Last year, close to 7,500 startups across the globe were looking to develop digital solutions in the healthcare space. While several startups in India are working towards bringing medical practitioners and consumers closer using technology, there seems to be a problem at the supply end.
Looking at the problem and the gap in the market, Sreevalsan Menon and Raman Shukla started Medikoe, a web-based and mobile platform. “We created a healthcare and wellness platform which connects consumers to hospitals, diagnostic centres, pharmacies and wellness centres. Consumers can reach any of these services in their neighbourhood in just two clicks,” says Sreevalsan.
After working in the IT industry for close to 20 years, Sreevalsan’s last assignment was at IBM. Being the Country Manager there, he had to travel close to four days in a week. He soon realised that this continuous travel affected his health.
“Once in Mumbai I had a personal emergency where I could not get prescribed medicines in the late hours. Being in a city like Mumbai, I had to wait more than four hours,” he says, adding that the problem was not as much the non-availability of the medicine as his lack of information of the services.
Ramesh Shukla who was Sreevalsan’s colleague for three years, had 10 years of technology development experience. He had once found it difficult to get the right contact for specialised homecare treatment for one of his friend’s parents.
Growth and traction
“The healthcare market in India will touch $280 billion in 2020. Currently, its close to $100 billion, but although there is huge market to grab, there also is a real problem in filling the gap,” says Sreevalsan. Medikoe is currently present in Bengaluru and has more than 1,500 registered healthcare services providers on the platform and more than 100 deals.
Launched on Oct 17 2015, the startup claims to have close to 800 users on web with more than 12,000 page views and 200 users on the app accessing their services. For revenue, the company uses resources like preferred listing, pay per click, deal’s margin and focussed campaigns for B2B players.
The company’s growth plan includes expanding to 20 cities and seven States by early Q1 2016. “We also aim to be the first healthcare and wellness platform that supports regional languages apart from English. We are expanding to Mumbai and NCR by Nov/Dec 2015,” Sreevalsan says.
The company is planning to acquire 5,000 consumers via its Playstore/iOS app by the end of this year, following. Thee launch of the Medikoe iOS app by early December. The team has raised an angel round from Anil Menon, CEO, CMS Computers limited.
Expected to touch $79 billion in 2012, the healthcare sector is now expected to reach $160 billion by 2017, and $280 billion by 2020. Today, it is considered one of the largest sectors in India, in terms of both revenue and employment.
In the segment of search and discovery healthtech platforms, Medikoe competes with VC-funded players like Practo and Lybrate. The paid healthcare apps market is believed to be growing at close to 33.8 per cent CAGR. In the Asian market, Japan and India are believed to be the emerging and most promising countries for healthcare apps. For many healthcare app organisations, creating these apps means bringing technology to an otherwise troubled system; reports have suggested that India has only 0.6 doctors per 1,000 people.
While a fast growing segment, many believe that the supply gap in the healthcare space needs to go beyond search and discovery.