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Health Is Wealth This Budget: Tushar Vashisht, CEO And Co-Founder, Healthify Me

With the new year squarely behind us and the union budget at our heels, everyone is eagerly awaiting what is in the offing for them and their domain

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Lifestyles are evolving rapidly today and are exerting more and more pressure on our bodies with each passing day. Staying in shape, being fit and eating healthy has never been more important.

2017 has seen a massive focus on health and fitness, with consumers placing extra emphasis on making healthier choices. People are prioritizing physical and mental well-being over everything else. The Indian Wellness Industry is growing exponentially and can achieve about Rs1.5 trillion by FY20, according to a recent report by FICCI and EY.

From wearable devices, technology, physical fitness and food and beverages; health and nutrition has been the focus for a number of industries catering to this growing need in the market.

Wellness players are shifting their focus from traditional offerings like curative health care and value-oriented mass products to new-generation offerings like preventive health care, luxury products, and personalised services.

With the new year squarely behind us and the union budget at our heels, everyone is eagerly awaiting what is in the offing for them and their domain.

“India is at a confluence of 3 changes encompassing exponential growth in digital payments (150 million digital wallets), smart phone penetration (350 million) and growing waves of obesity (150 million Indians) and diabetes (70 million Indians). These 3 changes should set the stage for mobile, digital health solutions to take centre stage in helping digital savvy, smart phone in hand, fitness conscious Indians recover their lost health,” shared Tushar Vashisht, CEO and co-founder mobile health and fitness app HealthifyMe which is growing at nearly half a million (4.5 lac users) per month.

Tushar believes that this fortuitous convergence is going to help the wellness sector tremendously. Setting the stage for his field he shared his pre-budget prophecies for the Wellness sector with Business World.

"I am personally pretty excited at the government's planned universal health insurance scheme expected to be introduced in this year's budget. This scheme should be a game-changer and bring a billion Indians under the healthcare ambit,” Tushar shared.

The Universal Health Insurance Scheme (UHIS) is revamped to serve the purpose of meeting the needs of families falling under the poverty line. The premium used to be Rs.100 and has now been changed to Rs. 200 for an individual, Rs.300 with family members of five and finally Rs.400 for a family of 7, with no compromise on the benefits amongst many other changes.

“Apart from this, the budget also promises to inject steroids into the economy that can help job creation by incentivising companies to address priority population segments. As a result, I expect more people with newly acquired spending power to embrace digital health and fitness solutions such as ours, especially with increasing health awareness across urban and rural India,” he underlined.

Banking on the digital penetration in rural and urban areas both Tushar believes that the governments plans to upgrade our digital payment infrastructure can bring marginalised sections of society under the digital umbrella.

“In summary, I see these 3 developments that will Healthify India increasingly a) The universe of Indians digitally enabled b) Lowering costs of access which is powered by mobile, cloud and AI solutions and c) Spurs provided by the government via insurance, and incentives. Fingers crossed, hoping for a positive budget 2018,” Vashisht stressed.

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