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Healthcare 26 Dec 2014

We re-engineer our platform for better traction: Manu Grover, Founder, Healthgenie

Established in October 2012, Healthgenie.in claims to be the second largest player in the online healthcare sector in India. The portal brings expertise from the parent company of GST Corporation, a dealer and manufacturer of surgical, medical and scienti

Tell us more about Healthgenie.in. What made you conceptualise this website?
Healthgenie.in is a focused e-tailing platform that offers myriad healthcare and wellness products, and services to online customers in India with a philosophy of ‘Nurturing Wellness’. Established in October 2012, Healthgenie.in brings its expertise from the parent company GST Corporation, which is one of the leading exporters and manufacturers of surgical, medical and scientific equipment since 1959.

Healthcare has always been our primary focus and forte. Taking the legacy forward, the inception of Healthgenie.in was a very natural progression for us to move from B2B to B2C. The healthcare industry is slated to grow to $280 billion by 2020 and e-commerce is the fastest mode to reach out to a larger target group of consumers.

With 28 per cent of Indian specialist physicians living in rural areas, about 58 per cent of population (700 million) certainly lacked an effective delivery mechanism. Thus, we plan to seize the huge market potential that the healthcare industry holds by reaching out to millions of Indians living in urban and rural areas.

How has been the consumers’ response so far? Which category of products has maximum consumer demand and why?
Today, Healthgenie.in has over 100,000 registered members and the customer base is consistently growing at 10 per cent every month. We have adopted a seamless process and have worked out the entire business model focusing to make it very consumer-centric. This has resulted in a very high customer satisfaction ratio, where more than 87 per cent of our customers tend to come back to us for repeat purchase and they refer Healthgenie.in to their friends.

We have approximately 1.5 million monthly page views, with almost half a million fans on Facebook making us No.1 healthcare e-tailing site on social media.  On overall good days, we dispatch nearly 300 orders, which is 30 per cent higher transaction size than average industry standards.

Fitness and Nutrition category which includes multivitamins, specialty nutrition and supplements is the biggest contributor to our revenue. With everyone becoming health conscious, fitness, nutrition and supplementation has become an essential need everyone’s life today.

Healthgenie.in offers more than 1,500 products under this segment and is making strong endeavors to educate fitness enthusiasts about related products and their benefits. Healthgenie.in also caters to segments like sports equipment, diabetes, homecare, wellness, personal care, elderly care as well as baby & beauty products.

What challenges you’ve faced while launching this e-retailing portal? How did you convert them in opportunities?
E-commerce is booming in India with big investments and surplus funds. To be a dominant player in the industry, it takes billions to reach out to the customers. Since we are bootstrapped and short of resources at present, we seek organic growth as an option to grow in this industry.

Therefore, to evolve ourselves as one of the key players in e-commerce sector, we have converted into a lean organisation with customers as our brand ambassadors. Our core strategy is to convert ‘friction to traction’ by analysing the needs and desires of the customer and turning them into opportunities for us.

Customers’ feedback is the key for our business because on the basis the same we re-engineer our e-tailing platform for creating better traction towards it.  Better user interface, better product descriptions and hand holding our customers in decision making has resulted in 87 per cent of customer satisfaction and higher conversion rate.

Today, we are the second largest player in the online healthcare market in India. Portal traction and acceptance was initially a great challenge for us. However, customers’ loyalty and product vertical expertise has helped us convert our weakness into our biggest strength.

How is the market of healthcare products in India in comparison with international market? How do you rate the Indian market in this category?
The international market is government subsidised or socially securitised as compared to India’s healthcare, which lacks proper infrastructure and ecosystem. In India, we have 28 per cent of doctors for 58 per cent of rural population spreading over 90 per cent of our land, which is a big demographic challenge and a serious mismatch.

However, the recent rise in GDP and the yearning for basic healthcare amenities among the population has helped and allowed e-tailing players in healthcare to dive in for the opportunities present for them in the sector. With healthcare industry slated to grow by $280 in another 5 years in India, the healthcare e-commerce is bound to explode in near future.

Spread some light over your marketing and promotional strategies? How impactful it was gaining and capturing the e-retail market in span of just two years?
We follow a 360 degree integrated marketing strategy to increase our bandwidth and create a strong presence in online space. Reaching out to our customers and listening to them is a key priority for us as we believe customer feedback is valuable for continual innovation and improvement as a brand.

For Healthgenie.in, customers are the real brand ambassadors who have helped us to attain No. 2 position in the healthcare e-tailing platform in just two years.  We have been successful in converting customers’ pain points into loyal points by unearthing the underlying hidden opportunities beneath the customers’ needs and desires.  Our customers’ loyalty, trust and confidence has benefited in etching a success story for Healthgenie.in.

How often do you upgrade your products category, technology and surpass relevant quality checks? Does it impact the overall progress of your business? If yes, then with how much percent in last financial quarter?
We are a niche focused healthcare vertical and a subscription based catalogue company with a high repeat business, like diabetes, elder care, nutrition supplements, women health care etc. To grow, we still need to master the depth first, niche within niche, before we look to expand the category width. We still have a 30 times more growth opportunity within our niche healthcare domain.

Healthgenie.in is boot strapped or you have raised funds from the investors? If yes, then please share your investors’ detail.
Even though we have been bootstrapped, we have attained the Number 2 position purely by providing a better user interface along with an end to end solution to our customers. We are constantly being approached and are in discussions with few of the strategic investors/funds. Once we are funded, we would be able to grow by 8-10 times in the next 18-24 months, gunning for the leading position.

How much is the growth of the online retail portal in span of two years? What are your future plans?
Healthgenie.in has seen an average growth of 50 per cent year-on-year since its launch. Going forward, we plan to set up offline specialty stores that will help expand our reach becoming a truly omni-channel player to enhance our visibility, trust, sales and branding. We are also looking at setting up an online hybrid delivery mechanism for pharmacy products. Our Android mobile app is being launched this month followed by iOS to be able to help our customers connect seamlessly with us. We are also evaluating markets to scale up our venture internationally.

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