At YourStory’s TechSparks 2017, Ankit Nagori, co-founder of CureFit spoke about the origin of CureFit, the thought process behind its online-offline model and what the venture’s end-game is all about.
When Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori exited from Flipkart, the entrepreneurial genes in them were looking for the next big opportunity to start up again. Speaking at TechSparks, Ankit recollected that Mukesh and he actually looked at different industries to venture into before zeroing in on health and wellness. Ankit Nagori remarked that the health sector stood out because it hadn’t really been disrupted by technology as a whole.
Mukesh and Ankit looked at the problems that people faced, the market solutions and business models available to those problems and realised that there was a big market gap. Most people generally don't pay attention to their health in a pro-active manner and only visited their doctors when their problems turned chronic. On the other hand, data suggested that a lot of general practitioners sometimes recommend far too many medical tests than what was really needed.
Chronic and lifestyle diseases are among the leading causes of deaths in India, accounting for almost 60 percent of all deaths annually. So, Mukesh and Ankit realised that there was a need for a more integrated and holistic approach. Ankit remarked,
Taking care of health is not a standalone process... It has to be holistic across diet and fitness.
Ankit remarked that technology is the perfect solution to track this. So they realised that one could resort to reverse engineering and figure out a holistic pro-active solution by trusting some key data points like Body Mass Index (BMI), average hours of sleep per day, daily activity and water consumption.
Based on existing players in the market he realised that people don’t like keeping multiple apps that track and push people to keep on top of their health. There seemed to be a need for a holistic approach and that was how CureFit was born.
CureFit - A three-pronged approach
Talking about CureFit's approach to the problem, Ankit said, “It would have been easier to build a marketplace of different fitness players and leverage digital marketing solutions to amplify reach. But we figured that a full stack approach would be more relevant and effective.”
So CureFit focusses on three specific areas that they operate in and provide online and offline solutions:
CureFit has a mobile app that provides D-I-Y home workouts and sleep tracking features to help people track their fitness and keep healthy when they are travelling or can’t visit a gym or fitness centre.
For those who prefer an offline solution, CureFit provides trainer-led classes at Cult, a brand that CureFit acquired. Talking about the Unique selling proposition Ankit noted that Cult session have zero machinery and the focus is more on group activities. The trainers too are also led by either current or former national athletes.
Ankit noted that eating healthy is important to stay fit. But because of the lifestyles that most of us maintain, we generally end up not eating the right kind of food. To make this easier, CureFit decided to offer a health subscription programme for people who want healthy food delivered to their offices or homes on a regular basis.
Ankit noted that they considered aggregating the solution here through different partners but then decided to stick to their full stack approach, for now, to ensure they have better control over the quality of food. He noted though that Curefit’s app provides a D-I-Y option of healthy recipes for those who have the time to cook.
- Mental wellness
Referring to Arianna Huffington, noted author and businesswoman's book, ‘The Sleep Revolution’, Ankit noted that we should encourage ourselves to sleep longer, up to eight hours, to ensure healthy lifestyles in the long run. Ankit noted that given the fast pace of most of our work lives, this is not an easy task. He also recalled from personal experience that he would generally sleep only five hours on average while he was working at Flipkart.
To help people develop their mental fortitude, CureFit encourages their users to track their sleep and also meditate at one of their centres or follow the DIY meditation modules available on CureFit’s mobile app.
CureFit’s revenue model consists of multiple subscription plans which vary from one month to a year depending on the needs of consumers. Ankit noted that CureFit’s online and offline strategy may sound counter-intuitive at first, he believes that this is the right approach in the long run and the goal is to have multiple access points to customers.
While CureFit is currently still in Beta and available in selected pockets across Bengaluru, Ankit shared that they have crossed 100,000 app downloads and over 12,000 customers have seen a positive impact through CULT. Breaking down numbers across different categories, he informed that on a daily basis about 5000 people use their digital offerings like DIY content and sleep tracking, while 4500 people work out at a CULT centre and about 1500 customers consume their healthy meals.
Talking about their long-term goals, Ankit shared that they aim to open 500 Cult centres across 15 cities and also ensure high density. Ankit explained, “High density is key as it ensures that people visit these centres frequently. The further a centre from one’s home, the less likely they are to visit them regularly.”
On the product front, Ankit noted that CureFit will provide a lot more personalisation in the future. For example, if they detect that a person has not slept well for a long time, the app could leverage the data to detect this and then suggest a sleep meditation pack.
While the current solution is a full stack approach, Ankit is confident that CureFit will see product-market fit soon and as the industry and the partner ecosystem as a whole matures, they aim to open it up to partners to offer customers more variety.