A free fitness tracker; the consumer only pays for advice. Dream stuff? Nope ! The Goqii fitness tracker – developed by entrepreneur Vishal Gondal – is one such product. It’s free, consumers pay for the advice they receive from a dedicated sports coach.

As a teenager, Vishal Gondal founded the famous game company Indiagames and released Kargil War – a bloodthirsty game about the eponymous conflict between India and Pakistan – which won him national fame and kudos from the Indian military. So, when he ventured into the wearable tech segment, expectations were high for him to launch something new.

This is exactly what he did.

The inspiration for Goqii came from Gondal’s own experience with such portable devices which only gave him data.

“It was just data, nothing else. Then I met a fitness trainer who interpreted it. I realized that we needed not only data, but someone to analyze it,” he said. said the 38-year-old, once known as “King of the game of India”. .

He added: “No one will change their way of life themselves.”

Health band
The Goqii fitness tracker is a bracelet to wear on the wrist.

It measures steps, calories burned, distance traveled and even tracks sleep patterns. The user needs to connect the device with their smartphone or personal computer via bluetooth to download the data. At the time of purchasing Goqii, lifestyle details need to be filled in and the user assigned a suitable lifestyle coach. One can stay in touch with the coach through daily chats and monthly audio or video calls. The coach has access to statistics produced by the device and can suggest appropriate changes to improve your overall health.

Gondal said, “How can Goqii help someone stimulate the mind, body and soul? The body is motivated by fitness and nutrition, the mind by habits and behavior and l ‘soul through’ karma ‘. “

Goqii – which means “to be strength” in Chinese – has a powerful “karma” point system. For every 390 steps taken by the user, he or she gets one “karma” point and a charity of his or her choice receives an equivalent amount of money. Goqii has partnered with the international non-profit organization Oxfam.

Gondal is confident that Goqii is one step ahead of the competition from existing wearable tech brands in the market, such as Nike, Fitbit, and Jawbone Up.

“Our competitor is the gym. Our price – 1,000 rupees – is similar to a gym membership,” he said.

People go to the gym for a few days and stop, but with the Goqii group you can walk around your office or at home and track your level of physical activity.

You have to pay around Rs 6,999 for a six month subscription and over Rs 11,999 for a 12 month pack.

Goqii’s business model is subscription. There are also plans to open up the platform to other fitness devices that might want to use the Goqii ecosystem of fitness experts.

The road to follow
Having recently started in India, the company already has a few thousand users and plans to launch in the United States around December. Goqii’s head office is in California with offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen (China). Gondal believes that as people become more fitness conscious and the rate of adoption of gadgets increases, the future of platforms like Goqii is bright. The company, however, has no intention of integrating medical technology with the product.

“We are not a medical product, we are a lifestyle product,” Gondal said.

Goqii, however, plans to open its platform to other devices as well.

“Our thing is the way we train all the people who wear fitness equipment. We will also open up our platform to other devices,” he said.

It was only recently that the company partnered with the e-commerce site Amazon to sell the Goqii group as well as the Goqii plan around personal coaches analyzing user data. This should greatly expand its reach and visibility.

While he declined to share details of the funds raised from investors, the company’s website lists the following as top angel investors; Amit Singhal (Google), Anil Godhwani (Habitera), Bharat Vasan (MyBasis), Dr Shriram Nene, Esther Dyson, Goutam Godhwani (Simply Hired), Kanwaljit Bombra (Dell), Madhuri Dixit-Nene (actress), Mahesh Samat (Epic ), Mike McNamara (Flextronics), Prashant Gulati (TiE), Sanjay Parthasarthy (Indix), Sanjay Vaswani, Steve Luczo (Segate), Taher Khorakiwala and Vijay Vashee (Microsoft).

An industry expert, who declined to give a name, said one of the challenges for the start-up could be that its competitors are mostly established sports brands like Nike.

“While Gondal may be a name in the gaming space and is also credited as an entrepreneur, however, Goqii has yet to make its mark as a sports brand. positioning it as a healthcare brand, the other is probably positioning would be that of a sports brand, and association with an already established sports brand may prove to be an advantage for its competitors, ”he said. he declared.

EXPERT TAKING: Rakshit Tandon

Many similar products have recently gained market, such as Jawbone and Microsoft.

I think the best innovation for Goqii is the expert fitness advice it provides. In today’s lifestyle, where people join gyms but don’t have the time to go regularly, that would be a great idea. Getting advice on your device will really help. It’s a great idea to use technology for your health and fitness. The concept is great and should be promoted globally.

However, while getting advice is relevant, keeping track of your daily activities and routine is essential. A gadget cannot replace your physical training or your diet. It must be the effort of an individual.

So this product will not exactly replace gymnastics but will be like an assistant to advise and keep alert on daily physical activity.

Rakshit Tandon is the director of A&R Info Security Solutions Pvt Ltd and consultant of the Internet and Mobile Association of India

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