When Gunjan Poddar, 35, was living in America, pursuing his Computer Science studies at Purdue University he was impressed by the country’s 911 emergency services. He was inspired to create something similar in India and the result is healthyBillions, a health services company that wants to manage your healthcare needs. They cover the entire gamut of 24/7 Emergency, Wellness, Medical Assistance with their health partners – Diagnostics, Hospitals, Pharmacies and more.
Gunjan speaks to Networked India about India’s lack of sufficient affordable healthcare services, the services healthyBillions offers and how they made the transition from B2C to B2B to encourage more people to sign up to preventive wellness via their corporate plans.
Networked India (NI): What is healthyBillions all about? What prompted you start such a service business?
Gunjan Poddar (GP): healthyBillions is a 24/7 health care specialist that gives you access to a comprehensive range of health services across 3 broad categories; Emergency, Medical Assistance and Wellness, all under one roof.
- There was no emphasis on making quality healthcare available to masses at an affordable price point. Also, I have always been very impressed with the 911 service that America has and wanted to create something similar in India where in people could be rest assured that they have someone to answer all their health and medical emergency needs 24/7.
- Commercialization in healthcare is making it hugely difficult for the common man to get immediate attention in case of healthcare requirements.
- There is no knowledge repository/guidance for a common man to refer to or talk to in case of any healthcare requirement.
NI: healthyBillions provides health services, emergency services as well as wellness services. How different is this service from the health memberships offered by many private healthcare providers?
GP: We follow a membership model where in we have 2 options, Privilege and Platinum memberships. Both the memberships give our members access to emergency and medical assistance, however, the Platinum membership is loaded with free services and free health check ups.
It is our endeavor to make health accessible and affordable for all by offering quality services through multiple platforms, via a huge partner network, at the right price point.
- Comprehensive range of services, under one roof
- Access through all consumer platforms
- Huge partner network across India
- Quality, engagement & fulfillment of services supervised by internal member experience team
NI: The services you provide online are integrated into an app as well. How does the integration work?
GP: Yes it is integrated. The app once logged into is linked with the member’s account on our system. Any services booked via the app instantly updates to the account as well and an email notification is sent out to both the member as well as healthyBillions.
The member can view his/her order history and set reminders for pharmacy and/or any regular requirements.
NI: How does healthyBillions distinguish itself from the other app and web-based Health tech service providers?
GP: Our USP is the one stop solution that we offer. There is no service provider that offers Emergency, Medical & Wellness under one roof like we do. However, there are a few players who we compete with in terms of individual services or categories.
NI: Give us a brief background about the founding team.
GP: I did my B.Sc in Computer Science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, United States. I have been involved in a number of companies like Limtex Infotech Ltd., TechShu and BusinessPro Technologies.
Each and every partner in healthyBillions is handpicked. I am proud to have put together a team of experts who not only know their role but are equally passionate about what we do and intend to achieve. Our team of founders includes people from management, operational, medical, technology and also entrepreneurial background. Thereby, creating a healthy mix.
NI: healthyBillions started out as a B2C business, but soon pivoted to B2B. Help us understand this shift and the challenges that prompted it.
GP: The concept of accessing healthcare services at an affordable price point, by registering oneself as a member of healthyBillions – this is a niche concept and for the common man to believe in a system pertaining to healthcare is the biggest challenge. We were facing difficulty in entering the B2C category as it needed a lot of convincing and extending trust to each and every target audience. Getting to the every day person was difficult as people in India still do not encourage the concept of preventive wellness. So, we decided to acquire customers by changing our focus in terms of our acquisition strategy from B2C to B2B.
We reached out to large corporates like SBI, SREI, Ola Cabs, Concentrix and similar companies and extended our health cards to their employees. These organisations spend lot of time, manpower and money, investing in a resource/team to offer quality healthcare (including preventative healthcare) to the employees. By enrolling for healthyBillions’ service, they get a one stop shop solution for all their health needs. This in-turn brings us a large pool of customers in one go.
NI: Tell us about the growth trajectory of healthyBillions since launching in 2014 and since shifting to a B2B strategy.
GP: We have been able to get 35,000 members on board in Bangalore and Kolkata. We have filed Rs. 112,00,000 revenue from services.
We have also been recently funded by a UK based firm for 5 Crore. These funds would be used for Technology buildup, City expansion, Sales & Marketing and also to enhance our operational capability.
NI: What are the future plans for your startup and its products and services?
GP: We have started expansion in Mumbai and Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai with the current staff strength of 75 employees. We want to master and capture these cities completely before we plan further expansion.
Our goal is to reach to 1 million members by 2020.