New Delhi, March 2: With healthcare a fast growing sector, women entrepreneurs are increasingly coming up with different services in the e-commerce space.
Aiming at making healthcare easily accessible at your doorstep, many app-based start-ups like Care24, ePsyclinic and Pluss are sprouting up. The common factor that binds them is that they are all founded and managed by women entrepreneurs.
"Healthcare is an area that has immense growth potential and it's an immensely gratifying industry both from growth perspective as well as from satiating an entrepreneur's need to do good and serve," CEO and founder of ePsyclinic Shipra Dawar told IANS on the reason behind starting a healthcare startup.
Madhulika Pandey, co-founder of Pluss, voices similar thoughts about profits with purpose.
"The health products market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 15 percent and touch 10 lakh crore ($155 billion) by 2017. We believe that solving the problem of medicine procurement is an opportunity worth working on," said Pandey.
These apps provide affordable healthcare assistance within the comforts of home. Care24 offers skilled and experienced nurses, attendants, caregivers, physiotherapists, maids, and ward boys.
ePsyClinic is an online emotional, relational & mental well-being start-up providing video/audio/chat functionality as well as a plethora of articles and real-time shareable self-help tools for well-being seekers.
Pluss offers delivery of medicines, baby care product, daily essentials, ayurveda drugs, pet care requirements and healthcare devices.
These healthcare startups aim to change the way healthcare is delivered in India, making it affordable and accessible without competing with the traditional methods.
"Medical aid will always be provided in a traditional way. The doctor will need to interact with the patient to ascertain his condition but the point after which the patient leaves the doctor's room, he can rely on startups like us to get his medicines, healthcare products and book diagnostic tests with just a touch of the button," said Pandey.
Dawar says that startups support and complement traditional set ups. "Our aim is never to replace them but enable the larger healthcare infrastructure to function effectively and solve its last mile issues."
Changing lifestyles and round-the-clock work patterns may also be the reason behind people opting for healthcare startups, say the entrepreneurs.
"We bring innovation, we are modern. We let clients and patients have control over many processes while also servicing superior health outcomes," Dawar said. Further, timely delivery of medicines is being seen as a major advantage.
Was the road to a healthcare startup easy for these women entrepreneurs?
"People have opened their minds to the possibility of women entrepreneurs. The increasing list of women entrepreneurs is bringing confidence to aspiring women as well," Garima Tripathi of Care24 says.
The challenges they faced were also the ones their male counterparts would face.
"The major hurdle that I faced was initially building up a credible healthcare team. Healthcare professionals are hard to be convinced to try something different. But with persuasion, right offering and approach, I was successful," responded Dawar.