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This Healthtech Is Collecting Test Samples From Your Doorstep Using Flebo.in, the customer can compare diagnostics labs and choose the best one based on reputation, price, turnaround time and proximity

By Soumya Duggal

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Ashish Vikram, co-founder and CEO, Flebo.in

Dial back time to the most isolating weeks and months over the past two years when stepping outside the house, even to purchase medicines, induced anxiety for fear of getting infected with COVID-19. A significant demand for e-pharmacies and virtual doctor consultations arose, as did that for home-collection of samples for Covid tests due to the realization that physically going to a lab meant exposing oneself to the virus. Thus was born Flebo.in, a health-tech startup to provide sample collection services.

"There was no professional company doing this job. Labs started to employ independent contractors for home collection but customers were always apprehensive about the quality of services: do the home collection agents (phlebotomists) come on time or keep you waiting? Do they use good quality equipment? And so on," recounts Ashish Vikram, co-founder and CEO, Flebo.in.

"Flebo.in was started to provide professional, high-quality phlebotomy services for all labs. The customer can compare labs and choose the best one based on reputation, price, turnaround time and proximity. Our phlebotomists use FDA-certified tools such as patented needles and syringes that self-destruct after the first use to make reusing needles impossible," he continues, adding, "Preventive tests are often skipped by busy Indians because of their hectic lifestyles. We require only five minutes of a person's time at a time and place of their choosing, thus eliminating all excuses for not getting tested regularly."

To achieve such efficiency, Vikram and his team had to build a good pipeline of candidates for hiring high-quality phlebotomists who were focussed on customer satisfaction. An in-house training program ensured these people (both male and female) were skilled and trained for the job, a process informed by customer feedback and a variable salary system based on performance.

"Another big challenge was around building an AI-based IT platform that would handle everything including data integrations with different labs, taking customer bookings, assignment and routing of phlebotomists, enabling customer feedback, tracking on-time collections and report deliveries and automatically calculating employee salaries as well as managing a customer wallet and refunding customers in case of errors or delays."

Initially, the founders used their own funds to finance this venture. They believed in its potential and did not want to go for external funding before proving the entire value proposition, including signing labs, building a pipeline for hiring and training phlebotomists, etc.

"We therefore launched in Delhi NCR as a proof of concept and have in fact demonstrated all of the above. More than 90 per cent of our customers have given us a 4.9 star on a rating with an average rating of 4. Having proved the value proposition, at this point, we do not see any challenges with funding that will allow us to expand country wide. We are in active discussions with multiple VCs," reveals Vikram.

Flebo.in plans to quickly expand its lab aggregator business to support as many pin codes in the country as possible over the next two years.

Soumya Duggal

Former Feature Writer

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