Micromax-backed HealthifyMe aims to bring technology to preventive healthcare with its ‘Swasth Bharat’ campaign
We all aim to be fitter and lead healthy lifestyles. To do so, we need to keep an eye on what we eat and also exercise accordingly. While packaged foods come with their nutritional and calorific information it’s difficult to know the same for most traditional Indian food that we cook and consume daily.
HealthifyMe aims to tackle this pain point and make it easy for users to keep track of their food intake and also monitor their workout routines. The startup recently raised funding from Micromax and also tied up with multiple organisations for their ‘Swasth Bharat’ campaign.
HealthifyMe was co-founded by Tushar Vashisht and Sachin Shenoy. After Tushar conducted the ‘Rs100 a day’ experiment he got first-hand experience of the harsh realities of living just below the poverty line. During the experiment, they had made an excel sheet with nutritional information of Indian food. When they went to various places speaking about the experiment, they shared the findings with the eager audience. After consulting various experts in the field, they found out that there really wasn’t any nutritional information database for Indian food.
They worked with the National Institute for Nutrition to curate and build the list further believing that they had the world’s only comprehensive database of nutritional information of Indian food.This database lies in at the core of HealthifyMe, which is a personal coach that aims to get users to eat healthy, lose weight and get fitter.
Their team currently includes a 16-member core team across technology, operations, sales and marketing and a team of 30 nutritionists.
How it works?
Users need to download the app and feed in their target weight and the app creates a custom plan for them. Users need to ensure that they stay within their meal budgets and exercise as needed. They have added a level of gamification, where users are rewarded points for performing healthy activities, which is visible on a leaderboard.
The app includes a database of over 10,000 local or regional foods in 13 Indian languages, so as to reach out to the largest demographic possible. The app also provides information about serving sizes in the Indian context like ‘katoris’ and customized analysis of food consumed after the user has logged in, telling them what was good and where they went wrong.
The HealthifyMe app is free to download and is available on both Android and iOS. However, users need to pay to access some of their premium services which include nutritionists, fitness trainers and yoga experts delivered in-app. Some of the other premium features include photo tracking, voice tracking, customized health plans.
HealthifyMe is also currently used in clinical settings and has shown empirical results on users’ eating/exercise habits, weight loss and overall well-being. They recently launched their ‘Swasth Bharat’ campaign with the aim of making a million Indians healthy within the year.Swasth Bharat campaign
HealthifyMe, in partnership with Godrej Nature’s Basket, Manipal Hospitals, Medanta - The Medicity, Apollo Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Endocrinology (ACODE) and TheHealthSite.com launched HealthifyIndia or ‘SwasthBharat’ campaign recently. The industry initiative is a plan to move a million Indians to embrace a healthy lifestyle by the year end and to scale that number up to a crore in next three years.
As a part of the campaign, the partners are jointly offering approximately Rs 100 crore in products and services to anyone who takes their pledge from within the app. Once users take the pledge, they get Rs. 1,000 worth of products and services from the industry partners to enable them to achieve that pledge.
Tushar, Cofounder & CEO of HealthifyMe, added,
I am proud of the team we have here today as founding partners of HealthifyIndia – six corporations united by a cause, inspired by a sense of purpose and an ambition to change India for the better. HealthifyMe is the chief coordinator for the mission and we are offering Rs 300 worth of our premium software free for the first million people to take the HealthifyIndia pledge.
Funding and future plans
HealthifyMe had raised a quarter million dollars in the past and recently confirmed that Micromax Informatics Limited had made a strategic investment in them. Micromax has also set up an M&A team headed by Kumar Shah, which has been sourcing and working with startups across technology markets such as Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel and India.
Talking about the investment, Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder of Micromax, said,
We believe that India’s preventive healthcare needs transformational technologies. With our investment in HealthifyMe, we aim to create a technology platform to address the consumers’ wellness needs. We are very impressed with HealthifyMe’s team and product and look forward to working closely with them to build world class products for Micromax consumers.
HealthifyMe aims to capture the Indian market and then move to emerging markets across the globe. So far most of their audience has been in the 20 to 45 age group and HealthifyMe aims to reach out to a wider audience now. While they have their own wearable device in the market currently, going forward they aim to focus only on their software and integrate their services with other wearable devices.
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