Calivu: An Intelligent Nutrition Assistant App that makes the perfect diet plan for you and delivers the meals at your doorstep

Calivu is a project of Foodingo which is a food-tech startup from Singapore and works out of Kickstart Co-working space in Lahore. They are a multinational team of data scientists, developers, designers, dietitians and health experts working on technology solutions in the public health and food industry.

Calivu’s Claim

Calivu is an intelligent nutrition assistant mobile application that designs the perfect diet plan keeping in view your health goals and body type and delivers the suggested meals right to your dining table. Calivu saves you the hassle to look out for a nutritionist, get an appointment, go to them for a diet plan, and then go through the time consuming and tiring process of preparing all the suggested meals. The application claims that you can get in the shape you desire in a few easy steps:

Foodingo

 

Kickstart’s community manager Hassan Shahid sat with Rehan Arif, co-founder of Calivu, to know more about their business.

Hassan: Don’t you think that the idea is a bit too futuristic for Pakistani market? Given that people like to go see the nutritionist in person and choose him/her relying on the recommendation from friends and family.

Rehan: That is, in fact true for one segment of the market (Aged 45 or more) but there is another huge segment of the market (Working people aged less than 45) that we will be targeting in the start. This growing segment of tech-savvy working people who want to eat healthy while spending a minimum amount of time and money in the process are our ideal market. Once we get them to try our application and they see the results for themselves, positive word of mouth will start flowing for Calivu too which will drive growth.

Hassan: You mentioned that your initial target market is young working people. A significant portion of this market has access to hygienic food at home for breakfast and dinner but they find it difficult to grab a healthy meal for lunch.  Do you plan on offering recurring lunch plans for this segment?

Rehan: Yes! We recognize that this segment of the market has a dire need for affordable hygienic lunch and we have separate daily menus with calorie-counted lunch and dinner options.

Hassan: People who seek help from nutritionists also form a connection with them which helps nutritionists to retain them as customers for a longer period of time? Yours is a mobile application and ‘human connection’ is missing. How do you plan on making up for it?

Rehan: Our customers may also have a nutritionist available on Skype in some special circumstances and he/she will provide consultancy to them just like any other professional nutritionist. Nevertheless, dietetics is pure science and it will be wasteful if we don’t use AI to solve public health and self-image issues in an era of robotic medicine. The idea is to make the whole process as easy as ordering food from any food delivery service.

Hassan: Don’t you think that bland taste of hygienic food will be an impediment for the widespread acceptance of your product?

Rehan: The most important thing is that Calivu achieves goals for its customers without disturbing their food palate. There is a widespread belief that hygienic food is tasteless which is not grounded in facts. It probably derives from a conventional practice of mainstream nutritionists who recommend salads and foods without spices to anyone who wants to eat healthy and lose weight. Calivu can provide you the tasty Chicken Karahi with 30% lesser calories than your usual Karahi without a compromise on taste. We have spent a lot of time and effort to modify the best desi dish recipes around and have made them healthier.

Hassan: Buying raw materials and preparing the meals constitute a significant part of Calivu’s business processes since Calivu procures the raw materials and delivers the suggested meals to the customers. It would be great if you could tell our readers about your supply chain and cooking processes.

Rehan: At Calivu, we develop every process keeping in mind our goal of providing hygienic food to our customers. Algorithms that calculate the right food plan for you are written in consultation with a team of experienced nutritionists who are continuously working to make them better. Similarly, our recipes come from chefs who have years of experience. About our kitchen, we do not have a fridge in our kitchen. We do not store anything in our pantry. All the supplies that are used in preparing meals come to the kitchen on a daily basis and some supplies, two times in a day.

Hassan: What is your vision for Calivu? What is your goal for 1st year?

At Calivu, our main focus is going to be on the quality of our product and the best customer service that people can think of. We want to be known as the best in the market in terms of price, taste, and health results. For this year, we plan to expand into Lahore and then over to Islamabad.

