TechI: LifeMojo Co-founder Unplugged

Today we have Namit Nangia, Co-Founder of LifeMojo in our TechI@Malliks. LifeMojo, a Bangalore based startup is basically a weight and lifestyle management tracking tool. The B2C version allows you to track you body weight online. In B2B model lifemojo sells their Pro version to the nutritionists as SaaS.

About Namit Nangia:

Namit Nangia is the CEO and co-founder of LifeMojo, a healthy lifestyle company. He is perusing a course in Dietetics and Nutrition from Bangalore University. Previously, he was a Technical Architect at Via, co-founder at MyDuniya and an Associate at Trilogy. He has a BE, Computer Engineering from NSIT, Delhi University.

Good morning Namit, Nice to have you on TechI@Malliks. Lets start
Mallik: Namit, you have earlier started MyDuniya but it was shut down soon, So what have you learnt from your MyDuniya experience?
Namit: My Duniya was my first startup so it was a life changing experience for me. Yes, I left the company in 4 months but the company shut down a year after that. MyDuniya was a great learning experience for me especially because I started it with an ex-VC. He had seen a lot of startups and so I got an exposure to a lot of things very early. One of the most crucial things that I learnt there was run as fast as you can and try as much things on the way as you can.

Mallik: How much did your earlier experience with startups helped you in building LifeMojo? What are major challenges faced while building LifeMojo?
Namit: LifeMojo was started because of my bad experience with a crash diet. I was 110Kg and after seeing Adnan Sami lose weight, I wanted to lose as quickly as possible. I followed a diet plan off net and successfully lost 11 Kgs in 45 days. But the entire weight came back. Infact I was 115Kgs by the 65th day. In the process I had screwed up my metabolism and it took months before it came back to normal.
This is how we started LifeMojo. My earlier experience taught me a lot of “what not to do” and “How to experiment faster”. That is what we have been following throughout. Major challenge for us was to decide what the customers want and to solve that, all we did was listened to user feedback. We regularly incorporate all our user’s feedback on LifeMojo.com and that how we have shaped up the product.

Mallik: LifeMojo started as a B2B product for dietitians but now you seem to concentrate more on B2C business, Is this a change of focus for company?
Namit: Yes, we did start as a B2B product for dietitians. In fact, even before we wrote the first line of code for the product, we had our first customer. We demoed the proposed functionality as HTML wireframe to our first client and she immediately signed up for the product.
By the time we had successfully made that product work for our first client, the recession came along. And after that, most of the client we contacted for the B2B product weren’t happy spending on operational efficiency.
That is when we switched our focus from B2B to B2C.

Mallik: How many clients are using your B2B product and what is traffic to your website (B2C)?
Namit: Only one customer is using the B2B product. We didn’t make much effort on selling the B2B product.
We launched B2C version of LifeMojo on 15th November 2008 and till now we have close to 4,500 registered users on LifeMojo, living a healthier life.
On 15th July 2009, we started Nutrition Consultation Services and till now we have more than 100 paying customers using our Nutrition Consultation services.

Mallik: Namit, Your Product is very much focused for dietitians, do you have any plans to make more generic product for Doctors, some kind of patient tracking?
Namit: As of now, our focus is on preventive healthcare. We think, consultation around preventive healthcare can be done on phone and online but consulting a doctor without the doctor physically examines you is kind of risky and we wouldn’t want to get into that.
Our focus right now is on helping people get fit and live a healthier life. We aren’t planning anything around patient management as of now.

Mallik: Many Indian startups don't have long term vision and end up in deadpool or get acquired by bigger companies. What is your vision for LifeMojo?
Namit: Our vision for LifeMojo is to make the right way to get fit and stay healthy affordable and accessible. There are a lot of wrong ways out there (mostly shortcuts that deliver short term results) and a lot of right ways (mostly expensive and inaccessible for common man). We just want do make this wrong, right. Acquisition or IPO is something that will come along the way. We do not have any specific plans as of now.

Mallik: Unlike, many web startups which solely depends on ads for revenue, you have better revenue model where you get commissions from Nutritionists. So how is LifeMojo doing in terms of revenue? By when do you expect to break even? Is LifeMojo looking for any funding?
Namit: We do not depend on ad revenue at all. In fact, we started displaying ads very recently. Our model is not about collecting commission from Nutritionists. We have hired Nutritionists who specialize in Weight Loss and we have our own Weight Loss Service.
We had set a goal of December 2009 to breakeven. Hopefully, we should get there in next 2 months. So just on target…
We would start the fund raising to grow LifeMojo in the first quarter of 2010.

Mallik: What is current headcount at LifeMojo? Is LifeMojo hiring?
Namit: We are 3 Nutritionists and 3 Founders as of now.

Mallik: Do you have any competitors in India? If yes, What is the one thing that distinguishes LifeMojo from Others?
Namit: One thing that distinguishes LifeMojo from the other services around preventive healthcare is that we deliver results at an affordable price and conveniently on phone and online.
And I think our users play a very crucial role in that by helping us figure out what they want and what they don’t.

Mallik: You may have left the fat pay-cheque at Trilogy before starting your startup journey. So how did your parents and friends react to your decision?
Namit: Leaving a fat pay-cheque was never a concern. I always wanted to start on my own since my 3rd year in college. In fact I chose Trilogy because I knew that the experience there would help me start a startup.
Reaction from my family has always been supportive. They have always blessed me and motivated me to try my heart out.
Both the companies I started were with few of my friends and the rest have always helped me get introductions and to validate ideas.

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2 comments:

  1. Hi, just read the interview with the Lifemojo CEO. I am a registered user at the website and turn to it for guidence very often. They have very practical and doeable solutions to health problems and I really enjoy reading their wellness articles. Great Going Namit, All the Best to you and the entire Lifemojo team !

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