Navia Life Care- Improves the Lives of People through Innovative Products and Services

Navia Life Care was founded by Kunal Kishore Dhawan, Gaurav Gupta and Shourjo Banerjee in 2015.

Navia Life Care is a health focused on building software solutions aimed at improving health and clinical outcomes through increased patient compliance, adherence, monitoring and engagement. They aim to provide customized solutions to various stakeholders in the ecosystem, including but not limited to doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical and insurance companies etc, aiding in effective patient monitoring to enable smarter and faster decision making in the ecosystem. 

Navia Life Care was founded by Kunal Kishore Dhawan, Gaurav Gupta and Shourjo Banerjee in 2015. Kunal is an alumnus from Carnegie Mellon University, holding a Masters in Biotechnology and Management, and has worked in global companies such as Fresenius Kabi, PwC, Abbott and Ranbaxy, while Gaurav holds an MBA from ISB, and experience working with several cleantech and chemical businesses. Shourjo is the CTO, holding a degree in Computer Engineering from University of Wisconsin, and has experience working with Freescale semiconductors in the fields of network architecture and computer systems.

While working in the pharmaceutical industry, Kunal identified the problem of low patient compliance and adherence, and wished to address this through technology. What started off as a simple pill reminder application, has evolved into a holistic health management platform, focusing on marked improvements in health outcomes. From a direct B2C strategy, the company pivoted its business model to now involve building solutions for other healthcare entities, which could include doctors, clinics, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance, and even organizations in the social sector with a focus on health – each with their own set of requirements and challenges to tackle patient interactions and engagement.

USP and Key Points + Differentiators: Their USP comes from their clear focus on patient compliance and its allied aspects, and building the product offering around that. Another thing they hold very dear is the team experience in healthcare plus their strong advisory board full of veterans from the startup, product and services ecosystem.

However, the most important differentiator comes from constant innovation and flexibility to understand the customer needs and change the product based on that. Instead of asking the customer to drastically change the way they operate, their focus is on integrating the product to their existing systems, reducing backlash and lowering resistance.

Funding status and monetization model: They are operating on a B2B model, where the development, customization and deployment of their product for the healthcare institution is monetized. Upon successful deployment, a subscription model which takes care of maintenance as well as regular updates to the app product, is employed.

Navia Life Care raised an angel round of funding from Benori Ventures LLP in April 2017. Benori is led by former Evalueserve COO and co-founder of Ashoka University, Ashish Gupta, for whom Navia was a first investment in the healthcare sector.

Challenges faced: The biggest challenge faced by Navia till date has been the resistance to adopt technology by healthcare organizations, be it doctors, clinics or hospitals. Lack of regulatory requirements also disincentivizes them to adopt technology and electronic medical records in day to day operations. However, there is a shift in mindset coming, and more and more players are opening up their minds and doors to it. Plus, with Navia’s willingness to integrate with existing HMS providers, there is strong incentive for hospitals and providers to adopt the technology. Additionally, there are smaller problems such as low internet coverage, inexperience of doctors with technology, and high number of players in the sector.

Customer’s response: A shift in customer mindset is happening over time, with more and more of them willing to try out the impact of technology in hospital operations or patient support programs by pharmaceutical companies. Their customers have shown satisfaction in their products, but with the release of some innovative features such as treatment templatizations, digital prescriptions and speech-to-text, along with AI-powered health management bots, it is likely to pick up more traction.

Traction details and achievements: Navia Life Care has converted 4 healthcare organizations into paying customers, with a potential patient base of over 100,000 since April 2017. They are looking to raise the number to 15 before the turn of the year, while clocking a revenue of around Rs. 30 lakh, potentially breaking even by that time.

Navia has had several achievements over the past months. This includes getting into the Exhibit Hottest 100 startups, Yourstory’s 8 digital health startups to watch out for, and recently qualifying for the final of the ET Catapooolt Changemakers campaign. In Feb 2017, Navia won the People’s choice award for the Most Promising and High Potential Award at the Nasscom Product Conclave North 2017.

Expansion and Marketing Plans: Being a B2B company, their marketing involves approaching healthcare providers, and understanding the requirements to develop a customized product. Development and deployment of the app usually takes between 2-4 weeks, which includes testing and training. While their focus is on converting the Delhi-NCR market currently, they are open to receiving requests from outside as well. They will target the Indian market initially, and look to go international at a later stage. They are open to partnering with social enterprises and medical societies as well, along with HMS providers who may wish to expand their product offering to include patient-facing applications as well.

Market Size and opportunity: Navia Life Care is keen to address a growing and an often overlooked problem in the healthcare industry – treatment adherence and compliance. Studies conducted in 17 countries found that 40% patients do not adhere to prescribed treatments to completion, while 20% prescriptions go unfulfilled. The doctor to patient ratio in India is abysmal, with the Indian Statistical Institute pegging this number to be 1 doctor to approximately 1,700 people. This ratio poses serious doubts in the effective monitoring of patients on a regular basis, and the quality and quantum of care being offered. 20-30% patients never go back after the first or the second appointment, and in the absence of translatable electronic records, leads to the conclusion that the system cannot track the progress of these patients. They are tackling the problem through the network of around 100,000 public and private medical institutions (hospitals and providers; individual clinics come separately) along with 200-odd pharmaceutical companies operating in the country.

Biggest Learnings: Healthcare industry in the country cries out for a systemic change – one which makes the different players come together under standard guidelines and operating practices, as well as increases communication between parties, instead of silos that they currently operate in. However, the change has to come slowly steadily, for which Navia has envisioned a plan. By penetrating the hospital market, and by building a complementary, rather than conflicting offering, they hope to add value and contribute. Healthcare institutions are slow to adopt new technologies, but are still open to trying them out. Hence, patience and perseverance is critical. Asking them to conform is foolhardy, while making the change at your company level is still manageable, and should be the first priority.

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