In conversation with Franchise India, Ashok Jain, Founder & CEO, Lifespan India shares how he supports people against diabetics.
Tell us in detail about your journey from inception till now?
The idea came when I was diagnosed with diabetes 22 years back. In 1995, I was pronounced a diabetic with a reading of 429 mg/dL. Eighteen years of struggle and discoveries inspired me with a vision of Lifespan Clinics which would cater to all diabetes management clinics to help and support people like me. My own trials with diabetes and those of my various family members made me grapple with the question on how a control over diabetes could be achieved. It culminated into Lifespan three years ago. Today, we have 33 clinics around the country, treated about 40,000 patients and every month, we come across about 4000 patients, of which 1500 are new.
What is unique about your services?
As a patient, Lifespan has a fairly professional environment with everything under one roof, right from diagnosis to speaking to a dietitian, educator, diabetologist. Lifespan also has anti-diabetic-customised food products available at the clinic. The convenience that you can reach out through emails or phone or any form of electronic consultation is another USP. The phlebotomist comes home to take patient’s blood. So, life becomes easy and convenient for the patient. Diabetes is a hassle-some disease. So, we don’t want that added hassle of waiting for a doctor, going to a diagnostic centre, finding products in another place etc.
What are the challenges in franchising that you want your investors to know?
The investors need to have patience to develop the business and ability to stabilise it.
What criteria do you follow for selecting franchisees on board?
What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchisees?
We appoint a corporate trainer who provides on-site training as well as a franchisee standardised manual to help resolve timely queries. We also hold regular Skype and online training and all franchisees are kept abreast with any upgradation in services. We also offer a technical team for any and all problems. We provide facilities for business support through print and digital medium, local activities with camps and health surveys.
Typically for an investor who is planning to invest in the diabetic centre, what are the factors that he/she should keep in mind?
Why did you choose the franchise route for your expansion?
What are your expansion plans?
Diabetes is an omnipresent disease in India and worldwide. 10 percent of Indians are diabetic, but 20 percent of Indians are pre-diabetic. This means one out of every three adult Indian has some stage of diabetes, which is huge. There is no other disease in terms of prevalence; therefore, you require a huge amount of effort to deal with this. Given the prevalence of diabetes, I want to open 2000 Lifespan clinics around India.