Obino is a health and weight loss app that guides you to lead a healthy lifestyle and reach your fitness goals with expert consultations, diet plans, certified instructors and personal coaching. In this article below the founder of Obino – Ritu Srivastava shares her own health journey, challenges and talks about the #WomenWhoLead campaign which aims at encouraging women of all age groups to take charge of their health.
About Ritu Srivastava
I am Ritu Srivastava, Founder at Obino, which is a first of its kind start up health and weight loss app. I have spent my childhood in a fairly regimented family in Kerala, where I was very sheltered.
I have a background in brand marketing and have worked with Radio Today Broadcasting & Bharti Airtel. After spending a fair amount of time working in a corporate environment, I decided to pursue something of my own and entrepreneurship seemed like the next logical transition. I chose to work in the health & fitness segment because this is something that each one of us can relate to. We all deal with health-related struggles at some point in our lives, and I truly believe that with the right kind of coaching and knowledge, everyone can choose to live better.
What is Obino and why was it started?
Obino was inspired by my own personal journey of weight loss after the birth of my beautiful baby girl, almost seven years ago. It is a unique weight loss & fitness app that was set up with the ultimate goal of helping each and every user to not only lose weight but achieve much more in the bargain. Obino provides the right tools and techniques to help individuals understand that everyone is already equipped with everything one needs to lose weight and with the right guidance and motivation everyone can achieve good health.
How is Obino different from other apps out there in the market?
Our core differentiation is our virtual coaching format, that is enabled by technology. In healthcare and especially service-based healthcare, quality is the differentiator and our coaches are highly qualified and there’s minimum of 6 daily touch-points between each user and coach. We are able to achieve this only because of our mobile platform, leveraging the unique ecosystem of the Obino app, which provides a holistic weight loss & health coaching solution on its app with:
- Expert health coaches
- Indian calorie counter (powered by India’s 2nd largest indian-foods & exercise database)
- Intelligent recommendations on food & exercise
- Personalized Indian diet plans
- Easy fitness plans
- Dietician-created healthy recipes
- Compelling articles, tips and blogs from expert bloggers
Obino coaches also work in tandem with the medical practitioners of our users to ensure health coaching that complements lifestyle & chronic disease management.
Also, I believe our approach to wellness is also what makes us different and unique. We want our customers to be the real heroes, to get a sense of ownership about their personal health goals. We don’t want our users to blindly follow what is set before them; instead we want them to dig deeper, and understand how their body reacts to the diet plans or fitness regimes designed for them.
What health challenges have you faced in your own life? And how did you overcome them?
The biggest health challenge that I faced was post my pregnancy, when I had put on a lot of excess weight and was struggling to shed the excess kilos. I never had weight issues before, and this was, in a way, unchartered territory for me. Like most young mothers eager to regain control over their bodies and their weight, I had a not-so-pleasant experience with the traditional vendors of weight loss – which was not only expensive and inconvenient but also non-transparent. After initial consultations with dieticians, and trying out a lot of other ways, I realised there is a huge gap between trying to lose weight and knowing how to do it, the right way I am glad though that I went through this struggle, as this is what led to me starting Obino, because I wanted to make the process of getting fit more transparent and user friendly, and try and eliminate the apprehensions one has about weight loss.
What do you think are the common fears/myths about health and fitness? Why people are not able to lead a healthy lifestyle?
In past 10 years, the number of obese people has doubled in the country, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4). India also features very high among countries dealing with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes & obesity. One of the most common myths about fitness is that as long as one is exercising, one can eat whatever they want, and that diet isn’t as important. This is so far away from the truth and is a very common cause of obesity.
Stress is another factor that keeps people from living and eating healthy. With eccentric work hours, there isn’t any discipline left about meal times and we often end up eating at odd hours or not eating at all.
E-health interventions have the potential to address these issues in an economically viable and sustainable way. However, the awareness among the general population about the use of this technology is less. People have very little knowledge on the use of smartphone technology for weight loss but would like to use this type of technology to help them lose weight. Also, young adults struggle to make healthy food choices and have priorities that outweigh exercise and they need support and guidance to make better decisions.
What is the #WomenWhoLead campaign?
Obino strongly believes that it is women who lead health in the home and in the workplace, from making healthier choices to enforcing healthier habits. But all too often, in taking care of everyone else, women tend to put their own health on the back burner.
The campaign intends to highlight and change that.
Through the month long campaign, Obino is profiling women from different walks of life; ranging from artists to corporate honcho’s to entrepreneurs, who share how they lead in their specific areas of work while making sure they prioritize their health. These eminent personalities share their own challenges in multi-tasking yet being able to manage it all. They speak about their role models, the ones who inspire them to make health and fitness a way of life. One thing common amongst all the amazing women profiled in the campaign is that there is atleast one habit that they follow diligently daily for their health. These stoic women believe that staying on top of your health is the key to leading a more energetic and balanced lifestyle. Through this campaign, it is Obino’s endeavour to encourage women of all ages to take charge of their health.
Your 3 tips/advice for women to lead a healthy lifestyle?
Women are truly a force to be reckoned with! We juggle so many roles in our lives and somehow make it look so easy. But somewhere in the everyday rut, and taking care of everything else, more often than not, women end up ignoring their own health. So my first tip to all the women out there is to stop putting themselves behind. Be a little selfish, after all you deserve it!
Secondly, there are a lot of “quick-fixes” out there that will promise to make you slimmer, taller or prettier by using pills or supplements. My advice to my women friends is please do not experiment with your body. Always go to the experts to seek advice, and most of all love yourself and be confident about your body.
And lastly, please include fitness in some way in your everyday schedule. I always believe that there is no substitute for hard work, and trust me your efforts will definitely be rewarded!
Hope you enjoyed this interview, if you are ready to take charge of your health then do comment below that one good habit you are ready to bring in your own life!