The Covid Test Innovator

A move that is set to revolutionize Covid-19 testing in India

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One thing Covid has brought for businesses is opportunities of a newer scale. Had it not been for Covid, Avani Singh (daughter of Ajay Singh, Founder, SpiceJet) would have not thought about getting into healthcare. “I never planned for this. Around October, I started getting a little restless. Covid wasn’t going away any soon and cases were increasing. We came up with the idea of mobile labs with a low cost of tests. It didn’t make sense why the cost is so high.” SpiceHealth’s first mobile testing laboratory was inaugurated at ICMR, AIIMS on November 23. The Company’s pioneering and first-of-its-kind initiative follows the successful launch of its first mobile testing facility offering the most affordable RT-PCR testing at Rs. 499. SpiceHealth is a health care company founded by the promoters of SpiceJet and led by Avani Singh.

After completing her Bachelor’s and her Master’s both from Stanford University in the US, Avani was working as a Business Analyst at McKinsey and company. Because of Covid, she started working from home in India, March 2020 onwards. Talking about her mentors in this journey, the 24-year-old says, “I spoke to a lot of people because I am not from a healthcare background. You can learn only by doing and speaking to professionals who have done this for years. I spoke to professors at Stanford and leaders in healthcare at CSIR and at IIT.” In three months they have already expanded to three states including Delhi, Haryana, and Maharashtra. Currently, each mobile lab is capable of doing 3000 tests a day. Singh states that 7 lakh tests have already been conducted. “In the pandemic when there was an urgent need of a solution that got me into healthcare,” adds Singh. Her company will soon be helping at the Kumbh Mela. While working with the government you can ensure a large impact, believes Singh. On future plans, Singh mentions, “We started with Covid but that is not everlasting. We plan to launch other tests. We hope to keep on expanding with other tests like TB, HIV. Covid test is the most immediate need of the hour first but diagnostics will be the bread and butter for SpiceHealth.”

“I had exposure to SpiceJet in recent years when I would come home for Summer Internship from college. I spent couple of summers shadowing my Father, trying to participate.”

Singh’s parents and grandparents have been into business which gave her early exposure to the business. “I had exposure to SpiceJet in recent years when I would come home for a summer internship from college. I spent a couple of summers shadowing my father, trying to participate,” shares Singh. She also started pursuing flying at Stanford flying club and received her Private Pilot License last year. Before deciding to join her father, Singh wanted to spend some time doing building her own toolkit. So that when she enters, she should be well equipped. But destiny had different plans. As Singh mentions about her father telling her, “He always says in adversity there is always an opportunity. He said it’s up to you if you want to do it I will support you but it's hard work and the impact you will be making is incredible.” Her move is being seen as revolutionary.

(This article was first published in the March 2021 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)