - getting a spot on the Badminton court, etc. is very difficult as it's always booked out by regulars. So apart from maybe a meeting, a dinner, or a haircut - I don't see the value in joining these clubs.

My logic is - if you miss these amenities, and will use it - it makes sense as:

1) Networking

2) With smaller kids, it is easier if to send them to the club and let them get proper coaching etc. as compared to sending them to 5 different places for different activities - which will also work out more expensive

3) You get access to other clubs across the country as a guest - subject to which clubs they have a tie up with. If you travel often, these could be a great place to conduct meetings etc. at a lower cost.

4) Lifetime memberships also benefit your children, when they grow up and want to become a member. My niece and all used to enjoy going to the club to swim and just run around when they come to Bombay.

However - if you live in a society that has it's own clubhouse and organizes coaching classes, etc. (say a Lodha/Rustomjee/Raheja type of complex); they are just not worth the money because you will rarely go to the club.
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Old 11th August 2017, 14:59   #5
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

Definitely worth it. And the price you mentioned is relatively less compared so similar clubs elsewhere.

Recently, opted for membership of one such club and don't regret the decision at all.

Apart from the sports facilities, these clubs offer good open space in the middle of the city and with limited crowd. Biggest benefit of membership is that you become a part of privileged few to have unlimited access to that piece of real estate (usually well maintained).

Life membership means 20 years down the line you still can enjoy the membership benefits which then would cost 3 times the money you would pay now.
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Old 11th August 2017, 14:59   #6
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
hi people,
Could you please from any of your experiences in any city across India guide me whether it is worthwhile spending a million INR on such a membership ?
Thanks
Dieseltuned
Let me quote my experience & hope it helps you decide for your case.
I have been a member of one such club for close to a decade now & following are the advantages.
1. Recreational Facilities - You develop a circle of like minded people with whom you could possibly spend your time & relax playing bridge, tambola, snookers or whatever really pleases you
2. Sports Facilities - Lawn Tennis in winter, Swimming in summers
3. Entertainment & Celebrations - No need to go to the Hotels for celebrating that Christmas, New Year with the aam janta push & shove crowd. Similar for entertaining guests or having a quiet discussion with business associates, colleagues or even having a birthday party for your kiddo.
4. Dining & Bar - Weekend quiet family dinner & if you are up to it a nice scotch every evening.
All these facilities conveniently located in one place with amble parking & attentive service has made my club membership experience worthwhile.

You may like to check on the facilities being offered there & your tastes in lifestyle. Hope it helps.
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Old 11th August 2017, 15:22   #7
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

As per me, you should evaluate the below things

1. Do you need the amenities that are being provided there?
2. Cant you find these amenities at a cheaper rate outside?
3. Will all the people in your family make use of the facilities?
4. Will you use it regularly?

If the answer to even most of them is no, I would suggest otherwise. If you consider any of the amenities like say a swimming pool or a badminton court, many of them are available outside at say monthly or annual subscriptions. That makes it a way better choice in terms of the money you are putting in. You are anyway not going to be using all the amenities on a given day or any day. It will mostly be one or at the most 2 (say badminton followed by swimming) at best on a day. So basically you are ending up paying for amenities you are not really going to use.

If you are not a regular, then you wont even network is what I have personally experienced. However, if you are not having any of your requirement sports facilities accessible, then this could probably be your only option.

Now this is one side of the coin. The other side is as mentioned by others is that, you get some other benefits like cheaper/discounted food, accommodation facility at a cheaper/discounted rate if you travel to other cities and the club is also present there, cheaper/discounted liquor (?), some functions and parties like say new years, games etc. So that way you get a slightly better social life actually but again it is good if you are already doing atleast some of these in silos and are looking for a place to have all of them together. If you plan to start after joining the club, then I would really give a serious thought if I were in your place
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Old 11th August 2017, 19:10   #8
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

Go for it. Don't think twice. At Rs 10L it is decently priced. Space being at a premium in Mumbai, clubs will always be in short supply. Prices will only go up with India's increasing prosperity.

