Founder Interview: HealthifyMe

As India becomes more fitness conscious, start-ups are gearing up to encourage as well as propel this revolution. HealthifyMe is a mobile weight loss coach – the startup’s story is below:

Who is the team behind HealthifyMe and how did the idea come to be?

Tushar had returned from his investment banking career in the US to join the Unique ID project with the Govt of India. While in the UID project, he gained about 18 kg of weight! He attributed it to junk food around him, not knowing about the impact that food was having on his physique and no easy access to gyms/parks and trainers. The fact that home made Indian food was impossible to track in the western apps available became more self evident when he was living a lifestyle of Rs 100/day and Rs 32/day.

It was evident that the problem of weight gain was not just Tushar’s. More than 200 million people suffer from lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and obesity, growing at 20% annually. On the other hand, we also have almost 300 million people having access to mobile data and smartphones. So it was this passion to Healthify India using the power of smartphones that led to the birth of HealthifyMe.
Tushar was later joined by Sachin Shenoy as the Co-Founder & Head of Engineering with a similar passion. He came with 13 years of experience out of which 6 were with Google where he worked across products (Google Finance, Google SMS Channel, Orkut Developer Platform and Google Dev. Platform). He was the tech lead for many of these platforms and has 5 patent disclosures associated with his work.

Tushar Vashist (CEO and Co-founder HealthifyMe)

Tushar Vashist (CEO and Co-founder HealthifyMe)

Everyone wants to be fit but in between time pressures, lack of motivation and other factors – becoming fit remains a challenge. Where does your app fit in?

HealthifyMe is a mobile weight loss coach. You spend the most of the day on the smartphone – personal or official. HealthifyMe now brings qualified coaches to your smartphone. The coaches are responsible for some tough love like any friend; laud them at every achievement and also make them feel accountable. In all, HealthifyMe allows you to steal those few precious few minutes from your hectic life for yourself. They help make the right changes in your diet and workouts bringing the perfect balance in your lifestyle.

Who are your typical users? And what has their feedback been?

Our typical users include corporates and individuals looking to lose weight and get fitter. They are looking for constant motivation and guidance that they do not receive in the gym. Customers have realised that spending one hour in the gym with no control over the daily routine does not take them anywhere.

Our customers love us. We are the highest rated fitness app on play store in India and have been featured twice on App Store since our launch early this year.

You can access few of our case studies here:

http://healthifyme.com/blog/healthifyme-effect-a-loss-of-11-kg/
http://healthifyme.com/blog/healthifyme-helped-lose-13-kg-6-months/
http://healthifyme.com/blog/i-went-from-80-kg-to-64-kg-with-healthifyme/

Who are the experts in the app who will help users get fit?

HealthifyMe brings leading nutritionists, fitness trainers and Yoga Instructors who help our customers reach their fitness goals. All the coaches are highly qualified and bring immense skill sets to the table. We evaluate them based on the level of motivation towards helping people achieve their desired goals in addition to their skills as trainers and nutritionists.

How has the growth been since launch and what are the future plans? How are you marketing your app?

HealthifyMe has grown from being just a calorie counter to weight loss coach. HealthifyMe now boasts of over 1.8 lac users and is adding over 20k users monthly. We have delivered empirical results – 25% reduction in fat intake, 15% increase in protein and 100% increase in physical activity. HealthifyMe also works in partnership with various medical institutions such as Medanta, Apollo and Manipal, where the platform has been proven effective in treating and preventing clinical obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular problems and other lifestyle diseases.

What is your one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs?

You’re an entrepreneur, no matter what, whether up or down, success or failure. Don’t shy away from taking risks. However, take calculated risks and lear from them – don’t play blind.

Deepak
 

A bit of education, a byte of startups.

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