Managing Fitness Goals using Technology

Ritu Soni Srivastava, Founder – Obino

Ritu was always interested in performing arts and even pursued speech and drama during younger days. She got to live out her passion as a radio jockey early on in her career, which gave her enough room for creativity and connecting with an audience. Currently the founder at Obino – Health & Weight Loss Coach, with a 4.4 Star Rating on Google Play & thousands of delighted customers across India (and internationally), Obino has coached over half a million Indians you to healthy weight loss.

Obino Coach helps develop handmade diet & fitness plans for individuals, share healthy recipes and snack ideas as well as do constant reminders and follow-ups. Obino Coach is also available to answer questions and guide instantly – all via your mobile! Ritu founded this mobile app keeping in mind the struggles she faced while losing weight as she wanted people to have access to instant motivation and whole information on weight loss and holistic living for healthy choices are made at least 30 times in a day.

“Obino’s coaches engage with the customers round-the-clock and inculcate healthy habits in them by teaching them how to manage their own health, which will be beneficial for them in the long run,” said Ritu.

An avid reader, Ritu holds a Management degree from T.A. Pai Management Institute. She is also a Motivational speaker & has worked with Airtel, Radio one, Wipro & Red FM in the past.

Team ABT reached out to Ritu to know more about her journey as an Entrepreneur. Here is the interview.

What inspires you the most? Why?
Ever since I started this journey of entrepreneurship, there have been many moments of inspiration, right from meeting highly motivated entrepreneurs from my peer group, to meeting delighted customers who have been able to transform their lives with the litte help and motivation we could bring to their lives. After all what can be more enriching than being able to put a smile on someones face doing what you do!

What led you to take the path of Entrepreneurship?
I had spent a fair amount of time working in a corporate environment, however, starting something of my own had always been at the back of my mind. Entrepreneurship seemed like the next logical step. Also, after having experienced firsthand, the non-transparency that existed in the fitness & weight loss industry, when I began my weight loss journey post pregnancy, I realised there was a huge gap that was waiting to be addressed. And that’s how Obino was born.

How is OBINO solving the problems/providing unique solutions to ease healthcare issues? What all does it address?
According to the Global Nutrition Report of 2016, it was highlighted that like all countries, India must pay attention to its growing rate of overweight, obese, and in particular – the high number of diabetic patients. Obesity has been linked to a host of illnesses including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breathing disorders and it is imperative that we become proactive towards adopting fitness, which is what we strive to do at Obino.

The philosophy at Obino has always been to put the power in the hands of its users, and make them accountable for their health. We are very different from the traditional vendors of weight loss that are not only expensive and inconvenient but also non-transparent. Comparatively, Obino provides instant access to the knowledge and motivation that people need to achieve their health goals in a manner that conveniently fits in with their busy lifestyles. Moreover, each Obino user is put under the guidance of professional coaches & experts, thereby not just inculcating healthy habits, but also helpingthem learn how to manage their own health in the long term.

How were the first 90 days of your business like?
When one shifts from a corporate setup to an entrepreneurial setup, it is an overwhelming experience, to say the least! Product oriented – wanted to build a great product – we were Watching people – product beta launch – watching.

Do you feel privileged as a Woman Entrepreneur?
Definitely. For any entrepreneur, the possibility of turning their idea into a successful business is 50-50. For women, however, I think the stakes are much higher, as not only do we need to be have the pressures that entrepeneurs do irrespective of gender, but also because we set an example for all the other aspiring women out there. It is a great time for women to step into an entrepreneurial role, and break stereotypes of choosing a ‘safe’ or ‘easy’ career option, & simply follow their passion.

Please share with us, your most cherished milestone
I remember collecting my first customer cheque and feeling a thrill I have never experienced before. I have it saved in a folder in our office even today!

If you were to do one thing differently, what would that be?
I can’t imagine my journey any different than it has been, but yes, maybe I would have started my journey at Obino even earlier than I did.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
The next level of evolution lies in our extensive use of artificially intelligent technology and algorithms to super-personalize the health coaching experience. We also need to scale the productivity of our coaches with human-assisted intelligence. We hope to grow and mature into a profitable enterprise that provides value to all its stakeholders. Our recent acquisition of reward-based fitness app Fitard has added a new dimension to our services, of motivating our users to achieve their fitness goals. As a business however, our Ultimate  Goal always remains to see happier, healthier clients!