From highly specialised home health care to remote disease management healthcare startups today are meticulously using technology innovation and imagination to revolutionise services. In fact experts believe that intelligent entrepreneurship is the way forward to solve India’s complex healthcare challenges. Factors such as changing demography and rising awareness combined with the fact that this is the golden age for startups have prompted many budding entrepreneurs to dive into the healthcare business. nbsp;However a good business idea and a favourable environment are not enough to guarantee success. Often brilliant business ideas are undone by patchy execution and misguided planning. So if an entrepreneur looking to launch their own health startup then heshe should consider the following.
First one should never underestimate the importance of thorough market research. Many ideas that look good on paper and have been highly successful in some other markets may fall flat when executed in your environment. Lack of market readiness market saturation and population preferences are just some of the factors that need to be studied effectively before venturing out with an idea. For instance if one’s medical startup is offering low cost treatment for Hepatitis C it stands to be most successful in a region where HCV infection is most prevalent.nbsp;
To take another example before rolling out a digital startup it is not just the Internet penetration that needs to be checked other related factors such as the age and type of Internet users and their behavioural patterns also need to be studied. One must take the help of professional market researchers to make sure they meet the requirements for the intended market. nbsp;
Second one should look for partners as healthcare is a porous field where a large number of organisations work alongside each other. A sizeable number of hospitals pharma companies government bodies and NGOs have established a presence and market base. Therefore it makes sense to partner with such organisations as that would help one to reach out to their user base more easily. One must also learn to work in tandem with others and jump into collaborations wherever possible mdash; a diagnostic facility can benefit from partnering with a hospital chain an online platform for doctors will benefit from having reputed hospitals on board in return of providing greater visibility to their doctors.nbsp;
Third one must be ready for the long haul. A budding entrepreneur may have heard or read stories about unicorn companies that entered the big league within a year or two of starting up. However it is imperative to remember that returns do not come so quickly in the healthcare sector. A number of factors such as regulatory hurdles behavioural patterns of the population and less amenability of investors towards healthcare make the sales cycle longer in this field. So one must go in with a lot of patience.
Fourth one has to make sure that investors are on the same page. When it comes to healthcare profitability is not the only agenda on one’s table; an urge to bring about a positive change in the lives of people is a parallel driving force. A successful medical startup has the potential to impact millions of lives in a positive way. Therefore it is essential to have investors who understand that aspect of one’s business ambition.nbsp;
It is imperative to find someone who shares one’s vision both for profitability as well as social responsibility. Bringing on board investors who possesses some knowledge of the chosen medical field is an added bonus as it avoids unnecessary friction of values.nbsp;
Last one has to hire people who know healthcare. One does not need a doctor on board but definitely some people who have knowledge about healthcare regulations and rules as well as pertinent health issues are required. One must bear in mind that hiring for a health startup is different from hiring for other businesses. Every aspect of a healthcare startup mdash; from completing regulatory formalities to conducting social media outreach mdash; requires specialised knowledge of the healthcare domain. Even marketing a healthcare service is dramatically different from marketing other products. Therefore it is advantageous to hire people who have some knowledge of the field or have had a previous brush with it.nbsp;
The writer is founder and managing director Core Diagnostics.