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Here's How a Tech-Expert Can Startup in the Healthcare Space! Backed by Growth Story, Grow Fit was launched in Feb 2016

By Sneha Banerjee

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Grow Fit

Having absorbed her share of knowledge in the internet and mobile space, Jyotsna Pattabiraman post her return from the United States in early 2008, realized that not only was her health deteriorating but also found friends in her circle facing a number of worrying health issues very early in life.

"It was like an "aaha moment" that it's not normal for all of us at that age to be having these kinds of issues. The more I talked to people, the more realized that it is not an isolated issue and a lot of people feel that they don't have any option assuming that it's genetic," she said.

What's Grow Fit

Jyotsna , who's now Founder, CEO at Grow Fit, a mobile health companion that uses artificial intelligence to help over 300 million Indians, who are living with or are at risk of contracting lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, achieve peak wellness.

It's a 1:1 chat-based coaching program connects users all over India to experts in mental and physical health and covers sleep, skin and hair, nutrition and exercise. In addition to the nutrition advice and customised diet plans, Grow Fit also offers fresh and packaged foods that help users improve their health, with dramatic measurable results. Through data-driven strategies, always-on coaching and food technology, Grow Fitachieves results that are 10 times better than industry standards.

You need to have a beginner's mindset!

Jyotsna, who is a Stanford MBA and Melton Fellow, said that there different models are now blooming in the healthcare space due to the infusion of technology – namely robotics, data-science and imaging. "A lot of people believe that healthcare is one of the last, unexplored frontiers in technology. ... Getting into to healthcare as a technology entrepreneur is now! Now is when everyone is experimenting with different kinds of technology. I don't think you need to have a healthcare background. All you need is to understand is the context to which people work,"

"You cannot come into healthcare and say you will run it as an ecommerce platform or travel, it's a completely different ball game and you need to have a beginner's mindset. Once you have the beginner's mindset you need to allow yourself to be advised by others who are experts in this field," she said.

Fighting it out in an overcrowded domain

According to Jyotsna, what helps Grow Fit stand out from other healthcare solutions provided by startups is the "full-stack" model that they offer. The combination of the mobile app and the food makes it a complete go-to solution, she says!

The executive team at Grow Fit includes Dr.Vinay Bhardwaj, MD (University of Colorado), Director, Quantified Health, and Swaroop Karunakaran, Director, Engineering, a former Oracle, IBM and NetApp executive.

Other team members comprising of nutritionists, food technologists, counsellors, and product experts come from premier institutions are alumni of Fortis, VLCC, Dell, Intel, Accenture and Rediffusion. Besides physical health, Grow Fit also encompasses mental health through a separate app called GrowSelf.

Are FMCG companies making quick money in the fitness market!

Today a consumer is exposed to several products that claim to be "healthy"; products carrying the label of being herbal and organic are easy picks for consumers. Asking whether consumers have become an easy prey to the fitness market in India Jyotsna said that many FMCG companies have taken advantage of this trend to sell people things that they don't need. "It's more confusing because people don't have an idea of what is right, doctors themselves don't agree,"

"Every person has a different body profile. Something that is good for one person might not be beneficial to another person. We believe in the fact that every person has a different body profile. When we recommend a diet plan for an individual we make something that's correct for him," she adds.

Grow Fit has over 110,000 customers pan India. 60 percent of Grow Fit's users come from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, proving that better health is a universal concern. Grow Fit and GrowSelf are available on iOS, Android and the web as well.

The company is backed by Growth Story and was launched in February 2016

Sneha Banerjee

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

She used to write for Entrepreneur India from Bangalore and other cities in South India. 

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