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healthcare 07 Dec 2015

Online retail will consolidate distributed services & be a great value addition: Care24 founder

Care24 leverage technology in systems and processes to enforce stringent feedback, monitoring of treatment and reaching the customer 24/7. The Mumbai-based start-up offers care at home through background verified care givers including Nurses, Attendants a

Mumbai’s rapidly growing home health care platform- Care24 was founded by IIT alumni Vipin Pathak, Abhishek Tiwari, Garima Tripathi and Pranshu Sharma to make healthcare easily accessible and affordable to all.

In an exclusive chat with WI Bureau, Vipin Pathak, Co-Founder of Care24 shared some undisclosed facts about his venture, future plans of expansion and more.

What made you conceptualize your wellness venture? Elaborate on the DNA of your business?
All of us, since we live away from home, have at some point of time faced the problem of finding the right caregiver for our parents and loved ones. The present healthcare system lacks the structure and transparency to help people at critical and stressful time. There was no information provided about the caregivers and their background. There was a constant fear about them not showing up for their duties at which point there was no system for providing a replacement. It was these personal tribulations that really lit the fire and inspired us to start Care24.
   We currently operate as a platform that connects patients to the right caregivers, who are on board after going through a stringent verification and training process.

Is it a bootstrapped venture or you raised funds from the market? Share the story of your fund raising process.
The initial traction was driven through boot strapping, but, to scale rapidly, we decided to take on external funding. Till date, we’ve raised $350k from India Quotient and have used that money to rapidly scale our operations across Mumbai and strengthen our technology (front and back-end) and operational processes.

Elaborate on the funding details, highlighting the amount or percentage. How are you going to utilize this fund?
We raised $350k from India Quotient. The funds will be used to further deepen our reach in Mumbai and strengthen our technology and operational processes.

Do the investors offer you other resources required to set up a venture? Do they hold any percentage of stakes in your venture?
Investors have invested in an equity-based model

With growing rage of eHealth in India, do you think start-ups like you may bring a major change in whole ecosystem of the beauty and wellness industry or healthcare sector?
With the rapidly ageing population and already strained healthcare system, home health care is emerging as a real alternative, which is effective in delivering health solutions in a much cost effective manner.

Wellness industry is highly unorganized. Do you think online retail will help the category bring a justified procedure on place?
We feel online retail will help consolidate the various distributed services and also improve delivery of services, which will be a great value addition to the end consumers.

Who are the other existing players in this space having the same business model as your’s? How are you going to strategize your marketing policy in order to gain competitive edge in the space?
At present, our direct competitor would be Portea (Medical). We plan on using technology, both on the customer and caregiver side to make the process highly efficient and optimized so as to minimize time and resource waste.

Elaborate on your revenue model?
We work on a commission based model.

What is the biggest challenge of establishing presence in eWellness space? How do you overcome these challenges?
We feel the biggest challenge in this space is change management – getting people to move from the current way they have been consuming services to a new way, which is more technology enabled and far more efficient. We plan on overcoming these changes by making the technology we build very user friendly and also having 24x7 support system so as to help in the transition process all the while ensuring to our customers a solid value addition and far more optimized delivery of services.

Please throw some light on your geographical presence?
We currently operate at Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and Vasai- Virar.

Elaborate on your pricing strategy and how you are planning to improve it in a bid to improve growth and profit margin?
We believe in having a highly transparent pricing system and intend on improving margins by using technology to optimize the delivery of services, packaging services, so as to provide the customer with an integrated solution and continuity in care, and also cross-selling related services.

Are you in the process of scaling your venture? Which are the areas you are focusing on for technical upgradation?
As a tech based company, our aim is to provide excellent user experience and create product offerings.

What are your future plans?
Our priority is to strengthen our base and deepen our reach within Mumbai. We are currently working on consolidating our technology. In the coming months, we will expand our operations in other states as well.

What are your views over gradually picking up eCommerce in Wellness space? Does it bring lucrative opportunities for beauty and wellness professionals? How, please elaborate.
The next big eCommerce sector in India is going to be in Healthcare. Closely monitoring the patients was earlier only possible in hospitals. With the help of advanced medical technology, the same service can be offered with exceptional ease at home. At the same time, we provide a service where our customers can interact with their caregivers.

Any tips to aspiring tech start-ups in beauty & wellness space?
Be creative, live in the future, analyze the markets and identify the causes of a problem in order to solve them.

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