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[Startup Bharat] How fitness-focused Fitelo is helping people achieve a healthy lifestyle with its AI-enabled platform

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Obesity is a global problem. However, its prevalence in India is growing faster than the world average. According to a 2021 study funded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, around 40 percent of Indians are overweight. 

To address this problem, and help people lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, Fitelo was launched in April 2019. The Chandigarh-based startup comes with an app that is aimed at helping its clients develop healthy habits. It operates on a subscription-based model and assigns customers a health coach who is aligned to their needs. 

The entire client journey is managed by Fitelo’s AI-enabled platform, which enables a high level of customisation. 

“Powered by our platform, we work on modifying the lifestyle of an individual, step by step. We work on creating healthy habits so they get fit and can stay fit in the easiest possible way,” Sahil Bansal, Co-founder, Fitelo tells YourStory.

How it works

When the customer downloads the Fitelo app, available for Android and iOS,  and signs in by filling in basic details, they have to choose the desired package. 

“We work in the ‘Weight Management’ and ‘Disease Management’ category. While a majority of our clients come to us for weight loss, we also help them manage conditions such as diabetes, thyroid, PCOD, and hypertension,” he explains.

The Weight Management package starts at Rs 3,000 a month, with the annual subscription costing up to 25,000. Meanwhile, the Disease Management package starts at Rs 7,000 a month and goes up to Rs 50,000 for the yearly subscription.

A personal coach is then assigned who performs a complete analysis of the body nutrition and customer needs in an online diet counselling session. The analysis is used by Fitelo’s team of dietitians, doctors, and trainers to create customised nutrition and lifestyle modification plan for the customer.

“We have 50+ dietitians in our team. They handle 70-90 clients on a given day. Other than receiving a fixed monthly payment, they also get performance-based incentives. The overall salary of the team as a percentage of revenue is about 20 percent,” Sahil adds.

Customers can update and track progress in the app daily, including metrics such as diet, body measurements, activity, and water intake. The Fitelo team also conducts regular counselling sessions as per the customer’s package to ensure that the overall nutrition and holistic fitness is intact while losing weight.

The USP

According to Sahil, “Our programme doesn’t require any gym or fitness equipment. There are no fad diets and we don’t recommend or use any supplements/medicines. We don’t even ask our users to count calories or weigh their food. With our AI-enabled platform, we help our clients gain a better understanding of their habits and improve their nutrition and lifestyles.”

The co-founder says that whenever people try weight loss products/services that promise instant results, they often end up regaining the weight after a few months. “We work on building these healthy habits. It is the only sustainable and long-lasting way to lose weight, stay fit, and avoid diseases,” he quips.

The startup is also active on social media where it spreads awareness about fitness and health.

“We are also making concerted efforts to promote what’s lacking in the fitness industry and busting the myths associated with fitness, nutrition, and the proclaimed health products. Fitelo also propagates practical and easily implementable tips to stay fit while staying at home and also shares easy to prepare healthy recipes,” Sahil adds.

The team

The founders Mehakdeep (Mac) Singh and Sahil are childhood friends. Obese since childhood, they tried every possible weight loss solution, only to realise that none of them was sustainable and they would end up regaining their weight. 

In 2008, Sahil moved to Pune to start his corporate career and Mehakdeep stayed back to pursue his MBA. After completing his MBA in 2011, Mehakdeep joined an auto company. In 2014, he met with an accident that left him bedridden for months, and ended up gaining a lot of weight.

Frustrated, he quit his job and pursued MSc in fitness and nutrition from Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi. He lost 60 kgs when he switched to consuming natural foods. So, he decided to dive deep into fitness and focused on building a CRM platform for fitness coaches from 2016-19.

Sahil pursued an MBA in 2010 from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar and developed a keen interest in psychology. ​​As part of the MBA he took psychology and marketing courses. He worked at companies including Infosys, Reuters, HCL, and Genpact, as well as attempted to build an edtech startup. Most of his work involved creating habit-forming models using technology, which he presented at international conferences. 

In the process, Sahil realised fitness was also about habit building. He inculcate good habits and was able to lose 30 kgs sustainably. 

When Mehakdeep and Sahil reconnected in 2019, they agreed that long-term fitness can be only achieved by building habits and lifestyle modification.  

“We decided to take this concept to the masses. In April 2019, Fitelo as a brand was born, a platform to help other people in losing weight and have an overall healthier lifestyle,” Sahil says.

Currently, Fitelo has a team of 90 members. 

“We started with Rs 1-2 lakh per head as an initial investment. We have been profitable since the first month,” Sahil adds.

Funding and the way ahead

According to a report by RBSA Advisors, the Indian healthtech market is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to reach $50 billion by 2033.

Bootstrapped, Fitelo claims to have grown every quarter since its inception. The startup claims its content reaches 50 lakh people every month. 

“We plan to close FY22 at Rs 9-10 crore in revenue. As we plan to scale and touch 10 million lives in the next three years, we plan to partner with strategic investors this year,” says Sahil.

Globally, it competes with the likes of Noom while domestically its competitors are HealthifyMe, Cure.fit, Fittr, and Possible, among others.

Since its inception, Fitelo has served 15,000+ clients. Its clients include children in the age group of eight to 10 years, as well as senior citizens. While a majority of its clients are from India, the startup has started seeing traction from Indians who have settled abroad, primarily in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. 

