Z-App Your Way To Good Health
Grow Fit makes it easier for you to stay on the fitness track and aims to help over 300 million Indians who are at risk of developing lifestyle diseasesBy Anila Mathew Vivek
The World Economic Forum states that over six million Indian die prematurely each year due to lifestyle diseases. This is a bafflingly huge number, a number that can be averted or lessened. This grotesque figure bothered Jyotsna Pattabiraman, a Stanford University alumna, enough for her to come up with the Grow Fit app in September 2015. Her personal battle with health issues, while working in the US in the early 2000s, proved to be the catalyst for an out-of-the box venture that combines data science, medical science and behavioural insights to help people achieve their health goals easily.
“The app, which has been downloaded over 5 lakh times (on Android and iOS), uses data science and machine learning to identify and validate strategies for customer success,” says Ritvik Sharma, VP, Product Marketing. “Its easy-to-use, one-on-one, chat-based coaching programme connects users all over India to experts in mental and physical health and more than 2.5 lakh diet charts have been generated for users till date.” The app looks at various parameters of health, ranging from sleep, skin and hair, to nutrition and exercise. It also offers healthy food and concierge services.
Grow Fit aims to help over 300 million Indians, who are at risk of contracting lifestyle diseases, with its expert coaching, health foods and behavioural insights. Among the many obstacles an individual faces while trying to stay fit, the most prominent factor is the lack of a sustainable diet that one can follow. “India is a country where food is celebrated and it’s very hard for people to not fall off the curve at one point or the other,” says Shrama. “A majority of people need constant motivation and hand-holding throughout their fitness journey and Grow Fit provides them with guidance in all realms of their fitness journey.” The app has clientele from Punjab, NCR, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and a lot of users belong to tier-II and tier-III cities. Most users are in their late 20s and early 30s, and include professionals in IT, finance, business, fashion and sports, besides entrepreneurs and home makers. “Over 85% who stick to our diet plans have seen dramatic results in achieving their health goals, particularly in losing weight,” says Sharma. “There are also products suited to the users’ lifestyle that can be used even while travelling, which makes following the diet easier.” As blogger Chitra Balachandran of The Bellyrina Diaries testifies: “Before I tried Grow Fit’s Lean Machine plan, I never thought I could stick to a ‘diet’. I love my food way too much. But then, it’s hard to feel like you’re on a diet when most of your meals are covered in butter and cheese, and are genuinely delicious! I feel like I’ve uncovered the Holy Grail—being able to eat yummy food, while actually losing weight!”
“A Majority Of People Need Constant Motivation And Hand-Holding Throughout Their Fitness Journey And Grow Fit Provides Them With Guidance In All Realms Of Their Fitness Journey.”Ritvik SharmaVP, Product Marketing
“Before starting Grow Fit’s programme, I used to run 100m in 12.1-12.2 seconds,” says Varsha Rohit a national level sprinter. “Now I manage in 11.6- 11.7 seconds. To cut down a fraction of a second usually takes years of training, but the right nutrition helped me do it in mere months!” Grow Fit seeks regular feedback from its users through the app itself, the chat box on its comprehensive website, through Facebook and phone calls to improve its services. .
The app uses a three-pronged approach to come up with nutrition plans that are most suitable for users, which focuses on updated customer data, customising plan based on previously available data about users with similar profiles and offering a comprehensive solution that includes expert advice, diet plans, packaged food offerings and even fresh meals that are delivered home (available only in Bengaluru and Chennai as of now).
The ingredients for the diet are ethically sourced from top quality suppliers from various parts of the country. The app takes pride in doing its bit for indigenous communities of remote villages in the country, by sourcing many ingredients like bamboo seeds and amaranth from them, which are then thoroughly checked for quality. Says Rayana, a nutritionist at Grow Fit: “People in tier-I and even tier-II cities are looking for better nutrition options as they have realised that bad nutrition is one of the major cause of lifestyle diseases. This is why Grow Fit’s products and approach resonates with the millennials.”
The app is expanding its cloud kitchens throughout Bangalore and will soon set up base in cities like Delhi, NCR, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Grow Fit is also exploring products such as snacks, beverages and vitamin-fortified products as it seeks to innovate on its flagship keto product line and readyto- eat-kits. Technology is also being developed to integrate CGMs, fitness trackers and other monitoring devices. The engineering team at Grow Fit is also leveraging AI to come up with a diet recommendation engine and image recognition of foods for building a habit-forming product for every health enthusiast.