Started in September 2015, Grow Fit addresses prevention of lifestyle disease through a combination of data science, medical science, and behavioral insights. Over 300 million Indians are at risk of lifestyle disease and have nowhere to turn to for support. Lifestyle disease is estimated to rack up over $54 billion in lost income in 2015 alone. While the problem is too large for the medical system to address, Grow Fit believes in empowering Indians to prevent and in many cases, reverse lifestyle disease by addressing its root causes – nutrition, mental wellness, stress, sleep, and activity – through a combination of expert advice and functional products.
When asked about this Ms. Jyotsna Pattabiraman (Founder) shared that helping customers change their habits was a challenging task. However, through the bond between the expert and the customer, Grow Fit has helped many customers shed weight, improve their metrics, and feel more empowered. They are generating their own IP rather than cutting and pasting from western studies. This makes the going harder, but the results are well worth it.
Idea behind the Project
On this Ms. Jyotsna Pattabiraman shared that the seed for founding Grow Fit was sown a couple of years ago when it seemed to her that almost everyone she knew – including herself – had been diagnosed with something frightening: cancer, heart disease, and diabetes at a relatively young age. And she have been working with Internet and mobile companies both in the US and India and knew about the power of data for understanding what’s right for one, and contextual interventions for driving behavioral change. She believed that the team could use the power of technology to understand the problem better and to drive meaningful interventions. That led to the inception of Grow Fit.
The core team
When Ms. Jyotsna Pattabiraman met with Growth Story in 2014, they offered her the opportunity to be an EIR and work on mobile health, which was a dream come true for her. That’s how Grow Fit was formed.
Ms. Jyotsna Pattabiraman – She is an alumnus of Stanford Graduate School of Business,
and completed Software Engineering from Bangalore University
Revenue, traction and growth
Grow Fit’s chat subscription revenue has been doubling month on month. As far as the food subscription is concerned, the number of orders has grown by 5x since March. Their packaged foods are in their trial phase and products have been sent across the country for sampling.
The Grow Fit mobile app has been downloaded over 1,50,000 times since last November (Android and iOS together) and more than 60,000 diet charts have been downloaded. The team is planning on a mobile web option for those users who do not want to download the app. The number of nutritionists at Grow Fit has grown from 3 to 50 in a very short while. At present, their core team size stands at 30, and they are continuing to expand on a month on month basis. The team recently expanded into the Functional Beverages segment with the acquisition of Drink King, a nutritional beverage platform started in early 2015. The acquisition was made for an undisclosed consideration of cash and stock, making Grow Fit a one-stop solution for those seeking a companion on their preventive health and wellness journey.
USP and Revenue Model
Grow Fit also has a comprehensive approach that addresses nutrition, activity, skin/hair, sleep and mental wellness. Through their expert platform, users all across India are connected with experts who have been thoroughly vetted. The experts are chosen because of their clinical/scientific background and experience with lifestyle disease. Grow Fit has gone beyond advice to cover the last mile, formulating foods that have been shown to improve health metrics significantly in a matter of weeks.
Grow Fit’s personalized expert advice starts at INR 199/week. However, the most popular packages are the four-week and eight-week programmes. Grow Fit presently offers fresh foods in Bangalore only at INR 1799 + delivery. This works out to INR 300 per meal, which also includes a drink, a snack, and supplements. Staples/packaged foods start at INR 500. A comprehensive packaged meal plan, which includes 18 meals, works out to INR 2199. This includes portion-controlled staples such as low-carb quinoa mix, millets, and black rice for main courses as well as pre-packed, portion-controlled breakfasts, and snacks. These are shipped across India.
Funding received till date
Grow Fit is backed by Growth Story, the venture-builder platform, as well as other prominent investors. They monetize on personalized advice as well as through functional foods.
Grow Fit is a comprehensive health companion that offers expert advice (via a mobile app) as well as therapeutic and functional foods. Through the Grow Fit mobile app, users can connect with trained therapists, clinical nutritionists, and experienced cosmetologists to discover personalized solutions that are right for them. They can act on those solutions by themselves or by leveraging Grow Fit’s food products, which include fresh foods (ready-to-eat) as well as staples (packaged foods).
Grow Fit’s fresh foods are targeted at the urban professional or homemaker and aims to fuel their healthy lifestyles and reverse lifestyle disease. Their staples (packaged foods) ship across India and are meant for people that want to make healthy nutrition a practice for the entire family. The startup has also launched Grow Self, a mental wellness app where clients chat with trained counselors about their daily life issues. The anonymity of mobile chat helps ease the stigma connected to seeking help. They have a young user base of below 25 years whom they have helped get clarity in key issues in their life.
Grow Fit’s future plans include fertility and issues related to pregnant and lactating women, joint health, stress management and more, all through the mobile. Team also plans to integrate different sources of data from wearables and medical reports in order to make the app a one-stop, comprehensive companion for wellness. Read more on Indian Startups.