The Mukesh Bansal success story could well be read as the proverbial “small town boy who made it big.” Born and brought up in Haridwar, Bansal joined IIT, Kanpur to pursue B.Tech in computer science. In 1997, he moved to the US and spent nearly a decade dabbling with startups in the Bay area. Eventually his entrepreneurial instinct brought him to India in 2007 to start his own venture, Myntra, which was sold for $375 million to Flipkart in 2014.
Remaining true to his entrepreneurial roots, Bansal laid the groundwork for Cure.fit after his departure from Flipkart in March 2016. Even as he made waves creating one of India’s largest online fashion brand, Myntra, he had trained his sights on the future. That same year he started Cure.fit, a healthcare and wellness startup, with Ankit Nagori, an ex-colleague and former chief business officer at Flipkart.
Today the Cure.fit platform has four products: Cult.fit, a chain of premium fitness centres; Eat.fit, an online food delivery service; Mind.fit, a provider of online-offline services on mental health and wellness offerings such as meditation, yoga and counselling; and Care.fit, a subscription-based service provider for primary care.
In an attempt to approach health holistically, the Bengaluru-based startup is leaving no stone unturned. As it aims to build a connected healthcare and wellness platform for consumers using a mixed channel of online and offline offerings, providing primary healthcare services is also a key connector. Care.fit, is set to launch its first services in April this year and would operate through its first primary-care centre in Bengaluru. The subscription-based offering would include health checks ups with general physicians and chronic disease (diabetes, obesity and arthritis) management.
It already has about 15 full-time doctors on board for the platform. Besides doctor consolation services, it will also provide basic medical tests at the centre. For advanced medical tests it will have tie-ups with diagnostics centres in the city. The centre will not perform any surgeries. The startup is aiming for about 50 primary-care centres over the next five years across the country.
“The primary care service is like a family physician concept based on a digital platform. There is an ongoing continuity with the same doctor, who will provide medication and also help with the lifestyle changes. Online will be a large part of our customer engagement and interaction,” says Mukesh Bansal, co-founder, Cure.fit.
“Once a customer subscribes to the service, they will be assigned a general physician with whom they can either do a call or a video chat on the app. If further consultation is required then they can visit the clinics, explains Bansal.
Anil Joshi, founder and managing partner at Unicorn India Ventures, an early stage investment firm, says Bansal's vision is not to look at one part of wellness but to have an holistic approach. “It seems to have worked, the early traction indicates that. I would not be surprised if he enters other verticals too. He is capturing and serving the needs of customers that are not met by any one brand.”
They seem well on their way with this. Vani Kola, managing director of Kalaari Capital and an investor in Cure.fit says, “One of the key challenges to scale in any business is to create a consistent consumer expectation and fulfil it every single time. I think so far they are doing a very good job.” Kola has been taking kickboxing and other fitness classes for almost a year now at Cult.
Cure.fit clearly has everyone on their toes, and seems set to keep at it, for quite some time to come!
(Find a detailed version of the story, and more on Mukesh Bansal’s latest venture, in our February issue. Subscribe)