"If You Are An Innovator, You Have To Create Your Own Road"
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Leading the India business for one of the biggest U.S. healthcare company had given Varun Gera a fair idea about the dire need for innovation and opportunity in impacting the life of people in day-to-day healthcare needs.
HealthAssure, a primary care services aggregator was founded by Varun Gera, former CEO of United Healthcare India. Over the last four years the company has grown by building a network of 2000 primary care centres in India across 800 cities.
Talking about the burgeoning competition in India in the health-tech space, Varun said that every company is out there trying to make people live a healthier life. Citing an example of primary care, he said that the entire industry has evolved from having family doctors to having various other solutions.
“If you are an innovator, you have to create your own road,” he added.
What impresses an investor about a health-tech company?
With venture fund wagons like Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners pouring money on innovative health-care solutions, it becomes very important to get the right kind of attention from investors.
According to Varun said that healthcare, being a very complicated sector, a background in the sector is a key thing that a VC seeks. Additionally investors also look for the idea, the problem one is trying to solve and the technology, he said.
HealthAssure was initiated to service consumer market gap for healthcare services for network access, discount & knowledge. The company has even forayed to address the discrepancies in the health benefits offered in India's vast SME sector.
Varun aims to onboard 3 million customers in the next two years at the company and also foray into the international markets.
From being a corporate leader to an entrepreneur
Talking about his transition from being a corporate guy to making an effort to make a difference in the Indian market as an entrepreneur himself, Varun said that there exists a tremendous opportunity and energy in the ecosystem in India.
According to Tracxn data, over $338 million has been invested in Consumer Healthcare sector since 2009. Recently this space has seen exponential growth in funding with $285M invested since 2015 in 81 deals.
Healthcare delivery solutions for doctors have seen maximum activity with more than $159M of funding in 33 rounds since 2009. Out of 841 companies, 87 companies are funded as of April 2016.