 

 

Kickstart aims to create unique experiences for technology entrepreneurs and freelancers

Since our starting in February last year, around 100 entrepreneurs and freelancers have used our co-working spaces. Life of Qasim Asad is one of those 100 lives that were directly influenced by Kickstart in some way at least, in the past eleven months. Qasim is the founder of anonymous social networking application Campusfeed that allows the students to share content with their fellows on campus. The content that is being shared on the application is about everything that goes on campus from discussions about courses, extracurricular activities and events to social life on campus. The best part about the application is that students can share content without disclosing their identity; yes, every user is anonymous on Campusfeed. Qasim has already launched the application at the campuses of LUMS, Lahore School of Economic and Beacon House National University and received a positive response. Within just two days of launch, the application received 600 downloads on one campus. Currently, the average user is spending more time on Campusfeed than he/she spends on Facebook. Overall, the application has been used for 80,000 times in the past two months.

When he joined us back in April last year, he was in the process of developing his MVP. It was an IOS application that he launched in LUMS soon after joining Kickstart. Like the case is with MVPs, he found out that the room for improvement is huge. After months of hard work and special assistance from his coworker Talha (CEO at Dharti.pk), Qasim managed to hire the perfect team that built the app. It was during his time at Kickstart, when he improved the application, developed a marketing strategy, hired a technical team and built a network of 300 campus ambassadors. He also went to participate in the Startup Istanbul and made it into the top 50 startups. Currently, his startup is incubated at Plan9 incubator. Qasim attributes a part of his early success to the help he received from coworkers at Kickstart.

Qasim’s experience is one of the many that are being created at our co-working space, and we owe this to our helpful and enabling community. Going ahead with the mission to catalyze the growth of technology industry in the country, we are opening up our spaces for technology-related talks, events, and workshops, for free. This is part of our goal to create many more positive, informative experiences for technology entrepreneurs and freelancers. From now on, Kickstart spaces will be available for such events on Saturdays and Sundays.

If you wish to organize any such event/workshop/talk, shoot us an email at cowork@kickstart.pk with the event description or proposal.

Kickstart Partners with PlanX – Provides its members access to experienced professionals and offers discounts to PlanX alumni

PlanX and Kickstart are organizations with common goals of nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship and supporting the start-up culture in the country which is still in its infancy. Common short-term and long-term goals open up a vast array of partnership possibilities between the country’s leading accelerator and the newly found co-working space. Just like PlanX, Kickstart hosts tech start-ups at its co-working locations and organizes technology demo events. The purpose of the events is to accelerate the dissemination of knowledge and information related to start-ups and to help strengthen the community of entrepreneurs by providing them a platform to network and share ideas.

To realize this potential, Kickstart entered into a partnership with the PITB’s accelerator- PlanX. As part of our agreement, Kickstart will be providing working and event space to the PlanX alumni at discounted prices. PlanX, on the other hand, will provide consultancy to the members of Kickstart. PlanX will also provide access to their panel of mentors to the startups and freelancers housed in Kickstart.

Kickstart and PlanX will also collaborate to organize events and workshops for the benefit of entrepreneurs and freelancers. PlanX also agreed to bring in their accomplished panel of professionals and alumni to attend these events.

The number of organizations that have been working to help and support entrepreneurs, such as PlanX and Kickstart, have increased significantly in the last few years. These organizations have considerably increased the inclination of youth towards entrepreneurship. As of right now, at least 20 incubators and accelerators are functioning in the country.  As a result, more and more fresh graduates are opting to start companies of their own instead of taking jobs. Despite the increase in the number of incubators and accelerators, Pakistan is yet to see a significant increase in the number of startups that have been able to develop a sustainable business. One of the reasons why support organizations have achieved less than their potential is that these organizations have been working in isolation. We hope that this and other partnerships between the support organizations will help the support infrastructure to achieve its potential.

Help-Desk