Be it any organization, company, or country, everyone needs a good leader. Followers are found a lot but it is very difficult to get a good leader. A good leader is one who can set a good example for others, who is enthusiastic, ambitious, determined, can encourage others, and has the ability to teach as well as learn.
The Indian healthcare sector is growing rapidly. Along with providing employment, the healthcare sector is also generating substantial revenues. India is fully capable of emerging as the healthcare leader in the whole world. We can say this because due to COVID, we have seen many positive changes in the healthcare sector, which may change the look of this sector completely and can also give better output. A leader has a big hand in the success of any organization. Leaders are great influencers who led groups of people.
In Medicircle, we are featuring Top Healthcare Leaders Series wherein we are talking about the contribution of these leaders and their journey for the common people so that they too can be inspired, as well as be aware of the recent updates of healthcare sectors.
Satish Kannan is a pioneer in the online healthcare industry. With a singular focus to bring a paradigm shift in the healthcare industry, he has, in a relatively short period of time, ushered his organization to a leadership position. He is well on his way to achieving his goal of making high-quality healthcare accessible to everyone across the nation.
Post that SK began his entrepreneurial journey in the healthcare sector to make high-quality healthcare accessible to over a billion people in India. Currently, he is leading the helm of affairs as Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer at MediBuddy, India’s largest & most trusted digital healthcare platform. Prior to this, SK was the Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer of DocsApp (a 24x7 online doctor consultation platform) that merged with MediBuddy in June 2020.
SK’s achievements have been acknowledged by Forbes - he has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list, 2017 (Asia) and Forbes 30 under 30 list, 2018 (India), for his contribution to the Indian healthcare sector. Recently, he won the title of “Young Achiever of the Year” at the National Awards for Marketing Excellence 2020. In his free time, the former IITian loves to read books, travel, and practice yoga.
Medibuddy in the healthcare sector
Satish Kannan says, “ We have been the first movers in the healthcare space. We started working in telemedicine in 2015 and were looking forward to bringing telemedicine and technology together. We have been helping a lot of people around the country to help access quality healthcare. It can be a doctor, pharmacist, or lab through the same platform. We created this category in digital healthcare.
Today, online and digital healthcare is accepted everywhere. It is considered a norm and when we go back 4 years back, telemedicine was in an initial stage. We strongly believe that because of our first-mover advantage, as well as being category creators, we understand the nuances of this business very, very well. And we are also very happy that a lot more companies, as well as large players, are entering this. And what will generally happen is a lot of these natural and new companies come into the ecosystem, the awareness that is created for the category, as well as the experience that the customer would get, will also increase significantly with time.
I personally don't really worry so much about competition, even when we started out. There are many other companies. Whether it's big or small is a different question. But the number of people in the ecosystem, or let's call it a competition, or similar companies doing similar services, has always been there. It is always there and has always been there. Today we have and tomorrow we'll have more. And fundamentally, what I've understood is again, not worried so much about competition, you're worried a lot about are we providing the right solution to the customer, are we taking care of their needs and their requirements?. And as long as we have followed that curve when we started actually we were the smallest player in the market.
Today, I think we are the largest player in the market here. We are larger than the second player by at least three times and pre-revenue right on size and scale we are three times bigger than the second player is six times bigger than the third player. So, this clearly shows that we are not worried so much about competition. We are always worried more about customers and as long as we continue to do that I think we should be in good stead.
Healthcare is a platform that is built over time. Primarily because trust plays an important role in healthcare right when you buy a mobile phone or when you're buying your items at home is the kind of expectation, as well as the trust requirement, is different. But at the same time when you're going to take your mother or grandmother, or family member for a health-related episode, a doctor, or labs, the amount of trust, as well as the amount of concern that you personally have is very, very high. So all of these are the nuances of the industry, which we understand very well. And we strongly believe that we'll be able to continue to help a lot more people along with this So that's why we don't worry so much about the competition. It's good for the sector and a lot more awareness that is getting great.”
