Why healthcare startups should focus on building a strong foothold
Healthcare startups are finding their feet to come up with need-based innovative solutions for the improvement of medical services. However, most of these startups are dependent on partnerships or deals with larger healthcare organizations.
The collaboration of healthcare institutions with tiny startups hardly reaps long term rewards. They tend to fizz out a lot earlier than expected. However, healthcare startups like Ziqitza healthcare, founded by five young professionals, which include Shaffi Mather, Ravi Krishna, Manish Sacheti ,Naresh Jain and Shweta Mangal have surprisingly made a decent impact on the healthcare industry over the years.
Having started in 2005 with 10 ambulances and an initial investment of Rs 2 crore, the company has taken decent strides to operate 3500 ambulances across 18 states at this point. The company has been instrumental in reducing the mortality rate in the regions where it operates in full swing.
On the other hand, another major challenge faced by the startups that operate on their own is the availability of funds. Some of the founders do come up with startups with a strong financial background, but they tend to lose the plot when it comes to the expansion part. It is very difficult for these companies to operate in rural areas, as the poor are unable to afford the services.
This is where Ziqitza Healthcare is different from the rest. The company operates on cross subsidy model that charges the rich for taking an ambulance to the private hospital, while taking less or nothing from the poor who take the ambulance to government hospitals. This model has worked wonders for Ziqitza, as it allows the company to operate in rural as well as urban areas. The company is expanding and making its presence felt across country.
Apart from this, what healthcare startups lack is the ability to pull in trained paramedics, unlike Ziqitza that successfully ropes in professional medical practitioners to save precious lives. These medical practitioners usually make more revenue by operating individually or joining hands with major healthcare provides, which makes it difficult for the startups to convince them.
However, healthcare startups can take a leaf out of the book of Ziqitza Healthcare to develop a strong foothold and impact the lives, instead of building an immediate source of revenue.