After ‘gamechanger’ pandemic, here’s how ambulance network Dial4242 plans to scale services across India
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Mumbai, Dial4242 is an app-based ambulance network that provides emergency services across the country. The company has a fleet of 5,000+ ambulances and services 130 cities in India on a contractual basis. It also offers services in other cities in the country on a need basis.
Jeetendra Lalwani, Co-Founder, Dial4242, says the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic was “devastating at a different level” and created high demand for Dial4242, which operates across India.
Demand went up to 7-10X as people looked for all kinds of support and the company tried to help as many people as possible. “From celebrities to the needy, Dial4242 has offered services and created credibility,” Jeetendra says.
The founder says Dial4242 was receiving 20-30 calls per minute during the peak of the second wave. The biggest challenge during that time was to get an ambulance with oxygen supply as the country was facing a severe shortage of oxygen supply, especially in states like Delhi or Uttar Pradesh which were badly hit.
“We ensured that all our ambulances carry oxygen cylinders, there were proper checks, and people got the right kind of support,” he says.
According to Jeetendra, the healthcare industry in India has been “neglected” for a very long time, and the pandemic helped people realise its importance. That has been a “gamechanger for all players”.
Dial4242 has signed up with the Tata Group of Companies, their “greatest achievement till date”. The company is also organising vaccination drives across India for corporates.
Jeetendra adds that they were the first ambulance provider to be signed on by an insurance company. “Every policy member of that company will be using Dial4242 services,” he says. They also have partnered with a third-party travel service provider for ambulance insurance.
Going forward, Dial4242 wants to increase and expand its ambulance network to create a presence in every nook and corner of the country.
Jeetendra concludes by saying that every startup with aggressive plans for growth or expansion needs to look at funding seriously. Dial4242 is profitable, but the team is very cautious about every penny that they spend.
“We are definitely looking for funding and we are in the advanced level of discussions with a few major investors,” Jeetendra says.