Future plans for Medibuddy
Satish Kannan says, “ This is primarily for some specific investments in scaling our internal doctor and network based on the patient base, as well as on the product and technology. And, of course, we did a series B some time ago, and this recent round, it's primarily for a specific reason. And that will help us to continue to keep the growth that we have.”
Satish Kannan says, “By far, we are the largest player in the digital healthcare category. And we will continue to keep this market leadership and continue to help a lot more patients across the country. That's one thing so at least as we stand, you're very large in the process.”
Satish Kannan further says, “I think whenever there's a lot more competition in the market, you have to think from the point of view, what is your key differentiation? In a way, if you look at Medi buddy, why we are very different is we have an end-to-end platform. This means, a customer can come and talk to a doctor online, which means he can do a video call, he can also book an appointment and go to the physical hospital, let's say you want to go to Apollo hospital or medanta Hospital is one of the hospitals for a physical appointment because everything cannot be done online. So whatever you can do online, you will do it online, whenever you need to transition to offline. We'll help you personally run close to 250 clinics. So we clearly understand how online works, how offline works offline, you can go to the hospital, you can go to one of our clinics in the process. And in fact, we even run close to 90 ambulances.
When you come to pharmacies, we have got partners across the length and breadth of the country. We also help him getting blood tests done, it can also be a path, meaning somebody will blood test and somebody will come to your house, pick up your blood sample. If it is an X-ray, MRI, we can also help you get what's called radiology, All the way, in case you want to get admitted to the hospital. So onMEdibuddy, you can start with an online doctor, you can go to the pharmacy, you can go to labs, you can even get admitted into a hospital and we'll help you.
Now, this is essentially what is called an end-to-end platform. Most of the other platforms that you might hear about and see about today started with one of them, they might be very strong in pharmacy or because they understand eCommerce very, very well. So they're very focused on pharmacy and then inventory management and all of that in the process one and even for them the challenge is that they are not a marketplace. So hence, they have to build their own infrastructure in every city.
Healthcare challenges: Medibuddy solutions and offerings
Satish Kannan says, “We have -
90,000 doctor 7000 hospitals 3000 diagnostic centers 2500 pharmacies
This is integrated into our platform for consultations all the way till surgery in the process. So all the way from the length and breadth of the country, we can do diagnostic tests. All of these partners have integrations into our platform, which means as a customer, it is not just one of these companies, because only when they have an infrastructure warehouse in that city, they will be able to deliver in our case, we have lengthened away of service availability and across the length and breadth of the countries, we call it network strength. So, all of these are the key reasons why we are very, very different. And these are all differentiated from a customer's experience point of view. And therefore there will be the same line, which is what at all points of time focus on the customer. As long as you have been able to provide him a holistic solution at the right price, across the length and breadth of the country. For all his problems, you will actually be the first port of call for him.
And we also know in healthcare, is not necessarily discount-driven. Healthcare is heavily trust-driven. Healthcare is a specialist job and we are focusing on customers. “
Advice from experts to the newbies
Satish Kannan says, “Starting up is very good. Initially, there were a lot of challenges, because of good jobs and roles, at good companies. But the idea was to see how we could make a larger impact on a lot of people. And then, I believe that the kind of problems that we have in this country in the healthcare space, where at least a lot of interest in healthcare, so the idea was to work only in healthcare. So what I would suggest is, one, identify a problem that you believe is large enough, and then you relate to the problem, right, because at the end of the day, every company exists because it is solving a problem for the customer.
The customer can be different, it can be a hospital, it can be a doctor, it can be patient, it can be college, it can be anybody for that matter. But the idea is to spend a lot of time trying to understand the problem very, very well. And make sure that the problem is a very large problem solved, right. So that the ability to build a solution or a business in that area is pretty large. And then pretty much follow the customer. Just follow the customer.”
We provided close to 150,000 plus keynote like we are touching two lakh people, we are vaccinated. Now we are I think by far the largest in the private space, helping people get vaccinations. You just have to ensure that you follow a customer and do what is right for him.”
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)