When Ravi Virmani, a former COO of Max Healthcare, became inundated with frantic calls from friends and relatives seeking ‘insider’ information about the best hospital or best specialist, he identified a real need in the healthcare industry for credible, reliable and transparent healthcare information system. This led him to lay the foundation of Credihealth.com, which further received full support from co-founders Saurabh Uboweja and Gaurav Gagger, who truly believed in the idea of this venture and were prepared to invest their time, effort and money in making Credihealth.com a reality!
Ravi Virmani, Gaurav Gaggar and Saurabh Uboweja together brought extensive business, technical and operational experience in this venture. Virmani is a successful business leader and a serial entrepreneur. Before Credihealth.com, he had co-founded Noble House in his garage in New Delhi, which was later acquired by Hewitt. He then served as the MD of Hewitt Associates India for many years. After serving as MD of Hewitt South Asia and CEO of Aventus Consulting (both in Singapore), he returned to India as COO of Max Healthcare. Virmani is an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur.
A successful chartered accountant, investment banker and an e-venture co-founder, Gaggar has over 10 years of experience in transaction advisory, resource mobilisation and valuation. He has advised a number of M&A and private equity transactions. Post his tenure with Delloitte in 2010, Gaggar donned his entrepreneurial hat and co-founded two successful e-gaming ventures.
On the other hand, Uboweja has been running a holistic brand consulting and design firm – Brands of Desire, where has consulted startups, mid-size and large size companies (including diversified business groups) on their brand strategy. Prior to Brands of Desire, he worked for Citigroup. Uboweja is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta.
In the late 2013, the trio launched Credihealth.com with a few hundred doctors and hospitals available in Delhi, with a seed capital of Rs 3 crore. In the early 2014, the website was upgraded to beta version. Today, its services are available in more than 400 hospitals across Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and it will soon be available in Chennai.
Credihealth.com is a patient oriented marketplace for healthcare that provides end to end services including information on various medical ailments, doctors, hospitals, treatments and their implications and post treatment care. Credihealth’s core business lies in providing its customers with credible, reliable and detailed information about hospitals and healthcare providers.
The USP of Credihealth lies in its offerings for hospitalisation industry. Whereas, other players in the e-healthcare services market focus on the stand-alone clinics and outpatient consults. “A major differentiator between Credihealth and other healthcare portals is that Credihealth is not just a ‘book appointment’ site, it provides personalised services to each and every patient. Credihealth is committed to creating a healthier and happier community – one person at a time,” says Uboweja.
Credihealth’s ‘virtual clinics’ provide end-to-end information about complicated medical conditions to patient, and also offer curated videos of patients who have been through similar health conditions and treatments. Interviews of renowned medical specialists are also available on Credihealth’s website, giving insights on different treatment options available. Credihealth also organises live chats among potential patients and specialist doctors in order to pacify patients, who are about to undergo serious treatment. The company is also building customised offline solutions for schools, colleges and corporate, wherein, their staff and other stakeholders can benefit from its services.
In a country like India, where doctors are approached through word-of-mouth or through family members’ recommendations, entering into the digital healthcare space is a challenging task for any entrepreneur.
“Building trust among patients that their medical problems could now be personally catered by doctors through internet was the primary challenge. Surprisingly, 2014 has been an overwhelming year for Credihealth. Within months, we have served over 20,000 patients for their hospital needs. Such a response has given us tremendous encouragement,” recalls Virmani.
Having worked in the healthcare industry before, Virmani is well-connected with doctors and hospitals. His familiarity with the industry and a knack for creating a capable team of relationship managers helped Credihealth overcome initial difficulty and enter into the digital healthcare space in India with all leading hospitals.
When asked about the market scenario of healthcare industry in India, Gaggar says, “According to our research, the healthcare industry is predicted to grow from $40 billion in 2010 to $280 billion in 2020, and e-healthcare services are estimated to reach approximately 10 per cent of this figure. We are the biggest player in North India.”
Currently, the online healthcare startup is funded by six investors. Credihealth earns their revenue from market development fee from hospitals, since they are a source of patients. The startup plans to launch in 15 major cities across the nation this year and eventually wants to cover the entire Indian geography.
Credihealth works as an additional sales channel for the hospitals, diagnostic centers and other healthcare partners. In addition to market development fees model and subscription model, Credihealth is exploring more revenue streams in online and offline space.
Its primary area of focus is to help people deal with all non-clinical pain points during their hospital journey. The idea is to set the benchmark for all healthcare services providers. “I can see my passion come alive through Credihealth and look forward to provide much better and enhanced support to patients. We are excited that the train has left the station,” concludes Virmani.