“In an emergency, what treatment is given by ear? Words of Comfort.” said Abraham Verghese
Long-term medical care, whether it be for the sick or recuperating post-surgery or the aged, is best carried out in the environs of the home, for reasons of patient-comfort, logistical convenience and economy. But to constantly monitor the condition of the patient and provide Medicare at the appropriate time, the two vital requirements are professionally-competent personnel and optimal use of technology.
Though nascent in India, home health care service providers are using both these components to good use to make their mark. But India hasn’t grown much in this sector, because in India, the old and sick are taken care of by family members. Our society generally looks down upon families that seek outside help to take care of their sick and bedridden elders.
So, is India ready for professional home healthcare providers?
This Sunday the Entrepreneurship Cell spoke to a startup, Careio. Dheeraj Mehndiratta, CEO of Careio, spoke on the industry dynamics and the way forward in the medical care at home services. The excerpts from the conversation are given as under:-
What is Careio?
Careio is a healthcare start-up focused on Aggregation of homecare services like:
Yoga at home
Physiotherapy at home
How does Careio function?
It’s an aggregation platform for healthcare and wellness professionals like Nurses, Physiotherapists, Attendants, Babysitters, Yoga tutors etc.
Home care is an affordable option than hospice care, though it does not eliminate the involvement of medical treatment by hospitals but comes in light during post-surgery/recovery period. A market for homecare in India is still untapped and largely covered by unorganized players which give a huge potential to Careio to emerge as the most trusted name in the homecare industry.
What was his inspiration?
Founder’s one of the closest friends’ father got paralysed and they were looking for a medical attendant at home. “Being unaware that such a service is available out there pushed me to work on this idea because the number of hindrances we faced, just to find the medical attendant for them (friend’s father) were so exhausting for a person whose near one is hospitalized and in serious medical condition.
Loosing almost all bootstrapped funds on previous two startups made Dheeraj realize that, getting funded is a tough job. Without a single penny in his pocket, he figured out that his first investor will be his customer. With some dead-serious efforts he got his first customer and on the very next day, Careio’s first corporate deal gave him enough funds to start and run the business operations organically. Fortunately, Careio is able to expand slowly with the profits. So, Careio is a bootstrapped company till now and definitely seeking the opportunity to raise funds but after a certain stage.
What’s different about Careio?
Services are given by a number of players out there in the market but what separates them from the rest is customer experience and satisfaction. After having lost one corporate deal due to some unforeseen circumstances, they started focusing more on making the customer experience great. Managing the workforce and being a third party service provider poses a major challenge in terms of maintaining an ethical work culture, and they are constantly working to reduce inefficiency. Regular follow-ups, Training, and Orientations are conducted to maintain a healthy work culture.
Organization Structure and Work Culture:
Initially, Careio followed an open & flat work culture due to the small size of their team. Eventually, as it grew, they began to realize that the best way to get work done efficiently is to follow a hierarchy just to eliminate the inefficiency caused by many hands in a single task, which would have completed efficiently if being done by an accountable person.
Careio has served clients in triple figures.
The target audience consists of Hospitals, Corporate etc. (B2B) NRI’s, Elders, Patient (B2C).
Just after the failure of Dheeraj’s second startup, when his credit card max’d out and he hadn’t paid his dues for 4 months, was the moment which made him think of leaving it all. But having left few jobs during early days of his career due to no learning, pushed him forward to work out something on his own to make a small change in the society (especially in healthcare).
Message to the budding Entrepreneurs:
“Do not get lured by the polishing stories of few highly funded unicorn start-ups, you probably don’t know what they have been through to reach to this point where their actions have become a success story. They are just normal human beings like you & me but they are always keen to learn new things, change the ways things are done and solve a problem. Planning, right execution, healthy networking, sharing thoughts, no fear of taking a step back or pivoting etc. are the few characteristics acting as a food to the entrepreneur’s soul.”
The Entrepreneurship Cell, New Delhi thanks Mr. dheeraj for taking out time and wishes Careio the very best in their endeavour so that they might be able to transform the homecare industry by providing proper employment to the unorganized and unskilled labour force with dignity and serving the common mass by easing the source for getting efficient homecare services.