Surviving your start-up
Doctor C offers the highest quality diagnostic services in 13 cities across India with the concept tha staying healthy should be easier and healthcare can be affordable.
Doctor C offers the highest quality diagnostic services in 13 cities across India with the concept tha staying healthy should be easier and healthcare can be affordable. Started as a small team coming back to India from Silicon Valley, they stand with a team of over 100+ people and work with some of the best healthcare providers in the country. Neehar Cherabuddi, Mansi Gandhi and Karan Kurani, speak to The Hans India explaining the novelty of this start up amidst deluge of start ups.
With the advent of the digital era there has been a deluge of start-ups revolving around technology. However, there are only a few that are novelty. Tell us in brief about your journey and the challenges you faced as a start-up company?
Doctor C was started in 2014. I just came from USA and was looking for better health care in India and how to use technology to deliver better experiences to customers. The biggest challenge we came across was that health care centres in India are not consumer-centric or consumer friendly. So, we built the company to deliver the most consumer-centric healthcare services online.
As you said health care centres in India are not consumer centric what challenges did you face in convincing the sector that they can move online.
The challenges were quite different, at the early stage many people did not believe that health care centre can move online and many health practitioners and customers were hesitant to work with us but slowly in 2017 we could reach to people. The pandemic has led to a rapid expansion of the company. We provide all types diagnostic tests, telemedicine consultancy, testing at home or going to location. Today we are operating in 10 cities across six states and we now stand at 320+ employees.
Your company has raised funds through seed funding. Maybe you are lucky in that respect but it is seen that most of the start-ups are struggling for want of investments and are closing down after couple of months or at the most couple of years. What advice would you give to them?
Most important in today's world before going in for investment is you need to built the business that is demonstrable, whatever you are building should work for the customer and how your customer is adopting your product , understand whether your product is ready to go to the investor is the most important factor to start a start-up. As investor not only looks for a good idea but also for a good team. We could survive , as we had a supportive team and before reaching to larger scale we did lot of research.
There are about 150 million start-ups in the world today. On an average, there are 137,000 start-ups emerging every day. But at the same time the corporate world is fierce. How do you think the start-ups can survive?
It is very important to start new things and almost all the company start as start-up before emerging as a corporate. As we see some companies come with some innovative idea in beginning but slowly the company grows less in renovation. As start-up has lot off risk but a lot of companies who are willing to do new things that is not done before for them start-up is best option and for them we are best example.
Do you think the government is start up friendly though it makes tall claims? Is it really extending a helping hand for the start-ups?
Yes it has become friendly over the years, I hope it continues and gets more friendly in the coming years by promoting more initiatives in the state and central levels. What we have today is better that what all facilities we had five years back.
What more do you think Government should do to encourage particularly in health sector and make start-ups get converted into successful companies?
It is very important to build entrepreneurship culture in any country. So, government should also encourage and support the entrepreneur to grow more. Government should make it easy for the start-up to raise money, as they are already supporting by proving tax holiday. I think government should built an ecosystem where it is easy to start company and easier to get the promoters. The biggest thing that a start-up looks for just making the compliances easier so that they can survive, so government should work on it.
Why do start-ups fail? What's your take on it? What do you advise them?
The biggest reason the start-up failing is not having proper supportive team. Other reason is that to not validate your ideas with enough people. Make sure your business has strong fundamentals and you have to start thinking not how to raise money but how your product can win trust of the customers only than think of raising money.
How to win the trust of customers and how to create loyal customer base?
In health care centre this is most important that we have to be more reliable and safety should be given top priority keeping in mind the current pandemic situation .Trust is built over time but it takes hardly any time to break. You should make sure whenever the customer interacts with you, you are able to give them good service and always treat them as your family member.