Technology-driven and well-being focussed, we make sure to offer highly-trained phlebotomists and precision-driven labs to ensure accuracy and perfection in tests, informs Deepak Sahni, Founder and CEO, Healthians, to Akanki Sharma
What led to the formation of Healthians? What was the idea/reason behind coming up with it?
The idea of starting a diagnostic and wellness company took root when I encountered a gap between what the industry was offering as a diagnostic service and what the consumers needed. I realised that the entire health ecosystem of India is based on a reactive approach, rather than a proactive one. The diagnostic space of the country was traditionally B2B and dependent upon franchise and doctor’s network to reach customers, which again means that we only target people who are already ill.
In a country where more than 50 per cent of the population is below 30 years of age, a reactive approach to healthcare will cost us $4.5 trillion for management of diseases. This sort of in-depth analysis of the market helped us determine that our value proposition would be a cost-effective, standardised and accurate diagnostic service that would enable them to lead healthier lives.
How and where does Healthians function? Is it a pan-India organisation? Who are your customers?
We work on a B2C and customer-centric approach, which makes it unique from existing B2B and franchise model businesses. The model not just offers a better price, convenience and experience apart from quality results, but it also promotes wellness by offering free doctor and diet consultation with every report. Our diagnostic and chronic management plans have proven to be instrumental in effective disease management.
Technology-driven and well-being focussed, we make sure to offer highly-trained phlebotomists and precision-driven labs to ensure accuracy and perfection in tests. The mission is to enable every Indian in pursuing wellness from the comfort of their homes and seamlessly avail reliable testing services. Covering all major metros, we are now present in over 30 cities across India.
What is the current scale of your business in Delhi and in neighbouring states (if any)? Have you received any funding from the government?
Healthians was in incubation stage during the end of 2014. With seed funding from YouWeCan operations started in 2015 in Delhi, our idea was to start from the most competitive and largest market in North India, so that we would get all the learnings necessary to establish and expand our business later. By the end of 2016, we had penetrated deep into the Delhi market and built the technology and processes needed to expand. We entered tier II cities like Lucknow and Kanpur in September 2017; from there, expansion to every city has been a bit easier than the earlier cities. Healthians collects over 3,500 samples daily and 60 per cent of it is from Delhi NCR region. Talking about the government funding, we haven’t received any from the government.
As a startup, what challenges did you face while entering into the market and how did you overcome those?
There have been several challenges along the way. We started as an aggregator of diagnostic labs but within a few months, we changed it from an aggregation to a self-logistics model. The problem with the aggregation model was that while we were generating business for the labs, the collection of samples was under the control of labs. Many a times, the phlebotomist would not reach on time or would not offer a great experience, which was hurting the credibility of the brand. Once we were able to solve this by organising the fragmented phlebotomist handling and monitoring using technology, another challenge on hand was to ensure 100 per cent accurate on-time reports. We took another six to eight months to take control of the labs under our own management and putting technology and process in place for over 150 checkpoints to ensure the best experience for our customers.
How can a patient be assured trust and satisfaction at Healthians?
We have our own sample collection team which is highly trained and the complete process from sample collection to delivery of reports is controlled by technology. With our mobile application, this process becomes seamless for customers, guaranteeing quality and backed with money-back guarantee on accuracy to each of our customers. Apart from this, Healthians is deeply integrated with machines at labs and has robust quality control system. All of our labs are NABL-compliant and we have our quality audit teams and processes that are of international standards.
Kindly elaborate your vision “Adding 10 healthy years to every Indian’s life.” How do you plan to do so?
We offer the benefits of tech intuitiveness helping our customers in living a healthy and better life through our proprietary concepts like CoolSure, Health Karma, SmartPrik, Health Tracker and AI-based reports. Beyond tests, we inform our customers of future health trends, along with medical recommendations, dietary and lifestyle advice on the basis of test reports, medical history and lifestyle inputs. Our AI-based tools help customers improve their lifestyle conditions and timely reminders make them aware about repeating the tests on time. Hence, each step that they take today adds healthy years to their life tomorrow.
Your growth strategy for the next five years?
We plan to grow exponentially both in terms of our customer base and geography in this year. In addition, we expect to cross Rs 100 crore revenue mark and have at least 40 labs under our brand by next year. As we establish ourselves across the country, we are aiming to add over 200 labs and 3,000 phlebotomists across 150 cities over the next 18-24 months.
Healthians team is driven by serving the mandate of helping a billion Indians by improving their lifespan with quality 10 years. We already have over 700,000 households on the platform and hope to double our customer base by 2020.