The Gene Box – Personalized Nutrition and Fitness Through Genetic Analytics

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There used to be a time when people had to work 9 to 5 only and there was no problem of work-life balance issues.

In the last few decades, there has been a tremendous change in the way we work and juggle with work-life balance. Lot of distractions lead to reduced productivity and increased anxiety. So being fit, both mentally and physically is a priority. People have tried many ways to be fit which include working out in the gym, yoga, Tai chi, meditation etc.

A few startup companies have come up with their business models for providing personalized fitness services, nutrition and so on. That is where The Gene Box comes into scene. If you are wondering what The Gene Box has to do with fitness, read on…

The Gene Box is a holistic platform providing genotype-based recommendations focusing on every individual’s well being. The company’s unique DNA testing service can enable individuals to gain deeper insights into their genetic blueprint, Further helping the individuals living a healthy lifestyle.

I recently had a chance to interact with the team of The Gene Box to learn about their motivation to set up the company.

GeneBox Logo

When was the company founded and who are the co-founders?

The company was founded in September 2015.

Pranav Anam: 33 year-old Pranav Anam is the recipient of a scholarship at the University of Newcastle and a qualified geneticist. He has been in the industry for 10+ years. Earlier, he was Director Strategy at Virtus Wellness for more than 6 years, and CEO of Emprocell for 2 years.

Shiraz Siddiqui: CEO & Founder of Virtus wellness, Shiraz has lent the word ‘survival’ a whole new invigorating connotation in the context of wellness. For the past ten years, he has successfully locked horns with Leukemia, having endured as many as four protocols of chemotherapy and radiation followed by a high-risk haplo-identical bone marrow transplant. A highly successful wellness expert, he has competed in one of the most extreme endurance sport Ironman, Triathlon.

Genebox Team.jpg
Co-founders of GeneBox

What does the company do, what is the product/technology?

The Gene Box (TGB) is India’s first holistic health platform providing cost-effective nutrition and health care solutions and services based on wide-ranging genetic analytics. Genebox procures your saliva sample – in a special kit dispatched and collected from your home – and performs a series of core tests to determine your genetic constitution. Our comprehensive data analysis forms the basis for customized food and fitness recommendations across various age groups and health goals – from school kids keen to excel in physical activities to senior citizens aspiring for a healthy lifestyle; from sports enthusiasts participating in marathons to professional athletes playing competitive sport.

How much are the products/services priced at? How has the response been so far?

The test is priced at Rs.25,000. It has been 6 months since the operation has begun and the company has already 250+ tests worldwide. In the span of 6 months we have conducted test in various parts of India, US and China.

What are the future plans for the company?

Few years down the line, our plan is to be present in all Tier II and Tier III cities. We also plan to create experiential centres across cities for people to experience their body type in a better way.

What are your achievements so far?

We have done 250+ tests in the first 9 months although being in stealth mode.

Your thoughts on biotech and healthcare startups in India/Asia, in general?

This culture of innovations and disruption has come very late in this sector, nonetheless young startups, the way they are delivering, have started to show the bright future ahead. Digitization and use of technology have been delayed in this sector when compared to others. Future of these startups in India is going to be driven by use of IT/ Digitization, novel research/ affordable innovative solutions and modern-age tech.

Same goes for our startup, The Gene Box, we are trying to use genetics to better the day to day lifestyle of the peoples. This is a smart mix of innovation, novel research and use of modern technology.

Any advice for biotech/healthcare start-ups? How has your start-up journey been as a (co-)founder?

I would like to say, keep your processes in sync with your objectivity and back it by passion, determination and hard/smart work. Stay focused, persistent and aware of the real things. Don’t try to solve too many problems, solve one at time, smartly.

The journey has been a learning experience. The customer feedback has been overwhelming. Most rewarding of all has been hearing the stories of our customers whose problems we have solved. It gives us motivation that we are on right track.