Ritu is an excellent individual and an astute professional having the capabilities of understanding the complexities of a product. This gives her the abilities to find easy solutions making her identify a great idea at a conception stage. She has an expertise in brand management, leadership and product development. She started her career as a key account manager at Wipro InfoTech. However, she came to the limelight with her startup named, Obino. It is a health-tech startup with a vision to become a global brand in personalized healthcare.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service?
Obino is a virtual Weight Loss & Health coaching solution on your mobile & has been used by over three lakh Indians to lose weight, get fit and become healthier. With a 4.4 Rating on the Google Play Store & thousands of delighted customers in India & abroad, Obino helps its users by intelligently pairing each of them with their own personal health coach, who work one-on-one to develop customized diet, fitness and lifestyle regimes to achieve their health goals – be it losing weight, getting fitter or improving their health outcomes. All this is done via the mobile phone, leveraging the unique ecosystem of the Obino app, which provides a holistic weight loss & health coaching solution on its app with:
Expert health coaches
Indian calorie counter (powered by India’s 2nd largest indian-foods & exercise database)
Intelligent recommendations on food & exercise
Personalized indian diet plans
Easy fitness plans
Dietician-created healthy recipes
Compelling articles, tips and blogs from experts and bloggers
Obino coaches also work in tandem with the medical practitioners of our users to ensure health coaching that complements lifestyle & chronic disease management.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Obino was actually inspired by my own personal journey of weight loss after the birth of my beautiful baby girl, almost seven years ago. Like most young mothers eager to regain control over their bodies and their weight, I had a not-so-pleasant experience with the traditional vendors of weight loss – which was not only expensive and inconvenient but also non-transparent, leading me to feel like I was being held to ransom over my own health.
I firmly believe that everybody should have instant access to the knowledge and motivation that they needed to achieve their health goals & that too conveniently, given their busy lifestyles. This was why Obino took the shape of a mobile app, since healthy choices are made at least 30-40 times per day & the only tool that is consistently around at such times is the mobile phone.
I also wanted to have Coaches & Experts come to their users, instead of the other way around, thereby putting the power in the hands of the user. Accordingly, Obino’s coaches strive with every engagement to not just inculcate healthy habits, but also help our users learn how to manage their own health in the long term.
What is your life mantra?
Expect and be disappointed.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Traditional health businesses are built on trust and credibility because people literally put their health in the hands of these businesses.
The challenge in a health-technology startup is to build that trust and credibility without any face-to-face interaction and in the case of an emerging venture, with limited marketing monies for brand building and advertising.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We let our users and our product do the talking for us. In health businesses, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! In addition, in our case, in results! We have over 30,000 kilos of weight lost on the platform by even our free users in the last few months alone. And our paid users typically lose 2-3 kilos per week with the stress on a human to human coaching model which is learning-based and is a high-touch model, which allows users to connect with their coaches on an average of six to nine times a day – which is extremely rare in any other fitness or weight loss solution, both online or offline.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Founded by myself, Vishal Soni and Yogesh S in August 2014, we raised a pre-seed round of funding in early 2015 from Delhi-based health-tech incubator, Healthstart. Post this; we have raised a seed round of funding from RoundGlass Partners in December 2015. RoundGlass Partners is a socially conscious global firm spurring innovation and disruption in digital health and wellness.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We’ve actually not encountered any such brain drain problems as people who join us do so because they are passionate about making a difference to people’s lives.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Mix panel for App Analytics
WhatsApp for Communication
Share any one habit, which you think, makes you more productive.
Every morning, I make my To Do List in my notebook.
In addition, every time I finish a task, I cross it off.
Share any one habit, which you wish to change in yourself.
I wish I was more disciplined. I still tend to give way to impulse very often
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Believe in yourself. Completely!
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Discourtesy. It Will come back to bite you in the butt!
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
You cannot avoid failure. So you might as well learn from it.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
To grow Obino into a world-class health coaching product that makes a real and measurable difference in people’s lives.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I would startup earlier
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“When you get there, there isn’t there anymore!”