BodyFrontier.com is a company that helps connect health and technology into one efficient system. We sat down with Ahson Pai, the company’s founder and CEO, to talk about how he got his start.
Ahson, what exactly is it that your company, BodyFrontier.com, does?
We offer health technology products in four broad areas and are constantly adding depth to our product line up. These areas are fitness, health and wellness, weight loss and baby care. The fitness category includes activity trackers and devices for golf, running, cycling, and so on. Health and wellness is more for the individual who has a chronic condition such as hypertension, diabetes or needs for post-operative care. Other uses include family members who need closer monitoring when discharged from hospitals. Baby care is also an area of focus that is important to our customers. Think about having a premature baby and being able to accurately and digitally measure the newborn’s weight and email that as often as needed to your doctor. And for the new parent, imagine seeing your baby on the monitor clearly on your smartphone screen instead of a dark/blurry image on the traditional monitor, and only within the confines of your home. For the customers who are mainly wanting to track their weight loss, understanding calorie deficit accurately is a huge benefit. Couple that with monitoring sleep and improving sleep quality to accelerate progress– that is a huge winner. As a matter of fact, one of the product lines we carry called BodyMedia is used on The Biggest Loser. We are soon to interview some contestants from last season to help give their perspective to our customers; this interview will go up on our blog and the BodyFrontier YouTube channel.
Wow! That’s a pretty cutting edge industry. Becoming an entrepreneur in a new area like that is a pretty big risk. Could you share a little bit about why you chose to start your own business?
That’s one of my favorite questions. We’ve had a lot of experiences that led up to this. We see so much potential in connected health technology products to help individuals. The benefits are multi-dimensional and numerous, ranging from personal well-being, improved activity levels, and improved health restoration. Our main goal is to make this accessible to the broader population and, at the same time, couple that with our secondary goal of giving to global health and education charities.
Personally, I have used health trackers and GPS watches over the years while training for marathons or century bike rides. Along the way I have had some hurdles to deal with from a health perspective myself and have turned to the use of connected health technology to get things back on track, like using smartphone connected blood pressure and weight monitors and making communication much more effective with doctors, which has helped accelerate recovery. I’ve also used fitness trackers to makes sure I hit my daily activity targets along the way.
Our staff members are also avid fitness enthusiasts and technophiles, and almost all of us have had personal experience using technology in our training endeavors. So, as a group we all have a shared experience and broader goal. Given all that, we wanted to make a destination site for all things health and fitness related to improving health on a much broader scale. Our tagline “technology for your health” sums it up: we are all about improving your health and giving you the tools to accelerate that progress. We see tremendous value in our blog and community feedback as we continue to build engagement from our customers on the blog and through social media channels.
The longer term goal is to get our business to grow and ultimately give back globally. For example, think about being able to give away smartphone connected sonogram devices or EKGs to organizations that deliver healthcare in parts of the world where access to hospitals is very limited. At the same time we are interested in donating to micro-finance charities to provide sustainability and support to educational and grassroots level organizations.
But we have a little bit of a ways to go before we can get our business to give back in increasingly substantial ways. We are fortunate to have the support of our customers and continue to build on our partnerships.
Those goals will definitely take some planning! Speaking of planning, did you have a business plan that got you where you are today?
Yes absolutely. We have a plan and have found that it is reasonably and directionally accurate. The nuances required us to bob and weave along the way, especially earlier on. I wouldn’t say that we have had to change course in any substantial way, but rather, there have been areas we have emphasized more, prioritized and de-prioritized others. One area we focused heavily on is the marketing aspect and made sure we did everything we could to get that right.
BodyFrontier operates out of New York City and can be contacted at P.O. Box 145, New York, NY, 10017. To learn more about BodyFrontier, visit the website at www.bodyfrontier.com or call 212-288-3104.
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