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Genebox - A Platform That Offers Nutrition, Fitness, and Genetics as a Complete Package

The founders have already enrolled an EMI payment facility for easing the process as the test costs Rs.25,000 in India. They are also looking at spreading word of mouth by tying-up with corporates and influencers.

Genebox - A Platform That Offers Nutrition, Fitness, and Genetics as a Complete Package
Genebox - A Platform That Offers Nutrition, Fitness, and Genetics as a Complete Package
Genebox - A Platform That Offers Nutrition, Fitness, and Genetics as a Complete Package

Gene Box is Indian holistic health platform that provides cost-effective nutrition and health care solutions and services based on wide-ranging genetic analytics. The system requires the user to send a saliva sample in a special kit that Gene Box sends and collects from their respective households; a series of core tests is then performed to determine the person’s genetic constitution.

Genebox is the brainchild of a duo whose friendship dates back 17 years. Pranav Anam and Shiraz Siddique first met in 1999, a random talk after these many years has flourished into India’s first holistic health platform. The startup was launched in September 2015.

BWDisrupt team member Sujata Sangwan interacts with Pranav Anam, Co-founder, The Gene Box, and spoke to him

What Does The Gene Box Do?

The Gene Box essentially unboxes mystery of your DNA. The human body is made of several trillions of cells and is made up of thousands of genes. It often plays an important role in overall health too. As a result, the genetic research plays an important role in detection, prevention and/or treatment of diseases which are caused by genetic abnormalities and mutations.

In today’s scenario, cure of an ailment is no longer magical or mystical. In fact we know that accurate diagnostic is the key to right therapy. With a growing population every year, the burden of genetic diseases is very high. Many diseases can be predicted with great accuracy if genetic testing is done at the appropriate stage.

Using sophisticated algorithm and recommendations engine TGB will help you achieve a better lifestyle. The Gene Box takes into account the key difference of your life stages and progressively evolves recommendations for your body / health. The gene box will enable a collaborative, tailored and accurate plan for your body’s nutrition and fitness needs taking into consideration your current health. In future it will also evolve you to select right medicines and dosage based on efficiency of your metabolism.

How it came into existence?

An athlete Shiraz Siddiqui who has survived cancer thrice, giving ‘survival’ a whole new meaning. 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. Nothing stopped his motivation and passion of healthcare, while being a marathon runner, a sportsmen with unmatchable will power launched ‘Gene Box’ with Pranav Anam who left his family’s giant real estate business (Nirmal Lifestyle group). Having a degree of B.Sc in Genetics, Pranav is a recipient of a scholarship at University of Newcastle and a qualified geneticist. Pranav has been in the industry for 10+ years. He has been a Director strategy with Virtus Wellness for 6 years, CEO of Emprocell for 2 years and Deputy GM with EmProcell for 1 year.

How it works? How is it different from other genetic/healthcare companies?

Genetics is largely about likelihood, akin to a weather forecast predicting a 60% probability of rain, which means that given the evidence, chances of rain are higher, although there is a 40% chance that it may not rain. However, not all genetics is like that. Certain genetic conditions called monogenic conditions carry cent per cent likelihood. In certain other conditions, it varies between 99% to 1%. Scientists often combine the likelihood of multiple genes to increase the certainty of likelihood for a certain event. The proper way to interpret genetic likelihood is to develop your awareness of your inborn susceptibilities and tendencies and verify them through other pieces of information to the extent possible, acting on the side of caution.

The comprehensive data analysis forms the basis for customized food and fitness recommendations across various age groups and health goals – from schools 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. Currently, the analysis and recommendations of most players in the nutrition and fitness industry focus on physical attributes unlike individual’s genetic constitution. The Gene Box studies the person’s food and fitness specifics thereby arriving at tailor-made recommendations that are free of genetic conclusions. Advices/suggestion on lifestyles diseases he/she may be genetically prone to and how to keep them at bay. The Gene Box 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.

Funding & monetization

They are essentially a platform which brings Nutrition, Fitness and Genetics on one platform. They will make revenue through sale of products and subscription based services. Business metrics – like number of downloads, visits, orders a month, clients on board. As of now, the company is self-funded. Pranav and Shiraz have pooled in $100,000 till date. They are looking for investors essentially for product research and product development.

Market opportunity

The Indian population is moving towards fitness and overall well-being as a means to de-stress themselves from hectic work pressure, and combat unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles. The Wellness market in India is estimated to be around 1 trillion INR.

Future plans

The founders have already enrolled an EMI payment facility for easing the process as the test costs Rs.25,000 in India. They are also looking at spreading word of mouth by tying-up with corporates and influencers. They have engaged in training marathon athletes in the past and aim to do it on a wider scale in the next year or so. Product development and bringing the cost of the test is prioritized and being worked on.

Challenges faced

People aren’t able to comprehend on how important this is. Capital and knowledge partners are very crucial to help sustain the growth of the company. People are hesitant but the rate of adoption is improving. Mapmygenome, Gene Supports, etc are select people offering such kind of test to understand various fitness apps providing a one off solution. It is our indirect competition.

Procedure to conduct the test

Buy The Test Online: First you will have to purchase The Gene Box kit online on our website
Delivery: Once you have purchased the kit, we ship it to you on the next working day. The Kit will reach you in 2-3 working days.
Test: You are required to collect the sample of your saliva in a vial and then pour the medium given to you in the saliva kit and seal pack it.
Return Pick Up: Once you have collected your test sample, you need to inform us to arrange return pick up of the Kit.
Process: The process takes 6-8 weeks after which a customised report is generated based on the results of your DNA.
Report: You can view the report by logging in to your account on our website
Recommendations: Once the report is out, you are given recommendations and personalized plans to solve individual issues

Positive Impact of Genetic Testing – Clients

o Mr. Harish Shroff:
He was finding it difficult to lose weight. After few diet and fitness plan modification as per Genetic Test Results he lost 3 kg. He has also noticed the weight loss in inches.
o Mr. Dharmesh Jain:
He had a problem of Water Retention and use to feel bloated. After adjusting the diet as per the Genotype Diet Plan, he lost the excessive water weight. He is feeling lighter, better now.

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