India is slowly, but steadily growing in terms of preventive healthcare and wellness industry.
Harish Pillai, COO, Indus Health Plus, Pune in conversation with wellnessindia.com stated that it is matter of time and efforts that people from all over the world will come to India for its expertise in the field on Preventive Healthcare and wellness industry. As per him, India is meant to grow more and is already accelerating in both the sectors.
Tell us about your company’s journey?
Our company started in 2000 and what happened was our founder, Mrs. Kanchan Naikawadi lost her father due to cancer and 8 months they suffered due to chemotherapy and other treatments, which they had to pay for and same time losing the person at the end after so many efforts. So, this was the trigger point that helped us to start the company.
When we started the company, we began first in Pune. All hospitals and diagnostic centres were practicing preventive healthcare in the form of either pre-employment checkups or executive health checkups. We wanted to do the same thing in a different way. We decided to go door to door, house to house and do comprehensive checkups.
So, as we progressed with the idea, we understood this is what people want, but at a very low price. Comprehensive checkups are expensive, so we pondered on how we could do such check-ups at a cheaper price. So, we thought if we’ll do large volumes, we can bring the price down and that is exactly what we have done. We deliver pre-employment checkups in the market which are nearly at 50% of the market price.
According to you, which sector in the healthcare industry is accelerating at a rapid speed as compared to others?
I think data management, healthcare data, IT healthcare- all these are in lot of need for consolidation of software .Even within several hospitals chains, data isn’t compatible with each other. So, I think that data integration and data analytics is the going trend. Preventive is also a growing field. Specialised treatment as well as use of technology and a specialised stand among hospitals, these are also at growth.
How has technology helped you in your business so far?
Since we have more than 6, 00,000 clients, we have to manage large amounts of data. So, we have our own data centre and at the start the temptation was to whether to go on cloud or have our own data centre. We went in with our own data centre.
After we managed our data, in earlier days we used to give the check-up reports which are physical copies of paper. Then a client who visited us, we used to store their data and that is when we started managing an electronic health record system wherein we store this data with delicate login ids with passwords. Now, the next phase is when the customer is going to ask to deliver his/her data in the form of mobile application. I think we have already started working on that and that is the way we would be going.
We also have 20+ call centres which help in facilitating in this process of checkups. So, integrating the BPO, KPO and data centre- all this when put together helps a lot. Now, we are going the last mile with mobile applications. This is the way we are going with the help of technology
Which specific areas in the Healthcare industry are you mostly focusing on through Indus Health Plus?
|We are focusing on preventive healthcare and we are firstly focusing on B2C where we are doing retail. We were going door to door, house to house and also selling packages to the agents. Then, we have also started with B2B. We are present in 78 cities with more than 122 hospitals as partners. So, that is where they started to find Indus as a one-step solution and we have spread in multiple locations in the country. Some other companies are also looking at us, whether we can provide their new services to the customers across multiple geographies in the world. We are also getting into wellness because people are not only talking about preventive healthcare, but they are asking us to keep their people or employees healthy right throughout the year and that’s why we have started adding elements of wellness into our portfolio.
Can you shed some light on the idea of preventive healthcare?
In this country, one in four Indians suffer from cardiac or is a potential cardiac victim and one in ten is a diabetic, whereas cancer is the third largest disease. More than 63 million people in India suffer from cardiac vascular diseases; 70 million people suffer from diabetes. Every year, around 6 lakh people are added to the cancer stream as fresh patients. So, these are huge numbers and it needs a concerted effort by not only companies like us, but also from players in the private sectors and the government to come together and fight this expanding web of cardiovascular diseases which are causing great damage to our people.
What are your predictions about the wellness industry in the times to come?
I believe that India certainly has a huge role to play and will soon become a global destination because from the wellness part of it, we already have a very strong heritage and traditions in terms of Ayurvedic medicines, Unani medicines and several other traditional forms of medicines, which are very well documented and have a huge scientific base . So, it is just a matter of time wherein the entire world realises our expertise in these. In modern medicines also, we have islands of excellence in the form of several corporate hospitals like AIIMS, other government hospitals. I am sure it is just a matter of time before people across the world recognise this. Already we have good chunk of people coming in from Middle East and other developed countries for medical tourism. I am very confident that slowly people from across the world will come in for curative processes, but they will also come in for preventive and wellness programmes with specific kind of flavour.
What are your future expansion plans?
As I have shared with you, we are present in 78 cities and more than 122 hospitals are our partners for our B2C model. For our B2B model, we are delivering check-ups for companies in more than 300 locations in the country. We are also now spreading our wings cautiously across various geographies and we are also delivering for companies across the world. So, this is one geographical expansion we are looking at.
In terms of product portfolio, we are increasing it in segments which we are trying to capture through our preventive programmes. We are also looking into wellness initiatives which supplement the prevention in curative programmes.