Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming second-year MBA students, recruited from top schools, to work on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs on projects ranging from strategic planning to market expansion. The program is supported by a generous grant from Barclays. Following is a post from Allison Averill, who is spending the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Brazil’s Minha Vida:
Five weeks into my project at Minha Vida in São Paulo, I couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve been making. I’m working on mobile strategy for Dieta e Saúde, the largest online dieting program in Brazil. The Dieta e Saúde team is in the process of revamping their online platform and adding some exciting new products to their subscription-based dieting program. They’re taking a fresh look at their mobile products as part of this process. As I learned quickly, the project isn’t just about building an app with great features, it’s also about integrating mobile with the company’s overall business plan and coming up with a strategy that’s both cued in to the needs of the current user base and successful at acquiring new mobile-savvy customers.
I spent the first week getting up to speed with everything that’s going on in the company and in the mobile market in Brazil, which hasn’t quite reached U.S. levels ofsmartphone saturation, but isgetting there fast. From there, I began benchmarking Dieta e Saúde’s products against popular online and mobile dieting products in both the U.S. and Brazil. The proliferation of “freemium” weight loss apps, which offer the basics- a calorie counter, food database, and exercise tracking- for free and more advanced features for a monthly or annual subscription cost has changed the market in recent years. Still, established diets like Weight Watchers, Dukan, and South Beach, which offer their tools to paying subscribers only, are becoming more comfortable in the online space. Because Dieta e Saúde is a points-based dieting methodology, not just a calorie counter, it is important for us to find the right balance between these free tools and the more traditional diets that are expanding their products online.
I am currently working on designing surveys to collect some data from both our online subscribers and users of our free app. The idea is to figure out how we can improve user engagement by making the app a better tool for current subscribers, and how we can start converting more free app users into paying subscribers. If all goes well, I will have some data by the end of the week, present my findings to the team, and spend the last few weeks of the project working closely with my colleagues to map out a more detailed product plan.
I can’t thank the Minha Vida team enough for welcoming me into their office and making me feel right at home here in São Paulo. Although I am only here for a short time, I really look forward to following the company’s progress, especially in mobile. I am confident it will be great!