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Curofy- Startup That Is Changing Healthcare In India

Curofy is a medical networking app that enables communication between doctors. With Curofy, doctors can easily find other doctors, call them with a single tap, and connect to collaborate on patient cases.

Curofy is a medical networking app that enables communication between doctors. With Curofy, doctors can easily find other doctors, call them with a single tap, and connect to collaborate on patient cases.

TEAM BWDISRUPT MET WITH CO-FOUNDER AND SPOKE TO THEM

How did the entrepreneurial bug bite you?

All three of us wanted to start something of our own and were part of different initiatives at college. In the final year in 2012 at a midnight coffee break the idea of starting something popped up and everyone agreed to it.

We initially started working in healthcare sector with a medical tourism company. The business was lucrative and
offered good margins too. As we were performing our job of bringing overseas patients to India, we figured out a bigger problem on which the medical tourism industry was thriving upon – the connectivity among doctors was lacking and it was highly inefficient. It was then that we dropped that business, took jobs with MNCs and continued researching about the concept of medical networking in India. Till May 2014, we had met more than 1,000 doctors and the need was evident.

Soon, we left our jobs and started with Curofy. We initially built a website and ran a pilot to realise that mobile was the way to go. But as we were able to reach out to a 1,000 doctors and receive their feedback, it helped us in further understanding their needs and behaviour, which went into our mobile app design and development. We killed our website and became a mobile only company.

In January 2015, we started alpha phase of the mobile app to receive user feedback and launched on Play Store in early Feb. Now we have about 60,000 doctors on our app.

What is your Product or Service / Offerings to Customer?

Curofy is India’s largest community of verified doctors. Over 60,000 doctors from 350+ cities are using Curofy to discuss difficult cases, read latest medical news and browse premium jobs. Curofy‘s biggest USP is its verification process where they verify each and every doctor before allowing them access. It instills a lot of trust among the doctors. And hence the high engagement.

The app is also changing the way the medical industry reaches out to doctors. Curofydelivers an extremely high level of engagement among doctors. Through Curofy, these businesses are able to digitally engage this community with targeted content based on indicated areas of interest.

What were the challenges before you while setting up this startup?

The biggest challenge was to drive traffic from WhatsApp to Curofy. Doctors have a high inertia in changing their behavior. We gave them a very easy to use product with high utility. Providing them a spam free with very high relevance for each user was the key. The word is spreading now amongst the doctors and the network is growing rapidly.

What are the challenges for startup companies setting up shop in India?

The biggest issue faced by the healthcare startups in India is that there is no clarity in regulations when it comes to digitalisation in the healthcare sector including all categories, weather it is online pharmacy or pharma or medical networking.  India lacks an apex body like HIPAA, hence compliance is still a grey area in the industry

If there is more clarity for these startups, there will a clear set of path for them to grow and expand on a faster pace which will inturn help the Indian healthcare eco-system to grow. Infact, the government should ease the laws and regulations for the startups for them to make India stand out in the global scenario. The recent impetus by the government under startup India is a welcome change.

Finding right kind of talent is another big challenge faced by startups. It is very difficult to explore and sustain right type of people in your organisation.

How is your business model different from the existing ones?

Curofy is changing behavior of doctors, making them adopt this closed social media through its relevance based algorithm, which keeps the platform targeted and spam free. Strong verification process helps in maintaining the authenticity and trust in the community. Being mobile only, it has a very high engagement of doctors on the network. It is creating a huge impact in the digital healthcare industry by increasing supply of “online active” doctors. Curofy aims at building a comprehensive platform for the doctors.

Who are your clients? How do you look at expanding?

Since the launch, we have over 60,000 verified doctors from 350 cities have registered on the app. There are users from all leading hospitals on Curofy app including AIIMS, Apollo, Max, Fortis, Medanta, Narayana, Cygnus and Columbia Asia. At corporate level also, we are helping many hospitals including St Johns, Apollo, Fortis, Park, Rockland, W Pratiksha, Cygnus, Columbia Aisa and Saket City. We are also working with selected pharma and medical devices companies to help them reach out to doctors in a non intrusive way. Just to sum it all up, every stakeholder in the industry looking to reach out to the doctors are our potential clients.

The best and worst memories while setting up..

Each day of this journey has been exciting. It feels really great to see the impact that we are creating in doctors’ lives and in the digital healthcare industry. Changing behavior of an industry is very difficult and we have made some serious progress in this direction.

One recent incident that got all of us excited was sudden increase in traffic after we launched our News feature to provide comprehensive daily news digest from industry to doctors in their areas of interest. Couple of days after launch, our traffic suddenly tripled and our server went down due to a tremendous jump in the number of downloads and high engagement of doctors on the application. It’s every startup’s delight to have this problem. We were glad to have it so soon

Whereas, the worst memory would be when I was juggling between my job and Curofy during the initial days. Sleepless nights and work pressure continued for 2 months till the time I decided to quit my job and focus on Curofy.

Your Marketing Plans so that world know you..

Most of our new users are coming through word of mouth. However, we are also doing offline and online marketing. I would say, online has worked better for younger doctors and offline is working better for experienced ones. We experiment a lot with all the various online marketing channels and double down on the ones which fetch better results.

Conferences are the best medium for engaging with the users. For this, Curofy has covered more than 10 medical conferences in the country this season including the biggies like ASICON, APICON, DERMACON,  PEDICON among others. These have been perfect opportunities to interact with our end users to understand user behaviour and needs.


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