Here is a Banglore, India based startup that tries to goad you into monitoring your weight, diet ,exercise and overall health. At fist I thought it is one of those pesky websites that require a load of information to tell you stuff you already knew. But I was wrong- this is a surprisingly nifty website with a cool design that helps you sum up and track your health on a daily basis. Here is an interview I did with the CEO of www.lifemojo.com , Namit Nangia
1) What gave you the idea of Life Mojo.
Well, it is an interesting story, I got a chance to meet Dr. Shikha Sharma (a renowned weight management and health expert) as a Technology Advisor. Dr Sharma wanted a solution for a few problems that existed in her business. After that meeting and after seeing Adnan Sami lose weight, I tried losing weight and was able to lose 11 Kgs in 45 days (which I soon regained).
On analysis of this successful weight loss, the LifeMojo team realized that the key was constant monitoring of what I ate, my fitness regimen, and an eye on my weight. But the problem was that I soon regained weight. The team looked around and found a lot of similar people and a solution to this problem. The solution is right diet consultation, as per one’s body composition and meal preferences. But this right advice is (1) expensive, (2) inconvenient due to the traveling involved (3) inaccessible, since good nutrition experts who understand one’s meal preferences are not easy to find. And thus as a solution to all these problems, LifeMojo was born.
LifeMojo started as a B2B solution for health experts and then got evolved into the present B2C product where people can plan and track their lifestyle and analyze how to have a healthier lifestyle.
How does it work.
On LifeMojo you can start by analyzing your body and lifestyle. You can learn more about your body, daily calorie intake, etc. We have tools that enable you to plan your diet and exercise schedule depending on your analysis, and track them to see the amount of calories you consume and burn. This continuous monitoring of your lifestyle would help you achieve your fitness goals faster.
Do you have international ( non Indian visitors)
Yes, there have been international (non Indian) visitors on LifeMojo (though not a significant number), most of them have discovered LifeMojo by Google searches on topics like running and diet tips.
2) What prompted for you to choose startups rather than work for mainstream IT companies.
I have had a lot of ideas that I wanted to work on, since my third year at NSIT. In order to make them a reality I thought I would have to gain experience on making a product end to end, so I worked for Trilogy (one of the mainstream IT company) for 2 years which was a great learning experience. After that I co-founded a company called MyDuniya and soon realized an idea or a product by itself is not the only thing that one needs to run a company. I decided to work at a startup Flightraja (now known as Via), founded by few of my friends at Trilogy, and experienced how to build and grow a business around a product. I worked there for 1.5 years and learned a lot about what it takes to build a successful company. Around 6 months back I along with other 2 friends Varun (who has been with me since NSIT and we have been working together in the same companies there after) and Himanshu (who has been a great mentor and friend while I was working at Trilogy) started LifeMojo.
So in short we have always wanted to try out our Ideas and a good mix of experiences from mainstream IT company, startup and previous venture is what we have to build and grow LifeMojo.
3) I noticed all founders of life Mojo went to the same college and worked at the same company. How important is this chemistry in founding a startup.
I have seen examples of both for and against "starting a company with friends", but for us having a good chemistry and understanding about each other’s strengths and weaknesses has been very helpful. There are times in a startup when things aren’t as
clear as you want them to be, and it is very crucial to trust each other on every decision to move fast. The chemistry helps us to communicate and take each other’s feedback positively and improve our decisions, which is very crucial for us to grow fast and in the right direction.
4) Whats the toughest point you have had during your career/s and how did you deal with it.
The toughest point in my professional life has been to move out of my first venture MyDuniya. Once I realized that I had to learn a lot before I could build a successful company, it became easier to move on.
5) What would your advice be to young engineers entering college. What would it be for engineers leaving college.
For engineers entering the college, I would recommend "Along with your studies if you could figure out what is it that you want to do with your life, it would be great! Because then it would make a lot of sense for you to concentrate on the stuff that would help you achieve your goals."
For engineers leaving college, I would recommend "Now that you are ready, go do what you aspire to do"
6) What web analytics softwares have you found handy over your career with examples of the sites and a brief description.
For the first 2.5 years at trilogy, I worked on proprietary Trilogy software and the analytics part for it was developed in house as well. During MyDuniya we used Google Analytics and we have been using that till now. We have recently started experimenting with click-heat to see where users are clicking on LifeMojo, we are still in the process of setting it up.
7) I noticed another company by Trilogy alumni called http://www.lifeblob.com . Any resemblance or co incidence.
No, the similarity in the name is just a co-incidence. In fact, Pranav, Founder and CEO of LifeBlob is also from NSIT (2000 Batch) and was one of my interviewers who recruited me. He is a good friend and was a great mentor for us at Trilogy.
We started off with flab.in (which had a negative connotation), then moved onto healthboon.com (sounded like a hospital) and finally landed up with lifemojo.com. More on it here -> http://blog.lifemojo.com/2008/10/12/whats-in-the-name/
8) Any thing about venture capital funds plans etc, or any incident you want to share during building up the startup or any customer testimonial.
Customer Testimonial for our B2B offering LifeMojoPro.com:
"iStrait is helping us streamline our operations and better define our promises to our customers with their unique software specially designed for our weight loss and diabetic clients"
- Dr. Shikha Sharma (renowned weight management and health expert)
[Our company is called iStrait Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.]
LifeMojo helps you achieve a Healthy Lifestyle. LifeMojo provides tools for body analysis to help you know your body. It helps you plan your fitness regimen and monitor your progress. It also provides calorific value of various food items, articles about healthy lifestyle and health tips. And all this is available at no cost!
From the left: Himanshu Khurana, Varun Gupta and Namit Nangia
Namit Nangia, did his BE Computer Science from NSIT Delhi, graduated in 2004 and joined Trilogy. Worked there for 2.5 years and then moved on to start his first venture DigitalStrait (now known as MyDuniya). He tried his luck for 4 months and joined FlightRaja(now known as Via) to learn the ropes of the startup world. Left FlightRaja in May 2008 and started iStrait.
Himanshu Khurana, did his BE Computer Science from NSIT Delhi, graduated in 2003 and joined Trilogy. Worked at Trilogy for 3 years and went on to experience the startup world at ngpay(JiGrahak) . Worked there for 2 years and started iStrait.
Varun Gupta, did his BE Computer Science from NSIT Delhi, graduated in 2004 and joined Trilogy. Worked there for 2.5 years and then moved on to start his first venture DigitalStrait (now known as MyDuniya). He tried his luck for 4 months and joined FlightRaja(now known as Via) to learn the ropes of the startup world. Left FlightRaja in May 2008 and started iStrait.