The FICCI-PWC Wellness Report 2012 estimates the Wellness Industry in India at INR 950 Bn of which 80% is estimated to be in the category of Weight Loss. Equally relevant is the chronic disease segment of approximately 450 Mn people (62 Mn Diabetic, 140 Mn Obese, 120 Mn+ with Cardio Vasular disease) for whom the starting point is Weight Gain.
With the increasing work pressure, the time which people used to give to managing their health and physique has gone down and more importantly if they wish to manage their health, there lies an ultimate need to track. After facing similar weight issues and taking cognizance of the advancement in technology, Ritu Soni Srivastava, a seasoned marketing professional with 12+ years of experience in media and telecom, along with Yogesh Sachdeva holding over 16+ Yrs of Work Experience with Leading Indian Telcos, launched ObiNo.
Unlike traditional weight-loss mobile apps, which focus on counting calories, ObiNo, a mobile Weight Loss Coach works just like a real-life Coach on the Recommend-Remind-Reward model.
The Idea & The Inspiration Behind
Ritu’s journey started around 5 years ago when she suffered weight gain and was not able to bring it down, even after trying multiple ways. After consulting a dietician during that time, she realised that losing weight was not all that difficult, as it was made out to be. “All it needed was structured, regular coaching for me to develop the right lifestyle habits. So I dropped out of the program and carefully applied all that I had learnt. And in 6 months, I went on to lose 12 Kgs more. I am now at a happy 52 Kilos and still fighting to get down to 50!”
This inspired her to launch Obino as a do-it-yourself Weight Loss Coaching app, which works on a Recommend & Remind model in a Social context, instead of the tedious and painful calorie-counting method. It tells you exactly what ‘you’ should be doing to lose weight while reminding you to do it at the appropriate hour, and also informs when the program would reap rewards. All this is done in a group, with other like-minded people, keeping you involved and motivated.
ObiNo actually behaves just like a Real-Life Coach – it assesses your body and creates a personalized Weight Loss Task list daily that simply needs to be followed. For the each assigned task, it also gives recommendations on how to do it. For instance, if you are asked to eat a 350 Calorie breakfast, then it provides a detailed meal-recommendation and you can ask for as many options as you like, which it instantly provides.
Additionally, it keeps notifying you to do those tasks – drink water, eat on time, drink green tea, take walk breaks, and so on. “It’s like having your own personal Weight Loss Coach on your mobile, 24×7!” says Ritu.
At the backend, ObiNo is armed with proprietary technology like an Indian meal-recommendation engine & e-diet plan generator as well as the standard calorie-counting technology.
Currently, it has 3 coaches on its platform.
Target Audience & Traction
Mumbai based Obino is built for mobile-savvy weight-conscious users between the ages of 25–45 years. One of its key target groups is Mothers who are looking to look after their health and keep their weight in check but in a manner that’s convenient and affordable for them.
The app offers two models:
- For Free Users: A User can choose to get Free E-coaching with Recommendations on what to eat & how to exercise as well as learn about his body.
- For Paid Users: A user can access assisted Coaching Services at a cost ranging from INR 299-1499 per month which offers Diet & Fitness Plans, Expert personal Coaching and other premium features.
Launched in August last year as a freemium mobile-application for Android handsets, Obino has now reached 16,000 downloads, over 2000 active users & 150+ paying customers at a ticket size of INR 1500 per month.
Ritu tells, “Our engagement levels are fairly high with 85%+ Monthly Active Users who visit the application at least twice a month.”
Funding & Expansion
The startup had raised a pre-seed round in January 2015 from Healthstart, a health-tech Incubator from Delhi and is now in the process of raising an Angel Round. Going forward, Obino intends to raise over INR 2 Cr. to refine the product & take it to Indian audiences globally.
“India is a huge market in itself and is projected to be the lifestyle disease capital of the world, so just establishing ourselves in the Indian market as the preferred Weight Loss Solution is our 1st target. But once we do that, we want the ObiNo experience to go global – because people and their issues with weight are the same globally. With a change in database/food items, we can be ready to enter a foreign market in under 3 months, so that’s our way forward. We’re also introducing a Coach Marketplace so we intend to be the Ola of Weight Loss Coaching,” said Ritu.
The startup has recently managed to get a Bollywood stalwart to come on board as a Brand Ambassador to promote the brand.
Obino mainly competes with DIY/assisted weight loss mobile apps like MyFitnessPal, Noom & Rise internationally and HealthifyMe & GoQii which in India. Fitho is yet another startup dealing in this space.
There is no doubt that by letting users connect with other people,ObiNo will keep them focussed and determined, and make the entire weight-loss experience more engaging and fulfilling, However, the market for weight loss mobile apps is highly competitive and bordering on lines of saturation. ObiNo is likely to face stiff competition from GoQii, a wearable fitness band which also offers remote personalized coaching. The startup will have to be on its toes, constantly upgrade existing features and make incremental changes whenever required. Lets see if the online health market has room for ObiNo.
Try Obino App, let us know what you think.