The startup is equipped with its own technology platform that not only makes customer interface easy but also helps monitor, dissect, cross-tabulate, and use patient data
When you face the misfortune of getting a toothache, life comes to a screeching halt. Nothing matters anymore except the excruciating pain, which is exacerbated every time you take a bite to eat or have a sip of a cold beverage. Finding a good dentist at this point, therefore, becomes paramount, but booking an appointment, braving the traffic and waiting at the clinic may add to the pain. The maxim ‘Prevention is better than cure’ applies especially in the case of a toothache, but we often visit a dentist only when the pain has reaches an unbearable level.
For 50-year-old Vinod Giri, the true potential of dental care lay in encouraging preventative steps, and providing easier access to a dentist. He also took note of the fact that leading dentists saw lower footfalls at their clinics. Discussions with them unearthed the reality that most people visited the dentist only in extreme cases of pain.
This finding led Vinod to bootstrap Greystone Care in May 2015, which subsequently launched a mobile dental healthcare service called DialDent in Delhi NCR.
Through its online booking tool and dial-in option, DialDent allows users to avail dental care service in the comfort of their own home. It is equipped with portable dental clinics, doctors, specialists, and dental chairs.
“Dialdent has developed world-class portable dental clinics that can be loaded on vans, unpacked and installed anywhere in a matter of minutes. That allows setting up a clinic at homes, offices, or anywhere,” says Vinod.
With a degree in Economics from University of Delhi, and an MBA from University of Mumbai, Vinod has 25 years of experience in the field of developing business strategies and tactical execution, working in companies like Marico, Coca-Cola, Tata, and SABMiller.
He spent six months rigorously testing every aspect of DialDent’s model, including equipment, operating processes, customer types, propriety booking, billing, and its CRM technology backbone. The startup raised its external funding in March 2016 and added another operational base in Noida in May.
DialDent has Arjun Dosaj, CEO of Avista Asset Management Singapore, and Rajesh Relan, entrepreneur and ex-MD, PNB MetLife as its key advisors.
Spreading awareness on preventative dental care was no easy task. Vinod’s team had to convince people who usually associate dental care with daunting procedures involving huge machinery that the same service can be delivered by portable and compact technology. But given how people have quickly warmed up to various services being delivered at home, Vinod was sure the idea would take off.
Dental care service can be a thriving business
Dental service providers rely both on standalone dental clinics and chains, but the sort of footfall they have doesn’t justify the hefty amount invested in setting up the infrastructure. Moreover, most of these clinics are lacking in tech capability, with limited ability to capture, mine, and leverage patient data.
DialDent has its own technology platform that not only makes customer interface easy but also helps monitor, dissect, cross-tabulate, and use patient data. Its mobile clinics can do most dental procedures on site, including x-rays, fillings, extraction, filling root canal, etc.
The company claims to have organised dental camps for over 200 corporate clients in Delhi-NCR over a year, and also diagnosed or treated over 10,000 people through around 300 dental care camps organised at their office premises. It conducts 25-30 corporate camps every month. On an average, it receives around 175 calls for home visits from the Delhi-NCR region. The company has also tied up with leading home-based health care provider Portea Medical to provide dental care to its customers. Dialdent has 15 doctors and eight paramedics directly working with it in NCR.
“Currently, the bulk of the revenue is coming from clinical services. Corporates contribute 60 percent of our services delivered at homes. Dental products, rolled out last month, contribute to less than five percent right now. Going forward, we expect 80 percent of our revenues from clinical services, and the rest from B2B and dental products,” explains Vinod.
Covering all of Delhi-NCR, DialDent has currently a team of 30 employees. It will roll out its services in five other cities — Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Pune — soon.
Another startup capitalising on the potential of mobile dental care in India is a Bengaluru-based MobiDent, which offers dental protection for the whole family at Rs 2,750 per annum. According to the company’s website, MobiDent has organised dental camps in more than 400 companies in the last two years. Though both companies have a similar concept and business, DialDent is addressing Delhi-NCR where MobiDent is not present. DialDent can play the monopoly game till MobiDent expands its presence in Delhi-NCR.
According to a MarketResearch report, the total revenues of the dental care service market are expected to augment as a CAGR of 13.9 percent from 2013-18. Given the growing awareness of oral health in the country, especially in the urban areas, the dental care services market in India is expected to thrive in future.