This new behavioural science-based App born in Hyderabad is your answer to long term change in your daily nutrition, mindfulness & physical activity.
In April 2018, Sandy was at step zero of his transformative experience. He was about to consult his family doctor with symptoms of severe fatigue. His doctor informed him that he was pre-diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
Sandy says that it was a turning point of his life. “Years of hardships and personal struggle, excessive stress and poor lifestyle choices have destroyed my health and I was advised by my doctor to make big lifestyle changes.”
The Journey of Sustainable Change
At that point of time, living in the US, he had access to many calorie counting apps. Little by little, he tweaked his food habits and successfully turned his health around. Soon, he realized it was not just him but many young people including his friends that were facing a similar situation. There were only the extremes of over indulgence and crash dieting. He understood that a happy medium was the need of the hour.
He started thinking about creating a resource that helps the maximum number of people make a long-term change in their nutrition and lifestyle. He also felt certain that this new system would only work if people can continue eating whichever cuisine they are familiar with.
“After my own journey with sustainable change, I understood the science behind our traditional Indian food. So, in essence, I was going back to our roots to find the solution for today’s problems,” he admits.
After extensive research, speaking with many people from all walks of life and consulting with behavioral scientists and nutritionists, despite many naysayers, he bootstrapped the startup with his own funds, and founded WellnessON in January 2020.
Weathering a Pandemic
Sandy recalls those initial days, “An old NRI friend rented me office space in Vasant Nagar, Kukatpally. My first employees were my chief nutritionist Jalpa Sheth, a technical app developer, a fresher Gunjan Mishra, and my long time friend Abhinay Mandugula as the Chief Business Development Officer. Initially I thought we’ll have a proper brick-and-mortar wellness center and have the WellnessON app on the side. But the covid-19 pandemic arrived like a blessing in disguise. We were aggressively recruiting for an in-house technology team and then, pandemic struck!” Nonetheless, the team marched forward.
“We could not find the right candidates as the market situation was volatile and lesser people showed interest in joining our small startup. It made me rethink my vision about long-term behavioral change at affordable prices. We adopted an App-first approach. We found a vendor who helped us in developing our app and internal application.”
An App that brings holistic wellness to your fingertips
Sandy says that WellnessON is not just about calorie-counting, it helps you make a significant mind shift, be it nutrition, your daily exercise, meditation to live more mindfully. WellnessON is designed to help inspire people to lead an overall healthy lifestyle.
Eat Swasth, their introductory program, is designed to create awareness about one’s own dietary habits. A personalized dashboard tracks the daily micronutrient and macronutrient intake and WellnessON’s key features, the proprietary grading system and zero % recipes will help the user make informed decisions about their food choices within a span of 6 months. Sandy believes this method is sustainable and will create a shift in the user’s lifestyle.
He reiterates, “WellnessON will not give you a diet chart like a traditional nutritionist. By using this app, the user will become self-aware and self-reliant! And this kind of learning stays with you forever.”
Apart from their regular programs, WellnessON has also started working with corporate partners to lead a wellness revolution in workspaces with three types of programs – the employee themselves or the employer or both employer and employee can contribute to the sponsorship of the program.
Personalized plans for people with health conditions
The WellnessON team ventured into health condition programs after receiving many queries from users as well as friends about special diet plans that can be adopted with existing medications. They have personalized plans for people with health conditions such as diabetes, PCOD, migraine and other conditions. Although they cannot divulge any confidential data, Sandy admits that there was one very happy user who successfully managed their health condition through their plan.
Exciting future prospects
WellnessON recently secured seed accelerator funding from an NRI investor. With this financial boost, they have ambitious plans to establish their first wellness studio and cloud kitchen in Hyderabad.
Sandy’s vision for the cloud kitchen is to help people make healthy takeout choices and to aid users in following the personalized nutrition plans provided in the app. People will be able to order the zero% recipes through a well-known food delivery app in the city. The wellness studio is designed to be a one-stop center for exercise, nutrition and mindfulness needs with nutritionists, yoga instructors and subscriber support.
The team, confident in the success of their upcoming wellness studio, is already making plans for rapid expansion across India, starting with a second studio by the last quarter of 2021 and four more by the end of 2022.
Sandy’s dream of transforming one user’s lifestyle at a time is slowly coming true.