In the next five years, the startup aims to be the one-stop solution for people planning to embrace the sustainable and natural fitness route. 

“Today, the need for dietary interventions starts in childhood itself. With our lifestyle, consumption of hyper-processed foods, and polluted environment, people of all ages are developing deficiencies and diseases in their bodies,” Sahil says.

“Our programme is designed to fit the lifestyle of the individual. We customise it based on not just their age, but also their body needs, goals, lifestyle, diseases, family history, stress and activity levels, etc,” he adds.

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Identity in the metaverse: Creating a global identity system

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With the advent of the metaverse, the need for a global identity system has become apparent. There are many different ways to create an identity in the metaverse, but no single system is universally accepted. 

The challenge is usually two-fold: first, how to create an identity that is accepted by all the different platforms and services in the metaverse, and second, how to keep track of all the different identities a person may have.

There are many proposed solutions to these challenges, but no clear consensus has emerged. Some believe that a single, global identity system is the only way to ensure interoperability between different platforms and services. Others believe that multiple identities are necessary to allow people to maintain their privacy and security.

The debate is ongoing, but it is clear that the need for a global identity system is becoming more urgent as the metaverse continues to grow.

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In this article, we will explore the various options for creating a global identity system in the metaverse. We will discuss the pros and cons of each option, and try to identify the best solution for the future.

Option 1: A single global identity

The simplest solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a single, global identity system. This would be a centralized system that would be responsible for managing all identities in the metaverse. 

The advantages of this approach are obvious: It would be much easier to keep track of identities, and there would be no need to worry about different platforms and services accepting different identities. In addition, a centralized identity system would allow for better security and privacy controls, as well as the ability to track identity theft and fraud.

However, this approach also has several disadvantages. First, it would be very difficult to create a global identity system that is accepted by everyone. Also, a centralized system would be vulnerable to attack and could be used to track people’s movements and activities. Third, it would be difficult to protect the privacy of users in a centralized system.

Option 2: Multiple identities

Another solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to allow each person to have multiple identities. This would mean that each person could have one or more identities that they use for different purposes. 

One of the main advantages of this approach is that it would allow people to maintain their privacy and security. Each person could choose which identity to use for each situation, and they would not have to worry about their entire identity being exposed. In addition, this approach would be more resilient to attack, as it would be much harder to take down multiple identities than a single one.

The limitations of such an approach would be that it could be difficult to keep track of all the different identities, and there would be no guarantee that different platforms and services would accept all of them. In addition, multiple identities could lead to confusion and could make it more difficult for people to build trust with others.

Option 3: A decentralized identity system

A third solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a decentralized identity system. This would be an identity system that is not controlled by any one centralized authority but rather is distributed among many different nodes. 

This might seem like the ideal approach, since decentralization is a common theme in the metaverse. However, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome. For instance, it would need to be ensured that all the different nodes in the system are properly synchronized and that the system as a whole is secure. In addition, it might be difficult to get people to adopt such a system if they are used to the more traditional centralized approach.

One solution would be to get the nodes in the system to be run by different organizations. This would help to decentralize the system and make it more secure. Another advantage of this approach is that it would allow different organizations to offer their own identity services, which could be more tailored to their needs.

Another would be to incorporate an edge computing solution into the system. This would allow for more decentralized processing of data and could help to improve performance. It would also make the system more resilient to attack since there would be no centralized point of failure.

The best solution for the future of identity in the metaverse is likely to be a combination of these approaches. A centralized system might be necessary to provide a basic level of identity services, but it should be supplemented by a decentralized system that is more secure and resilient. Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure.

The ideal identity standards of the metaverse

Now that we have explored the various options for identity in the metaverse, we can start to identify the ideal standards that should be met by any future global identity system. 

It is no easy task to create a global identity system that meets all of the criteria, but it is important to strive for an ideal solution. After all, the metaverse is still in its early stages, and the decisions made now will have a lasting impact on its future. 

Current iterations of the metaverse have used very traditional approaches to identity, but it is time to start thinking outside the box. The ideal solution will be one that is secure, private, decentralized, and easy to use. It will be a solution that allows people to maintain their privacy while still being able to interact with others in the metaverse. 

Most importantly, it will be a solution that can be accepted and used by everyone. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

The bottom line on identity in the metaverse

The question of identity in the metaverse is a complex one, but it is an important issue that needs to be addressed. 

The challenges associated with creating an implementation that is secure, private and decentralized are significant, but they are not insurmountable. For one, it will be important to get buy-in from organizations that have a vested interest in the metaverse. These organizations can help to promote and support the adoption of identity standards. 

It is also important to keep in mind that the metaverse is still evolving, and the solution that is ideal today might not be ideal tomorrow. As such, it will be critical to have a flexible identity system that can adapt as the needs of the metaverse change. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

Daniel Saito is CEO and cofounder of StrongNode

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How to Eliminate Scheduling Inefficiencies in Your Business

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What do salons, consultancies, and home service providers all have in common? This question may seem like the prime setup for a joke, but there’s no punchline to look forward…

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Why You Should Start a Business Only While You Have a Job

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many people that I meet tell me that they dream of starting their own . I always ask them, “Then why don’t you?” They typically respond by saying that they have so many financial and personal responsibilities, that they can’t just quit their job to start a company, etc. Then I tell them my story …



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Related: How to Use Your Current Job to Start Your Next Business

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