Breaking into the Industry as Founder of A Healthcare Startup
Today, you can burn cash, and when you run out, someone else can burn cash and take over your customers. Strive towards achieving sustenance, competitive intelligence, transparency and seamless user experience so that your customer is loyal to you.
India is experiencing a boom in the field of healthcare startups. Due to opacity and disorganization in the Indian healthcare industry, we see a lot of startups with great ideas which solve real problems. The collective innovation of all the healthcare startups present today have increased health awareness among Indian audience.
Entering into the healthcare startup arena as one of the founders of Medicodeal has been relatively easy, but the subsequent fight has been really tough. The mantra behind Medicodeal has always been “Make mistakes, but never repeat them”, and I think this is what keeps us going in such fierce competition.
When we started Medicodeal, we had an entirely different idea, something very different from what we do now – An online marketplace for diagnostic tests, with a vision of becoming a complete healthcare platform. Startup founders usually get carried away with the idea of building an excellent product, which sometimes ends up as a great product which nobody wants. When we actually started building the product, we realized that this might not be something that user is seeking, therefore, we had to pivot from time to time. Building a product that user wants, is not a one-time activity. It is a continuous process which keeps on evolving your product. We made it a point to engage customers through regular feedbacks to understand, if something is hindering a good user experience, not only from the perspective of the product, but holistically from the whole flow of operations involved.
Many startups fear a very big challenge – Competition. When we conceptualized Medicodeal, we did not know of any direct competitors in the market. As we started entering the market, we got to know about many competitors. Many small and many big ones. Some of them had huge publicity and funding to back them and they had already started capturing the market at a fast pace. At first, we could not comprehend our next steps, but gradually we realized that we should strive on finding a competitive advantage which could help us. In some cases, competitive intelligence might be volatile and may not last for long, but it certainly gives you the edge you need.
Indian healthcare industry is based on referrals. If someone has a good overall experience with any medical facility, that person will definitely refer the facility to others. The best we could do as a healthcare startup was to provide a great overall experience to customers. Constant feedbacks, understanding problems, using analytics to see where the users usually get confused or stuck are some major areas we have been focusing on to provide a seamless experience to users.
The “F” word – Funding. We as a budding startup, always got excited at the news of startups getting funded with millions of dollars. We had a similar aim, to get funded. As we progressed and matured as an organization, we realized the key is not to find huge funds, but to build a sustainable business which could actually help us generate good revenue. We had put-in a lot of money from our savings and were on the verge of going broke, which made us realize the value and judicious use of all the money we have. We gave a lot of thought to the outward flow of money, even if it was a penny. The biggest learning, we got from using our own money is to never go for funding unless you are unable to proceed with anything without money. If you are not generating revenue, then there is definitely something wrong. Giving discounts, coupons and unlimited offers is not sustainable. Today, you can burn cash, and when you run out, someone else can burn cash and take over your customers. Strive towards achieving sustenance, competitive intelligence, transparency and seamless user experience so that your customer is loyal to you.
Being a part of a healthcare startup, it feels great to have contributed towards something which actually helps people, along with creating awareness, transparency and knowledge in the field of healthcare to reduce medical corruption and opacity in India.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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