The decade-long experience inside laboratories helped develop an urge in 33-year-old Rahul Gupta to venture out on his own. The stints in numerous testing and calibration laboratories made him realise the pain of looking for accredited laboratories. In September 2015, he started online search engine LabGo for testing and calibration laboratories across India.
Headquartered in Delhi, LabGo is a flagship service from SGM Lab Solutions Pvt. Ltd., infused with an initial investment of Rs eight lakh. Developing a user-friendly website and appointing the right professionals to search for verified laboratories was not a bed of roses, recalls Rahul. Today, the startup has registered over 1,400 National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) and Accreditation Commission For Conformity Assessment Bodies (ACCAB)-accredited labs across India.
The objective of LabGo is to provide lab search solutions for the growing B2B and B2C market of India. Although we have not yet approached any investors for fund, we are focussing on getting more traction on the website so as to associate the investors with our revenue model.”
An alumnus of Delhi University, Rahul started his career in the year 2003 in advertising and then made a move into trading of laboratory equipment in 2004. Since 2009, Rahul worked as a consultant for setting up of calibration and testing laboratories in Sigma Test and Research Centre. In 2014, he was appointed as a consultant and trainer for laboratory accreditation by Food Research and Standardisation Laboratory, Government of India.
An online directory for labs
LabGo serves as an online directory of laboratory product testing services of 12 segments catering to the needs of clients, which include water-testing, food, textile, metal, construction, pharmaceuticals (medicines), automobile, petroleum, and forensic laboratories. The home page of the website offers a search option where the product to be tested has to be entered, which will then allow users to avail the details of all the testing and calibration laboratories across India catering to the product specifications.
The online platform is comparable to Zomato which is an online food aggregator. Today, LabGo caters to 10,000 to 15,000 users per month. The online directory answers to the requirements of product manufacturers, purchase managers, research analysts, quality professionals as well as non-technical/ general crowd and others.”
Making product testing more efficient
With a team size of more than 15, LabGo claims to cover almost all NABL-accredited testing and calibration laboratories across India. The online platform makes use of filters to enable comprehensive laboratory search across all regions.
The four-month-old startup currently does not have a revenue model, as it is still in beta version. However, it will soon deploy an advertising-based revenue model and is expected to turn into paid listing in the next fiscal year.
We are working towards attaining tractions, pitching investors for fund-raising and aiming to bring more and more trusted and certified laboratories on board. The company is also planning to form a digital team to establish itself as a pioneer in testing hub. Two years down the line, we will facilitate online transactions for sample booking and expect to have transaction value of Rs 200 crore.”
Today, healthcare is considered one of the largest sectors and is expected to reach $160 billion by 2017 and $280 billion by 2020. The Indian diagnostic industry, which also forms a large part of the heathcare sector, has witnessed a host of startups in the last couple of years.
Mumbai-based Medd equips patients not only with information on certified diagnostic labs but also provides options for choosing and comparing rates. Gurgaon-based Labstreet aggregates demand for customers for pathology tests and enables blood tests to be done conveniently from reliable labs at an affordable cost. Hyderabad-based DoctorC offers a list of labs that conduct the test along with prices and an option to book the test at special rates.
Since the inception of e-commerce in India, it has been quite evident that aggregator-based model works, be it in beauty services, households, industry goods or cab services. With a host of startups striving to bring pathology services to users' doorstep, it would be interesting to see how LabGo would fare.