How Mumbai-based startup brings top Indian doctors available online
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
With the evolution of medical care at the patient’s doorstep, India’s healthcare sector has taken a huge step towards growth and wellbeing. Today, top doctors, nurses, medical facilities are just a click away for the ailing consumer.
Taking the healthcare profession a step forward, a Mumbai-based start-up has designed a seamless platform that offers health advice, treatments and medication instructions available on line, that too from the leading doctors of the country.
“There is a highly skewed doctor-patient ratio (1:1800) in Indian healthcare space. In addition, there is scarcity of quality doctors, not only in rural, but urban areas, where the availability of specialist and super specialities is concentrated in few locations.
With the host of information accessible on the internet, it becomes difficult and confusing for the people to find the right information they are looking for. On the contrary, there is a good penetration of smartphones and technology in India. This gap has forced us to develop TopDoctorsOnline.com (TDO), a one-stop digital platform to fulfill any or every healthcare needs,” explained Bharat Bhardwaj, Founder & Chairman, TopDoctorsOnline.com.
Highlighting the past, Bhardwaj recollected, “In 2008-09, there were a lot of reports talking about the future of healthcare on internet, but there was no prominent platform existed in the country then. It is that period when we conceptualized the platform and started TopDoctorsOnline.com.”
The self-funded venture is seeking options to raise funds from renowned VCs / PEs at present to scale-up the platform with additional services and information.
“Once we receive funding, we plan to utilize the same for the expansion and growth of our company. We look forward to create a strong and competent team, expand our team of specialists and key opinion leaders. We also look forward to keep upgrading the technology for a smooth and quick response and usage of the app,” disclosed Bhardwaj.
He further explained, “In future, we are open to dilute the equity in favour of the investors. We look forward to have a positive and healthy relationship with our future investors, and will strive to build a sustainable business model from a long-term perspective.”
Organizing the unorganized space
With the growing experiment in eHealth space, the unorganized healthcare sector has showcased high hopes of shifting towards organized model.
Bhardwaj believe the Indian healthcare segment is currently focused on listing of doctors on digital platforms or marketplaces. Due to which, the online health-tech segment is at a nascent stage in the country, gearing up for a global show.
“Globally, companies like Webmd, HealthTap and ZocDoc are prominent names in the online healthcare segment. The evolution of these companies in developed markets has been fantastic and we see a similar evolution in India with the advent of technology, smartphones and connectivity,” noted he.
Significantly, TopDoctorsOnline.com sees adequate opportunity in playing a central role to connect all stakeholders with the health service seekers. Users will ultimately look forward to a single, trustworthy window, which can help them make right health choices.
Existing market competition
There are multiple players in the market and each of them has their own USPs. However, TopDoctorsOnline.com strives to provide end-to-end services to all the health needs of people on a single platform.
“We are leading mHealth player with the experience of handling 5mn paid users. Being the most experienced player in terms of ‘doctor-patient interactions’, we understand the ‘user-behavior and users needs better than anyone in this market. We have experience of handling over 5 million paid users,” noted Bhardwaj.
Presently offering absolutely FREE services with an objective to provide a 360 degree complete healthcare solution, TopDoctorsOnline is focusing on building and developing trust with consumers and aims to be one-stop destination for all healthcare needs.
“Our current focus is not on revenues but to build a futuristic platform and offer a seamless experience to consumers. Going forward with a substantial user base, we have long term plans of monetisation,” said Bhardwaj.
Challenges of the industry
One of the biggest challenges of establishing online presence in eHealth space is mapping users’ behaviour. With different needs and opinion, it becomes important for the healthcare start-ups to fulfill a certain set of requirements of the wellness seekers, with multiple service options.
A strong point of overcoming the challenges is definitely the experience of handling millions of users. With more experience, it becomes easier to understand the thinking and requirements of different people, which eventually helps in developing the e-platform, taking care of the diverse needs and target of the consumers.
TopDoctorsOnline.com is a mobile app for android users and is in the process of expanding their operations across Middle-east, South-east Asia and Africa.
“Our vision is to be the largest health-tech destination in India. Two years down the line we would like to see ourselves as the most preferred health-tech platform and all the health needs of the users. In future, we shall be expanding our operations in the countries of African continent, Middle-east and south-east Asia in near future,” disclosed Bhardwaj.