India hosts the second-highest elderly population after China. With over 138 million elderly people in India in 2021, it is important to pay attention to this growing subset of our population. There were 67 elderly men and 71 elderly women in India at the time. It is estimated that the number has risen by 32.7% between the years 2011-and 21. While at the same time the general population has risen only by 12.4%. The eldercare market in India today stands at an enormous $1.5 billion catering to anything from adult diapers to diagnostic and medical services, from senior citizens' residential complexes and security devices to hospice care.
The Indian home healthcare market size was valued at USD 5.2 billion in 2019 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.2% from 2020 to 2027. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic and lifestyle diseases are expected to increase healthcare expenditure in India over the next 25 years.
Ajmal Saleem is the Co-founder and CEO of Treat at Home. The startup was featured on Analytics Insight’s top 10 Revolutionary AI companies for 2021.
Product offering and services by Treat at Home
Ajmal Saleem says, “Treat at Home, in simple terms, is bringing healthcare to your doorsteps. So, we are a digital healthcare platform where patients can book medical services like doctor visits, nurses, caretakers, and much more.
To better emphasize and to give a very clear idea, let's take an example. A person named Mr. Chandra, who's a young professional, probably an IT guy who works from 9 am to 6 pm. His mother needs to be taken to a hospital for a checkup. In our traditional approach, what we have is that, first he needs to take leave from his office and reach home. Next is the transportation, he has to bring his mother down, get a cab, maybe and travel to the hospital. Third is the queue, the average waiting time is anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour. The entire process takes a minimum of half a day.
With Treat at Home, he can stay at the office, open our app and schedule a home visit. The doctor reaches his home, checks his mother, and lets him know if she really needs to be taken to the hospital. Most patients i.e more than 60% need simple management like medication, keeping the levels under control, like diabetes, blood pressure and other management. So, if the home doctor really wants to go with the lab investigation or writes a prescription, he can book these things and get them delivered with our app. I think I've given a broad idea of what we do at Treat at Home.”
USP of Treat at Home
Ajmal Saleem informs, “When we started in 2018, we were discussing why there wasn't any revolution happening in healthcare delivery. We have a lot of other sectors, but with healthcare, the only disruption was teleconsultation since it is highly scalable. But teleconsultation fits very well with second opinion and it also has no physical touch, the doctor cannot meet the patient in person, because we need a lot of physical findings to get to know what the disease or condition actually is.
Home Health Care had lots of demand from the beginning, but it was not scaling up. After brainstorming, and a bit of research, we understood that this lack of scaling, particularly in-home healthcare is due to their employment model. So what we did is, we started with three unique advantages.
First is the aggregator model, we don't employ the doctors, the nurses, caretakers, or anyone other than our backend team. What we do is create a network of existing healthcare professionals, and connect them with patients in that region.
The second is live tracking. This is implemented in every sector we can imagine like logistics, food delivery, and any other sector. So with, Treat at home, patients can get live location updates, and know exactly when the provider will arrive.
The third is the option to choose. So patients can view all doctors in the region, go through the details, like experience, qualifications, and also see the distance from other doctors so that they can choose their closest available doctor.”
Clients for Treat at Home
Ajmal Saleem states, “So, we started in 2018. At the time we completed around 1000 bookings with a freemium model. During the pandemic, we saw huge demand for the product and started monetizing from May 2020. At that time, and till now we have completed around 2000 healthcare services. Particularly what it means is that we gave medical care to nearly 1500 patients. And at the same time, we have given job opportunities to nearly 500 healthcare professionals. So that is one part. Right now, we have around 1000 healthcare providers registered in our platform and our app has 80k downloads.”
Funding for Treat at Home
Ajmal Saleem says, “We are completely Bootstrapped and have pumped around $100,000 from our own funds. This is because what we realized early on is that we are not an idea startup, we are an execution startup. To onboard investors at the right valuation, we need to show that our product is highly scalable, sustainable, and also show great traction to justify the valuation. We are incubated by NASSCOM 10000 startups, have been selected for Microsoft for Startups program and GSF Academy batch of 2022.”
Revenues in FY22 and FY23 for Treat at Home
Ajmal Saleem informs, “Total Revenue for FY 2022 was close to 53 lakhs from 1200 healthcare services. For 2023, we are targeting around 4000 services and to close 2 cr set up.”
Revenues in FY22 and FY23 for Treat at Home
Ajmal Saleem informs, “Total Revenue for FY 2022 was close to 53 lakhs from 1200 healthcare services. For 2023, we are targeting around 4000 services and 2 cr in revenue.”
Goals and future expansion plans for Treat at Home
Ajmal Saleem states,” As you rightly said, we are right now operational in Tamilnadu. By the end of this quarter, we are planning to launch in Bangalore. We've seen a lot of interest from Bangalore, from the doctors as well as the patient side. Following that, we will be creating and expanding our network of providers. And I hope to do it by the end of 2024, we will be present in all major tier 1 & 2 cities of India.”
Advice for young entrepreneurs
Ajmal Saleem says, “ I'm young myself, I'm 24 this year. So first off when I started in 2018, I had two options, join my college degree or pursue Treat at Home. We read all these, you know stories of great entrepreneurs. They quit their university and started pursuing their startup idea. But not everyone can do it. So, in India, we have our own culture. Our parents, you know, want us to finish a degree but it doesn't mean you know, we have to let go of that spark. So we can keep on reading stuff, we can study the market, try to if possible, develop a product. We have developed a product, for the first two years very slowly bit by bit.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, we had COVID and we validated our product in that period. So, first of all, you know, follow your passion wherever you're in life. The second thing is building the right team. The third is we have to keep pivoting, I have learned it myself on our path to get healthcare to doorsteps with mobile app. The problem we are trying to solve is the most important and not the solution itself. So we have to be open to change and keep hustling.”
Edited By: Dr.Rati Parwani
Contributed By: Ajmal Saleem, Co-Founder, and CEO, Treat At Home