The Gray Hair Speaketh

Advice that is largely Unsolicited.. – a very useful diet and fitness resource

Himanshu Khurana, co-founder, asked me to review his startup,

Category: B2C -> Healthcare -> Diet and Fitness

What does it do? is an excellent destination for those conscious of diet and fitness. It provides ample information about dieting, different fitness regimes, lifestyle based information, and also has nutritionists on call, for personal assistance.

What more?
The site is very well designed, and although it caters to an Indian audience, it has a very international appeal, and an excellent look-and-feel. In addition to one-way information about diet and fitness, the site also enables interactivity, in the form of a user being able to track his efforts and target certain fitness goals, and see the progress in form of charts and graphs. Lifemojo also offers tracking and updates via mobile, and engages its users via social media through Facebook, Twitter etc.

My quick two cents: is positioned very well. It is doing an excellent job in terms of its presentation, its focus, the detailing, the value that it provides to its users. Subject to getting the revenue puzzle right, LifeMojo is destined to go places.

Wisdom Nuggets in more detail:
1. At the outset, I am very impressed by the business. So I would suggest to the management, to continue to maintain a very high class of service, in all respects, and establish excellent brand equity for its service. It is a service idea that will appeal to the better class of society. After all, it is the more privileged section of society who have problems of weight and diabetes, usually. A classy feel will be appreciated by this demography, and LifeMojo must ensure that it does not sacrifice this appeal.

2. The “about us” section of the site mentions numbers in few millions, as people in India, referring to dieticians and fitness programs, and also those suffering from diabetes. These numbers become a kind of market size that LifeMojo can address. So the potential market size is large. How many of them make LifeMojo their online destination will be the question.

3. The challenge with diet programs or fitness regimes is that people do not stay disciplined long enough. There is a tendency to “go back to the old ways”. If LifeMojo can become a close companion of sorts, to these people, and somehow manage to keep people on track, then LifeMojo will become an integral part of the person’s life. And in that, could be the major breakthrough for LifeMojo’s sustenance.

4. Even after paying fees, there are statistics of very high drop out rates from fitness programs and gymnasiums. With an impersonal and free service, there is a bigger risk of drop outs from LifeMojo. Simply having an ability to track the progress is not enough to ensure a member’s continuity with LifeMojo. The challenge for LifeMojo will be to understand at a psychological level, the reasons why people drop off fitness regimes, and to find a way to address this issue well.

5. Community can be one of the critical pieces of the puzzle. People tend to remain members of a group yoga or aerobics class longer than sustaining an independent diet program. Groups matter. If there is a community, and it is active and buzzing, and it involves large participation, that could be one of the reasons for members continuing with LifeMojo.

6. The revenue puzzle is definitely there. Himanshu informs that revenues are expected from nutrionist and fitness consultations online, and on phone. This appears to be very “iffy”. People are comfortable to visit such consultants personally, so what percentage of the potential market will be happy to seek online or telephonic consultation, is something to be seen.

7. There could possibly be a freemium model introduced to generate some revenues from the users. Provided there is real value offered, and which can be appreciated by users. A personalized consultation, with the presence of an individual nutriotionist or a dietician, is not a great online model. It is also not scaleable easily. For an online model to be exciting, each subsequent transaction should be at marginal cost. And which points to an automated self-help situation, rather than having a personalized consultation. Alternate ways will need to be found.

8. Are there pockets in the country, say in semi-urban centers, where good quality dieticians or nutritionists are not available? Can the service specifically target such pockets? Or if there are sports related recommendations or other specific conditions related recommendations (e.g. pregnant women, seniors, recuperating patients, etc.) that can be addressed, then again, there is potential to create a good niche for those. There could be diet and nutrition recommendations for growing children. As soon as a high level of knowledge is created in the niche segment, there is also opportunity to go and tie up with large groups, e.g. private schools or hospitals etc.

9. The other option to scale is to go global. However then, the knowledge of global challenges, diseases, lifestyles, food habits, etc. all have to be incorporated in the knowledge base.

In summary, I would conclude that LifeMojo is an excellent proposition. It offers good value, which is presented well, it is interactive and engaging. However due to the nature of vertical that it is in, there is an inherent high drop out rate. Even when there is personal engagement offline. It can be worse in an online situation. LifeMojo will need to figure this out, and also ensure that revenues are generated. Otherwise, there is a risk of an excellent idea, not reaching high scales, simply on account of low adaption and lack of consistent traction from users.


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March 18, 2009 Posted by | Healthcare, Startup | , , , , , , | 6 Comments