Published: 11th May 2019
This Mumbai start-up can make your walk to work a game to win. Here's how
With every step that they take, a StepSetGo user wins coins which can be used to redeem discounts and win prizes
Getting out of your warm and cosy bed in the morning for a walk can feel like the hardest thing to do. Trust us, we've all been there. But what if we tell you that a few steps will actually let you win a few amazing gifts? Here's StepSetGo, an app that gamifies walking by allowing users to earn and win free items and discounts with every step, quite literally. With every step, users can earn SSG coins, and with every coin, you win prizes and amazing products like an iPhone XR or an Amazon Echo Dot, on discount, or for absolutely free! As you walk more, you upgrade to better levels and better offers. With every level, there are new goals to be met, or users risk downgrading to a lower level. This enables the app to keep you not just fit but consistently fit.
“We realised that what we lack in general is the motivation to exercise and maintain that routine. So we wanted to create an app that restores motivation for you to do just a little bit more than you do so every day. So it functions on the concept of rewarding people at regular intervals for getting fit. So if you just walk a little bit more, you can get a reward - you have discounts, for products,” explains Shivjeet Ghatge, one of the 3 co-founders of the company.
StepSetGo is the brainchild of Misaal Turakhia, Abhay Pai, and Shivjeet Ghatge, three 28-year-old victims of unused gym subscriptions and unopened fitness apps. “Misaal and I went to school together and we were always really good friends. He later went to the UK to study computer engineering, while I went to France for my bachelor's. Abhay and Misaal met while working together at Fork Media. When Misaal and I started to really think about this idea, Abhay said that he was interested too, and we started working on StepSetGo almost a year ago,” Shivjeet recounts the origin story of the app. Itaverages around 40,000 downloads per day and is on the track to hit 2 million within 5 months of its launch.
However, StepSetGo was not a sudden stroke of genius. It was born from a long period of failed plans and debunked ideas. “We had a couple of ideas before StepSetGo and almost started working on a different product. But when we did an intense market study, the research didn’t pan out as positive as we thought it would. We never really planned on making this a full-time thing because we had secure jobs already. But when we started working on StepSetGo, we knew this is what we had to do and that it had potential,” says Shivjeet, who was always convinced that StepSetGo would gain success, though he’s quite surprised at how quickly it’s risen in popularity.
When these creators launched the app on 10 January 2019, they introduced it to groups of students from NMIMS Mumbai, to expressions of disbelief. “ Our biggest challenge was convincing people that it’s not fake and that we’re genuinely trying to get them fit,” laughs Shivjeet. Through the app’s referral feature which allows users to earn more coins by sharing codes with other people, by the end of the first day, StepSetGo had nearly 70 followers and currently caters to an average of 51,000 users every day.
While the creators surely expected a positive response, they did not think that their biggest challenge would be convincing people that the app actually existed. “We knew there would be a pretty good response because when we showed it to people, there was some disbelief on their faces because the concept of walking was ancient, but we’d figured out a way to monetise and commercialise it. Because everyone thought it was too good to be true and yet, we could make it happen, and this fueled us forwards,” explains Shivjeet who admits that they spend a lot of time trying to convince people that it’s not a trick.
While the app seeks permission to access inbuilt features on your phone, users have been apprehensive about giving their location access to the app, citing security concerns. “We’re very strict about our users’ data. Whenever we tie up with any brand in the marketplace, we never hand them over any information. Instead, we send our users to their platform — so when you buy a discount at StepSetGo, it links you to the main website where you can use that code,” assures Shivjeet.
With all these features, StepSetGo aims at constantly innovating. “We’re working on more features to make sure that people can have more fun on the application. We want to bring in achievement features, getting calories burned and all that data for individual gratification. We also want the app to encourage users to interact more with their peer circle,” says Shivjeet. “We’re trying to gamify the application as much as possible and make getting free products as a byproduct of your walking, and not the goal. In the end, it’s all about taking it to the next level,” he concludes.