As part of the startup Interview series, we are going to interview Mr. Nuwaid Pocker from Dieture, a digital diet clinic backed by dietitians, mobile app, and automation software.
Nuwaid, thanks for taking the time to catch up with us. Can you briefly outline the company’s story? What is Dieture’s key goal? Who are the founders, and how did it all become what it is today?
Most of us struggle with our diets because we often put unrealistic plans that are neither customized to our liking nor our needs. We look at a diet as this fad we need to hop on to, which often seems the only way to lose weight or live healthily.
We forget that diet is just a fancy term for eating habits. And we have eaten since we were just six months old. So at Dieture, we argue that every one of us is an expert at that! Yes, there are some changes we should make to some foods we ingest because not all foods are created equal!
“What we don’t enjoy, we quit!”
But that should not be asked of, discarding your pallets developed over generations of evolution, unique to you – your family, culture, ethnicity, etc. And when you do, by following yet another fad, you are setting yourself up for failure. At Dieture, we solve this problem. First, we present a selection of 30 options for every meal. Then use a feedback loop to identify your preferences and track how they evolve. We keep sending you cooked ready-to-eat meals based on this loop. In addition, we provide you with in-house dietitians and health coaches to ensure you are on track.
The founder of Dieture is Nuwaid Pocker, who started it as a fitness training company helping people transform their physiques in 12 weeks. He noticed that his clients often struggled with their diets as they found it challenging to prepare their meals to accurate calories and make them enjoyable. So he started a meal prep service with technology automation to ensure food accuracy.
But the most significant shift came along when his father was diagnosed with dementia caused by high diabetes. He realized that he could have prevented it if he had just made his father’s diet enjoyable while changing some of his foods.
Dieture operates in Qatar and plans to become a global franchise helping people eat healthy using a personalized meal plan without compromising taste.
What kind of products and services does your company offer?
We are offering healthy food, dietitians and health coaches.
What’s the latest progress in the project, and what are you focusing on right now?
- The new mobile app feedback loop engine.
- Dieture’s first physical outlet with grab & go.
What pain of your customers are you helping solve? What is your company offering, and what kind of customers and partners are you looking for?
We help customers eat healthy without compromising taste. Dieture provides our customers with the highest food pleasure, alongside personalised diet management.
Our customers are busy professionals who use our service for convenience, taste and trust in the calorie count and ingredients we use.
What differentiates Dieture from its competitors?
Technology – feedback loop, complete nutrient breakdown, complete automation from menu planning to delivery.
Taste – partnered with JW Marriot as our caterer.
Team – highly experienced industry experts in food, catering, nutrition and health.
Do you use AI technology in your product? How does it work for you?
No. We are currently building machine learning approach to analyse user behaviour for better understanding their meal choices based on a series of parameters.
What is your business model, and how are you planning to get early customers onboard? Have you already raised money for your operations and building the platform?
Our primary business model is a monthly subscription. We are just launching grab & go as well as on-demand orders. In addition, health coaching and clinical dietitians are additional revenue channels.
We bootstrapped our way to 2 million USD annual revenue. We have not raised any money yet, and we are profitable. We, however, intend to raise capital for our international expansion.
What milestones have you had in fundraising, and where are you now?
Bootstrapped until now.
What was it like growing your team? What were the challenges and surprises you encountered? What tips do you have for building a solid team?
Building my team was probably the most challenging part of the journey. Finding bright talents who believed in the vision was just the beginning of the challenge. It was easy for large corporates to lure promising talents compared to a bootstrap startup. We also had overnight quitters, underperformers, misfits, and the list goes on.
Our team started to bind together once we began daily progress meetings, followed by weekly vision alignment. It started as an exercise when we adopted agile methodology across our business units. Soon, we began to examine everything around one question – does it fit our vision? This translated to decisions, behaviour, processes, brainstorming, and everything we do at Dieture. An inspiring moment was when two of my team members used this as a hook to quit smoking because “it does not fit OUR vision”.
During hiring, my team and I spend a lot of time talking about our vision, work culture and realistic expectations while working at Dieture. We try to portray the picture of our environment as straightforward as possible and watch to see if they are excited about it or want to run for the hills.
What are your company’s plans for the future, your major dream in 2022?
In January we are aiming to launch a new app, while in February we are about to set up new packaging kitchen. In May a SaaS dietitian platform launch is planned. Next, until October we intend to have 3 outlets & 11 food dispatch locations.
To summarize our interview, I would like to ask your opinion about the future of the HealthTech industry, especially considering the impact of the pandemic and all this economic turbulence.
Pandemic was an eye-opener for all of us. Perhaps the biggest realisation was that our advanced medical systems of 2020 were not ready for it. But it also taught us that we can apply technology in practices we were until then reluctant to employ. From spread control to treatment, HealthTech adopted and quickly found solutions to reduce the damages.
We also relearned that prevention is better than cure. So there is a global shift from disease cure to disease prevention mindset. HealthTech will continue to innovate and evolve in this space over the next decade.