Dream job: How Wakefit.Co is paying interns Rs 1 lakh to go to sleep
While waking up and going to work in the morning is important, don’t you wish you could just catch up on a little extra sleep every day?
Well that dream is finally coming true for some individuals in the country who would love to get some extra hours of shut eye.
Sleep solutions startup wakefit.co is offering a one-of-kind sleep internship for snoozers, who will be paid upto Rs 1 lakh to sleep onmattresses for 100 nights in the comfort of their own beds.
So far, Wakefit has chosen 23 lucky individuals to be a part of their batch of 2020 interns, and provided them with sleep trackers and mattresses as well.
In an exclusive interview with YS Weekender Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Director and Co-founder, Wakefit.co talks about his company, the launch of their new sleep internship, why it’s important to develop regular sleeping habits and what young people should know about sleep....
Edited excerpts from the interview:
YSW: When was the sleep internship launched?
CR: The campaign was launched on November 26, 2019, and the final set of sleep interns for the batch of 2020 was selected in February 2020.
Co-Founders Ankit Garg (left) and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda
YSW: What was the goal behind launching the sleep internship?
CR: We wanted to create authentic and organic conversations around sleep health. We felt that the narratives around sleep were often associated with laziness and lethargy in the past, and we wanted to change that.
We wanted people to be proud sleepers and showcase their passion for sleep gallantly, and to celebrate people who valued and prioritised sleep over other distractions. With as many as 1.7 Lakh applications from across India and 30 countries across the world, we feel that we have been successful in meeting that goal.
YSW: What was the criterion required for interested individuals to apply?
CR: The primary and most important criterion was an unequivocal passion for sleep and a commitment towards constantly improving their sleep health. Throughout the three rounds of the interview process, which included online applications, video résumés on social media and a personal interview, the most significant quality candidates were tested on their ability to showcase their love for sleep in a creative and witty manner.
A Wakefit mattress provided by the company
YSW: How did the selection process work, and how did you finally shortlist the interns?
CR: On November 2019, we invited people to apply for a unique sleep internship offered by Wakefit.co, where selected interns would be paid Rs 1 Lakh to sleep on Wakefit mattresses for 100 nights in the comfort of their homes.
This round got us 1.7 Lakh applications from every corner of India and from 30 countries abroad like Malaysia, Slovakia, Venezuela, US, Canada and more.
Shortlisted candidates were asked to send in video résumés, and we garnered close to 1500 applications. We selected 99 people and called them for personal interviews in Bengaluru, where they were interviewed by celebrity judges, Cyrus Broacha, Mallika Dua, Shivankit Singh Parihar and Naveen Kaushik.
After careful deliberations, Wakefit.co selected 23 Sleep interns for the Batch of 2020-21 from India and two from US and Slovakia.
The applications for 2020 have now been closed. The selected interns have been given sleep trackers and a Wakefit mattress is being shipped to each of their homes.
As part of the internship, the interns will be provided expertise and guidance by experts on how to make their quality of sleep better, and will be paid a salary of INR 1 Lakh at the end of the 100-day period.
YSW: What research did you undertake on sleep before carrying out the project?
CR: Wakefit.co is a company that is focused on making customers’ lives better. We blend research done internationally around sleep with the feedback we receive from our customer base here in India, and constantly innovate and make our products and offerings better. The inherent belief is that if we make great quality products and empower people with information and knowledge around sleep, they will definitely find themselves selecting our products.
The idea behind creating conversations around sleep by conducting the sleep internship also ensued from this very belief.
YSW: Why is sleep so important, according to you?
CR: We have always believed that total wellness comprises three important elements: food, exercise and sleep.
While food and exercise are much talked and written about in popular wellness narratives, sleep usually does not get the credit it deserves. Sleep can impact our metabolism, mood, body recovery process, and much more. Hence, it is extremely important to take steps towards improving our sleep habits.
All our communication and corporate efforts are geared towards creating meaningful conversations around sleep and equipping people with the necessary information and knowledge to enhance their sleep health.
YSW: Why do so many people suffer from insomnia?
CR: Our modern lifestyle is fraught with certain distinct characteristics like high stress levels, constant screen time, on-the-go schedules and a lack of work-life balance.
We are also living in a generation that suffers from information overload. Hence, the chances of the younger generation suffering from lifestyle diseases like insomnia, and sleep apnoea are much higher. It is important for people to take active measures to cultivate healthy lifestyle habits in these times.
YSW: How did you come up with this idea for your startup? Were you always interested in the concept of sleep?
CR: Our Co-founder, Ankit Garg came up with this idea. Ankit has significant experience in the foam and mattress segment, starting with the chemistry of materials. When he approached me (while we were working together at another startup), his ideas instantly appealed to me as a concept that could change the way India sleeps.
Along with his experience in mattress manufacturing and my experience in building engaged online communities, we started Wakefit.co as an online mattress company.
Over the years, however, we realised that sleep is a holistic science and if we are to improve the quality of sleep amongst Indians, we would have to expand our product portfolio and offer sleep solutions that would aid in improving people’s overall sleep health.
We identify ourselves as a sleep solutions company and offer two variants of mattresses, five designs of beds, comforters, pillows, bedsheets, neck pillows, back cushions and mattress protectors.
YSW: Have you discovered anything significant through undertaking this project?
CR: One of the most heartening and encouraging facts we discovered by conducting this campaign was that people, especially in India, love to sleep. They just need a slight nudge to take actionable steps towards enhancing their sleep health.
We are very happy that we have been able to not only create the conversations we wanted around sleep but also encouraged people to make sleep a priority in their lives.
Through this movement, we have also been able to touch people’s hearts, because they have openly shared their sleep problems with us. We hope to continue to solve these problems in the coming years.
YSW: What are your future plans in this field?
CR: We are looking to penetrate deeper into the Indian market and expand our customer base in the country. In the coming years, we will also be looking to expand our product portfolio and offer more sleep solutions to our customers.
(Edited by Asha Chowdary)