In the cut-throat competitive start-up industry, innovation is something that can take you to places. Imitating similar ideas and using a second-hand infrastructure model do not last long as more and more start-ups are entering the market space, each with new innovations that helps them to reach out to their customer base.
One of the biggest growing sectors currently is healthcare. While it has been plagued by issues since years, the last few years has seen some ventures enter this space and germinate solutions to resolve various problems.
In the midst comes HelpMeDoc – a venture that aims to improve the doctor-patient relationship and provide a one-stop shop solution for patients around the country. In an interview with My Big Plunge, co-founder Suvro Ghosh talks about how HelpMeDoc works and about his own journey after taking the entrepreneurial plunge.
Mr.Ghosh hails from Calcutta University and always wanted to do something on his own. He went on to launch various ventures in the field of engineering before finally locking on HelpMeDoc a few years back. His idea behind entering the healthcare space was to provide the right and complete information to patients.
“Whatever information was or is available is incomplete. My idea was to provide a complete solution to the people. That is how it started and that is how we are taking it forward. We wanted to give information to people under one roof. We wanted people to come to one site, find a doctor and book the same. They can also book other segments like diagnostics tests and imaging. This way, patients will get an idea of the treatment they can receive. Before they go to the doctor, they have already seen the doctor. All this happes online, “ said Mr. Ghosh.
HelpMeDoc also has provide pharmaceutical solutions where patients can buy prescription medicines. Records of billing and appointments can also be tracked.
The company was not always following the model that it follows today. HelpMeDoc started off in 2009 as a platform to provide psychological assistance and mental health services. Around 35-40 renowned psychologists were working under this platform. Mr.Ghosh and his team later thought that bringing in Indian doctors on a larger scale may smoothen things for patients since this space was quite unorganised.
Mr.Ghosh agrees that healthcare is an unsolved problem on a global level. However, he said that public interaction with services can be the key to improving healthcare.
“People need to come forward and use the solutions provided to them. If you do not have customers, your model will not work. On a larger level, it does not solve the healthcare problem at all. “ said Mr.Ghosh
HelpMeDoc has been bootstrapped since its initial days but now it’s looking forward to a Series A funding.
“We’re looking at expansion and adding more value to our services. We need to grow our marketing team so they can reach out to other spaces. The same thing goes for awareness campaigns. Our success lies when people accept it and use it more and more,“ said Mr.Ghosh.
Speaking on investors, Mr.Ghosh said that he wants investors to understand their concept and not be just a financial support. He added that they need to be long time partners in HelpMeDoc’s journey.
“Right now we have come to this stage when we have around six and a half thousand doctors and around 70 diagnostic tests. We’re looking at a number at least close to US$3-4 million to reach out and make our product even better, “said Mr.Ghosh.
He believes that the healthcare industry in India is all set to grow in the future and become more and more accessible to the common man via cheap usage of technology. He believes that there would be a growth of at least 20-25% in each sector of the industry.
Mr.Ghosh has had a long professional journey. When asked about his entrepreneurial history, he had some interesting things to say.
“It was difficult. It was not very easy. For an entrepreneur, at the end of the day, you can be faced with mixed feelings. Sometimes you may be very happy but sometimes you may be sad. Sometimes we have fights, sometimes we have fun. You always have to be on your toes.
There’s no thumb rule to being a good entrepreneur. If you get a good mentor – good for you. If you don’t, you can still work your way around it. Determination and consistency is the name of the game. You have to identify the problems and build a business sense around them – it just happens. There are a lot of brilliant ideas that one can have but not all of them can be monetized. It happens with the best of us, “said Mr.Ghosh.
On an ending note, Mr.Ghosh spoke about his success mantra. He believes that in the service industry, it is the innovation, honesty and the speed at which you solve problems that can make ventures successful.