The advantages of clubs have been comprehensively covered by other fellow members so I wont repeat them. But let me share my experience. I am not a socializing club going kind of person nor do I play golf but my children, mother and wife extract every paisa of the investment in 2 clubs. I use them to entertain business visitors, hold management meetings with my own staff in more relaxed surroundings and go for a swim. The entry price is several times higher today than it was 15 and 30 years ago when I joined in. Some types of business associates, like Govt officers, PSU managers prefer being dined or met at a club versus a 5-star hotel. A club is perceived as being more upper crust even if not more fancy in décor. Also with time the better clubs become very difficult to get an entry into. The club I joined 30 years ago in the heart of Lutyens Delhi is fundamentally impossible for a small private businessman, like me, at the bottom of Delhi's pecking order to get into today. So go for it.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 11th August 2017 at 19:17.
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Old 11th August 2017, 20:13   #9
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

When i was working, i was a member of 3 clubs in Ahmedabad and one each in Delhi and Mumbai paid by the company i worked for. I rarely went to any of the clubs in Ahmedabad. In Ahmedabad, one's networks differently and after a tiring day, one wants to just have the comfort of the home. However, the Delhi and Mumbai were very useful for meetings with those in the Government, grabbing a quick bite, or just relaxing after a tiring day with a drink. Since the Delhi and Mumbai clubs were part of the same hotel chain, it had the added advantage of being able to use similar facilities in Chennai.

After i retired, all memberships reverted back to the company, except the Mumbai/delhi which automatically ceased. I now am a member in an Ahmedabad club which i bought for Rs1.10 million. i use it for morning walks and the occasional dining. My wife uses it to play housie and also joins me for morning walks. She probably visits the restuarants more than i do.
Sons below 18 and daughters below 21 have free entry. Not after they cross that age.
10 lacs for a club in Mumbai seems too good to be true. If it offers good facilities, and life time membership for the entire family, irrespective of age, go for it. In Mumbai, i found the MCC (in BKC)and the Bandra east one ( forget the name) had pretty good food and service. Affordable costs too. And plenty of activities for the children too. However, it is important that it is located near your house as else your utilisation would be limited, what with the Mumbai traffic and all.

Last edited by earthian : 11th August 2017 at 20:15.
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Old 11th August 2017, 21:45   #10
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
There is a very reputed gymkhana in North Bombay run by a cricket association which has open up its door for lifetime memberships.
Are you referring to the MCA club/Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana at Kandivali ?
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Old 12th August 2017, 09:38   #11
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

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Are you referring to the MCA club/Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana at Kandivali ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post

Could you also tell me the name of the club, I might be interested in taking it too.
Hi ,

Yes it is the Sachin Tendulkar gymkhana at Kandivali. I may be going in most probably today or Monday to have a peek at their facilities and the services on offer.

Do you guys have any idea of how this place is ?

The conditions are similar to other clubs. Life time membership for family though I am not sure if it includes parents. Son till the age of 21 and daughter till she gets married.

They have got installment options available for the fee payments. I will keep you all posted on how things go, though it would be difficult convincing the home minister at home to pay this amount.

Regards
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Old 12th August 2017, 11:39   #12
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

I'm a member of a club with excellent facilities, be it for leisure, sports or activities. However, with time, I've started visiting the club lesser and lesser. It's currently only once in 2 - 3 months. Reason? Traffic. On a weekday evening / night, it'll easily take me an hour to reach. Which is why I insist that a club membership makes sense only for those who live close to it (or have a short commute on empty roads).

