Driven by the desire to simplify healthcare, three women, Meena Kapoor, Seema Avasarala and Akanksha Kapoor started OyeHelp to provide an online platform to connect service providers and service seekers in the healthcare sector in 2015.
Starting up – need, opportunity and solution
The gap in medical services in the tier II and III cities due to location barriers and the huge business opportunity in healthcare in the next 10-15 years provided both the need and the opportunity for these women to find a solution. Seema (40) and Meena (52), who had worked together earlier in the digital technologies space, decided to lay the foundation for OyeHelp. For their product, they did not have to look far as Meena’s daughter Akanksha (26), with her knowledge of scaleable mobile products, was keen to join the duo and make an impact while building a scalable business.
Based in Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon, this digital health technology company provides easy-to-use personal M-clinic apps for doctors, clinics and hospitals. A readymade SaaS tool for doctors and effectively used by their patients, it allows doctors to easily build their brand, give advice, manage appointments and get payments anytime, anywhere, thereby eliminating the dependence on geographical proximity between doctors and patients. Purely built on a Windows stack with .Net, MVC, Websocket connections and WebRTC, it is available on Google play. The iOS version of the app will be launched later this year.
The co-founders and the team
The team comprises 15 people, including the product, technology, operations and sales teams. With their own experience with the technology industry, Meena and Seema enjoy working with a young and driven team.
Early on in her career, Meena’s lack of technical knowledge was an immense challenge, but she was determined to learn. “I asked every stupid question in the book, because that is the only way to learn. I have done my 10,000 hours, and I understand technology well. I had designed many of our backend software solutions in the earlier years.” In 2001, she founded Netway India Pvt. Ltd, a digital content and tech company, and was also the chairperson of The Indus Entrepreneurs till 2014. Her primary focus at OyeHelp is strategy.
Seema believes in being part of the solution. “OyeHelp is the culmination of the type of thinking where we use technology to be the genesis of change, a change that is simple, and yet meaningful in the long run,” says Seema, who dons multiple hats. With 16 years of experience in business development, she has established business units from scratch and at OyeHelp, she heads finance and business development.
Akanksha heads and manages product development at OyeHelp. “People management is the key to any business and the best way to get shit done is to just get shit done,” says the young lady about her learnings from her stints with Mercatus Capital in Singapore and Extreme Startups in Canada.
Challenges in this sector
One of the challenges they face in this sector is the limited knowledge of technology and therefore, they often face resistance. “With the lack of guidelines, the resistance becomes even higher. We want to participate in the transition the healthcare sector is going through, with doctors beginning to optimally use technology to connect with patients,” Meena says.
They are in the midst of this transition, and within the next three to five years, Meena is sure that they will witness a 360-degree change.
There are also legal challenges that they have to contend with since there are no clear laws and guidelines around telemedicine, unlike in the US, which has the HIPPA compliance as a standard. They hope that this will become a priority for the government sooner rather than later.
They claim that their USP is ensuring the doctor’s availability to his/her patient in real time, as opposed to the delayed availability offered by their competitors.
The founders say that the response they have received has been positive and motivating. “Some very senior doctors like Dr. Rahul Gupta, ex-Chief Medical Officer of AIIMS, Dr. Rajiv Nagpal, Director Fortis and HOD Paediatrics, and Dr. Arun Saroha, HOD Neurosurgery at Max Hospital, are some of our clients.”
The founders claim that OyeHelp has seen over 60 percent of the doctors they have approached regarding their personal M-Clinic apps, purchase the app. With more than 2,000 doctors, the majority are from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, and after going digital, the doctors have experienced a significant increase in paid online patient visits, with each consultation averaging Rs 350 for roughly 15 minutes of a doctor’s time. Doctors are logged into their M-Clinics for an average of three to four hours a day currently. With each doctor bringing on at least 50-100 of their existing patients, through word of mouth, some doctors have seen their patient pool increase sixfold through the app.
So with one swipe on the smartphone, doctors and patients have been brought closer. Portea, Practo and Lybrate are some of the names that have made it big in the online healthcare sector. There is plenty of space for more such ventures, especially since IBEF reports that the healthcare market in India was worth close to $100 billion as of 2015 and is expected to touch $280 billion by 2020, clocking a CAGR of 22.9 percent.
- healthcare sector
- healthcare market
- healthcare startup
- Mercatus Capital
- Meera Kapoor
- Akanksha Kapoor
- Udyog Vihar
- Seema Avasarla
- backend software solutions
- digital health technology
- online healthcare sector