The challenge is to transform people’s mentality about preventive healthcare, says co-founder of Cure.fit

New Delhi | Updated: Jan 22, 2019 2:39 PM

With a view to provide primary healthcare and diagnostics services through an online platform, health and fitness start-up Cure.fit launched its fourth vertical, Care.fit last month.

The challenge is to transform people’s mentality about preventive healthcare, says CEO of Cure.fit

Srinath Srinivasan

With a view to provide primary healthcare and diagnostics services through an online platform, health and fitness start-up Cure.fit launched its fourth vertical, Care.fit last month. It has raised $120 million in Series C funding led by by IDG Ventures, Accel Partners and Kalaari Capital with participation from Chiratae Ventures and Oaktree Capital. Cure.fit co-founder and CEO Ankit Nagori discussed in an interview with FE’s Srinath Srinivasan what is happening in the health and fitness space in the country. Excerpts:

Where does Cure.fit fit into the market currently?

In India, healthcare infrastructure is evolving. A RedSeer report says preventive healthcare will alone be a $100-billion industry in the next five years. With this in mind, we wanted to provide a horizontal platform using tech and build various categories on it. We are here to take care of their mental wellness, physical wellness, nutrition and diagnostic needs via Mind.fit, Cult.fit, Eat.fit and Care.fit, respectively. This is how Cure.fit came into being. Care.fit is the newest one, which completes Cure.fit’s holistic approach.

We do not have direct competitors as of now but there are a number of competitors in each category. What sets us apart are our products and they are omnichannel.

What is the business model and performance of the company?

We are subscription-based. But for people to try, we also provide singles. We have 100,000 customers in all and make an annual revenue of $50 million. There are about 60 centres under Cult.fit across Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The fastest growing vertical is Eat.fit with about seven kitchens in Bengaluru and Gurgaon serving 12,000 customers. We have partnered with a number of businesses to deliver food. There are also seven Mind.fit centres and recently we launched our first Care.fit centre in Bengaluru. We have raised $45 million from Accel, International Data Group – IDG and Kalaari Capital. We believe all our capex investments should be through debt and so we have raised $10 million in debt.

Our offline footprint is positive and it helps us to service the debt and interests. What works in our favour is the high retention rate and success stories we are seeing. I guess it is all because of the feeling of community and social recognition that we are able to provide our customers. When one buys our subscription, they can visit our centres in other cities too, which makes fitness accessible for travellers. Initially, we started by acquiring one fitness centre to experiment and build our product. When it succeeded, we expanded our categories through further acquisitions. By acquiring, we were able to get top names from the industry to work with us in prime locations of different cities. In the future, 10-15% of our centres will be acquired.

Each region in India is geographically different and has varied climatic conditions; how can Eat.fit provide a common, scientific menu to its users?

We want to build a very neutral menu. The produce or the raw materials maybe traditional but the recipes are not. 50% our menu will be agnostic to rice and roti. We want to keep our food contemporary and simple. We are not a gourmet player. We want to include modern ingredients. For example, we use a lot of oatmeal, brown rice, nuts, raisins and whole wheat breads, which go well with any kind of population. We source most of our ingredients locally to avoid preservatives that may be added to improve shelf life during transportation.

How is Care.fit positioned in the market?

We believe Care.fit will be the biggest category in the coming years. We are forgetting the concept of family doctors gradually. There are people who consult multiple doctors for the same symptoms. When our users are subscribed to a doctor, they will be subscribed only to that particular doctor through voice, video and offline meets. That is how we have positioned Care.fit as a product.

We have doctors in our payroll and we are setting up Cure.fit centres. They are like our clinics. Our assistants will take samples for diagnostics at the doorsteps of our customers. Our pharmacy partner will deliver medicines to them as prescribed by our doctors. We don’t want anything to be done outside of Cure.fit to keep a hassle-free record of our customers’ health. Electronic medical reports can also be shared through our app.

What is the underlying tech that drives all of this?

We have 40 engineers who have previously worked with top tech organisations like Walmart labs, Ola, Myntra and Flipkart . They are highly focused on developing top-notch hardware and software. Privacy, scale and speed are the three very big pillars of our engineering product. Today, every time a customer logs on to our app, our system will be able to tell with 95% accuracy which classes he/she will go to. It also preserves this data to improve the services.

What are the challenges you’re facing at the moment?

As a platform we have no competitors, but individually, every category has a number of competitors. Apart from this, the single most challenging thing is to transform people’s mentality about preventive healthcare. When people are healthy, they don’t want to spend even a tenth of what they would spend when they’re sick.

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