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Hitesh Jani, Director, MedTour India Pvt Ltd

Thursday March 05, 2009 , 4 min Read

With Indian tourism mushrooming in the recent years, travel services catering to various segments of the society are legion. But the concept of medical tourism is still nascent. While most would avoid taking the risk of heading for a venture so new and unexplored as this, Hitesh Jani banked on doing just the opposite. His enterprise, MedTour India Pvt Limited, offers tourists wanting to visit India, Gujarat in particular, a singular package that also assures cheap medical treatment.

Medical tourism in India is as low-set as 20% of what it is in the west. But Jani spearheaded the concept for attracting westerners to the country for medical treatment. What made the idea sell was the way the concept was packaged.

While the tourists can avail inexpensive medical aid, they can enjoy a tour round India and still save a handsome amount, which would not have been possible otherwise if they took treatment in the west.

This apart, the company also calls for lucrative policies and supporting movements from financially and socially strong bodies to encourage more capital ventures. MedTour aims to attract at least 100 tourists to Gujarat and take the operation pan India by the end of 2010.

Talking about the business model Jani said, “Since the concept is new, we haven’t yet got into internet marketing. But since a large number of people and institutional consumers have been using internet to search for products and services, we plan to go head on with e-marketing soon” he explained.

Moreover, there are host of other factors that need to be incorporated to ensure a steady growth in medical tourism. For instance, foreign tourists would opt for 5 star services and accommodation with prices 70% lesser than the region they come from, speedy procedure, multiple packages to choose from that is inclusive of flight option and pre care and post care travel facilities and personal services. “Our marketing officials are constantly at work, creating and articulating differentiators to make the company more competent and more respectable than every other purveyor of similar services. Sometimes it’s easy, at other times it’s not.”

Jani plans to scale-up the business with the help of various marketing strategies and mediums like web-marketing, billboards, brochures and television advertisement. A team of marketing executives is already in the US for a tie-up with various medical centers, doctors and organisation to help MedTour become a formidable player in the sector.

The company is still in its infancy with challenges yet to come, but it had a taste of it when the process of finalizing an MoU with the Government of Gujarat had to be done within a week’s time.

When asked why he chose to become an entrepreneur Jani said, “Times of uncertainty are always a window to the future. We at MedTour believe it’s always better to dream big and struggle as if the work is our baby. All of us have been through the 9-5 work culture at some stage of our lives, but working as an entrepreneur has a different high altogether. The security of working for myself along with seeing our hard work being paid for on a daily basis is one of the major reasons entrepreneurship seemed like the only logical way to go.”

The biggest mistake as an amateur? “During my short stint as an entrepreneur, I realized that researching every aspect before taking a plunge into entrepreneurship is necessary. A number of times, we faced problems and later regretted not taking care of it at the initial stages. It cost us a lot of time and capital,” Jani candidly confessed.

It wasn’t easy to arrange for capital investment for starting the company but Jani’s personal resources were of tremendous help. His friends father agreed to finance the initial investment while blogging sites like facebook and orkut also helped spread message about the company.

At no point during his career did Jani have the disposition to take up a job. His family’s support and the trust his partners showed in him saw him through the tough times. But now, with the firm gradually shaping up and taking roots, Jani has no intensions of giving it up. “We are here to break the new ground. Besides, the critical reviews from the people about the business motivates me to prove them wrong.”

Jani’s sterling tips to budding entrepreneurs are just as inspiring as his venture. “Entrepreneurship and innovation though are two different virtues but they withstand each other in a close-packed bonding. The lateral combination of the two leads to victorious achievements and assures of lasting glory in terms of commerce and trade, of course without skipping ethics and humanitarian approaches.”