What also doesn't help the cause of the club is the explosion of entertainment joints in India (restaurants, lounges, clubs, malls, fun places like smaaash, driving destinations etc.). We have to realise that most big clubs came up in the 80s & 90s when the fun scene offered very limited options. In the last 10 years however, the scenario has completely changed = today, we have more places to visit than we have time for. Personally, I don't like eating at the same restaurant over & over again, preferring to try out new places. This is another reason why I don't go to my club that often. Similarly, gyms weren't commonplace then whereas now, there are a dozen well-equipped health clubs in every zip code! Some people even create a mini-gym at home (as I have).

Still, 10 lakhs is a good price if you / your family are going to frequently use the club's sport's facilities and it's a short commute from your place. If even one of these points doesn't apply, avoid.

Your post has reminded me to check on whether my club membership can be transferred. If so, I'm selling it!

Last edited by GTO : 12th August 2017 at 11:49.
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Old 13th August 2017, 11:35   #13
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Default re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Go for it. Don't think twice. At Rs 10L it is decently priced. Space being at a premium in Mumbai, clubs will always be in short supply. Prices will only go up with India's increasing prosperity.

The advantages of clubs have been comprehensively covered by other fellow members so I wont repeat them. But let me share my experience. I am not a socializing club going kind of person nor do I play golf but my children, mother and wife extract every paisa of the investment in 2 clubs. I use them to entertain business visitors, hold management meetings with my own staff in more relaxed surroundings and go for a swim. The entry price is several times higher today than it was 15 and 30 years ago when I joined in. Some types of business associates, like Govt officers, PSU managers prefer being dined or met at a club versus a 5-star hotel. A club is perceived as being more upper crust even if not more fancy in décor. Also with time the better clubs become very difficult to get an entry into. The club I joined 30 years ago in the heart of Lutyens Delhi is fundamentally impossible for a small private businessman, like me, at the bottom of Delhi's pecking order to get into today. So go for it.
I am a member of Bangalore Club and a Golf Club. I make good use of the former, we have many friends there and there are so many facilities. I certainly look forward to spending a significant amount of my retirement enjoying the facilities.

Wht works in my favour is that it is nearby, the club subscription is a lot less that what I would pay for extra amenities in my apartment

Getting in takes 30 years now. Bangalore Club discourage official business meetings in the premises, you can have an informal discussion but not overt laptops / paper shuffling is not allowed as it is a place to relax.


Quote:
Originally Posted by goswami.j View Post
Let me quote my experience & hope it helps you decide for your case.
This is exactly what I enjoy! However, I do hope they do screen the potential members as opposed to letting anyone in. We have a tough time with politico's and flunkys trying to demand free memberships. As we own the land and everything, government leverage is limited at the moment.

Last edited by GTO : 13th August 2017 at 21:57. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 14th August 2017, 14:56   #14
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

hi guys,

Many thanks for all your valuable inputs, after going through all the replies and having a discussion with family I have decided to not pursue this membership at this point in time. the reasons that came out against the memberships are as below ::

1. Time :: Will not be able to give more than 3-4 days of time in a month to utilize the facilities.

2. Distance :: As GTO rightly said, the club is almost an hours drive from my place which could make it cumbersome

3. Cost :: I have an outstanding home loan of 9 Lacs INR to repay. Me and my wife have decided to repay this home loan in full and save on the interests paid to the bank every month. So, this makes more financial sense for the family

4. Other options :: I stay very close to the Borivali National park and have just enquired about cycling inside the park. I can pay normal entry fees every day (45 INR) and cycle inside the park. This opens up a very good and cheap option for physical workout very close to the home.

Again thank you all for providing your valuable inputs they certainly helped me arrive at a decision

Regards
Dieseltuned
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Old 15th August 2017, 09:49   #15
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Default Re: Gymkhana / Club Memberships - Are they worth it?

Worth the money, but distance and traffic is the key. I'm a member at Goregaon Sports Club and stay at Lokhandwala Andheri West. Earlier I used to use the club regularly for food swim etc. However with the metro construction, I've literally not been there for a year now!

As GTO mentioned, even I'm going to find out if it can be sold and then I'll take something closer.
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