Companies adopts digital-first strategy post pandemic; expects 100% recovery in 2021

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on October 23, 2020 Published on October 23, 2020

Planning to add more digital services in dermatology, skin and hair conditions, besides partner with insurers to offer wellness insurance, and introduce chronic care support services

Health and wellness start-up which laid off over 1,000 employees days after the pandemic, is now adopting a digital-first strategy and is in the process of restructuring businesses and verticals of the company.

With just 40 of its 200 plus and Fitness One centres reopened since Covid-19-related restrictions were lifted,, promoted by Mukesh Bansal, co-founder of fashion retailer Myntra, and Ankit Nagori, former chief business officer of Flipkart, is at sub 30 per cent recovery levels compared to pre-Covid-19 times. The start-up expects to see 60 per cent recovery in January and 100 per cent in April 2021. With its sights trained on the $30-billion health and wellness market opportunity in India alone, is targeting to have 10 lakh subscribers on its platform by December 2021, two top executives told BusinessLine in an interview.

Also read: centres to reopen in select cities with new safety guidelines

In the early days of the pandemic, the start-up which has raised $404.6 million to date from 32 investors including Temasek Holdings, Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital and Chiratae Ventures India, had laid off over 1,000 employees across markets where it had shut operations and initiated furloughs and pay-cuts across levels. This development came soon after the start-up raised ₹832 crore in fresh funding in March. More recently, the start-up which has made six acquisitions so far, has spun off its health food vertical –, as an independent entity to cater to growing consumer demand from the cloud kitchen delivery sector.

“During the lockdown, our classes were offered free to everyone. From May, we introduced three paid plans for 3/6/12 months at ₹1,299, ₹1,799 and ₹2,999 respectively, for which we have garnered one lakh subscribers. Pre-lockdown, 100 per cent of our revenue came from offline. Post-lockdown, in August it was 90 per cent digital and 10 per cent offline; now it is 80 per cent digital and 20 per cent offline. This ratio will change as more centres reopen, until we hit full recovery in March-April,” said Naresh Krishnaswamy, Growth & Marketing Head, In terms of revenue contribution from its verticals, and contribute 70 per cent, contributes 30 per cent and the rest is from and CultGear (apparel business).

New digital products

Besides live online classes, the start-up has introduced eight digital products in the last six months, including online doctor tele-consultations, online nutritionists, online therapists, online personal training, online medical diagnostic services, fitness & health related e-commerce store and DIY recorded classes.

Also read: With gyms closed, online fitness platforms see a surge

“We are planning to add many more digital services in the areas of dermatology, skin and hair conditions. You could also book a personal trainer who trains you at home on our app. We plan to partner with insurance providers to offer wellness insurance and introduce chronic care support services for people with diabetes, obesity, and cardiac issues to manage their lives well. In short, we want the app (one crore downloads) to be the one-stop shop through which users can manage all aspects of their health,” said Shamik Sharma, Head of Technology at

International foray

While Covid-19 forced to shut down its UAE operations and fitness centres, which was its first international foray in mid-2019, the start-up has re-entered the international market with the launch of its digital products for free in the US and other English-speaking countries two months ago. The products include classes, online mental wellness classes (yoga and meditation) and online food recipes (nutrition and diet plans). The app has already seen one lakh downloads, said Sharma.

He said, the foremost target is to have 10 lakh subscribers by December 2021 on the platform, using it to stay well and lead a healthy life. “We were close to halfway there pre-Covid; however, offline took a dip after Covid-19 but we also picked up on the online side and should get there on target. Next is to complete our new digital offerings, and then become a global company in the next 18-24 months by offering digital services not only to Indians but to a big chunk of the globe.”

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Published on October 23, 2020
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