Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 21 || Doctor Insta



Doctor Insta is India’s first “Video-Medicine” platform that provides the best-in-class Medical Consultation Instantly: Anytime. Anywhere.

Doctor Insta strives to bridge the gap between doctors and patients through a digital channel of primary healthcare delivery. Doctor Insta endeavors to provide the best-in-class telemedicine experience to empower people to lead healthy lifestyles, enhance productivity and reduce infection rates.

Doctor Insta also aims at improving the operational efficiency of doctors. Doctor Insta’s Video, Phone, and Chat Visits allow our Doctors, Paediatricians, Sexologists, Psychologists, Gynaecologists, Nutritionists and other specialists to audio-visually engage with patients for smart diagnosis and effective treatment consultation.

Doctor Insta brings the best medical care to the comfort of your home. Our practitioners are educated and trained at the finest medical colleges and hospitals in the country. They go through rigorous selection processes, have in-depth experiential knowledge and are highly rated by peers and patients alike.


Q) Could you briefly tell us about Doctor Insta and the solution it offers?

 Doctor Insta was started three years back and is today India’s largest virtual healthcare platform. It’s a curated platform where people can come and get online consultation by phone, video and chat as and when they want i.e. 24×7, 365 days. We have two business models; one is business to business to consumers (b2b2c) and the other one is called business to consumers (b2c). In the former, large Indian companies avail the Doctor Insta solution for their employees and dependents. So there are like 1.2 million b2b2c lives covered and around 600,000 lives cover through the b2c programme.


Q) What was the idea behind starting doctor insta?

A sprained ankle forced Mr Amit Munjal to use a telemedicine app in the US. He was quite impressed by the experience. “It helped me access a doctor from the convenience of my residence—saving time and money,” says the 41-year-old.

The incident inspired me to start something similar in India too. “Telemedicine is a very popular concept in the West. The exponential growth in India’s digital economy offered a promising opportunity for on-demand.

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Q) How does one avail of the services through your telemedicine platform?

Under b2c you can download the app and choose to do the consultation on pay as you go basis or pay an annual subscription. In b2b2c employees don’t pay anything, it is the employer paying retainer ship, per employee per month fee. We also have a separate model called consult your own doctor. So let’s say you have been going to doctor Kumar for your medical consultation then you can now consult with the same doctor on Doctor Insta platform from your phone, video or chat through the Doctor Insta app. All the prescriptions come to you electronically in five to 10 minutes post your consultation by email as well as inside the app in your ‘my health’ records.

Q) How significant is this opportunity in India?

About the size of the market, as a concept it is relatively new for India and Doctor Insta is definitely the market maker. The market for online consultation theoretically speaking is 70% of 50 million per day which is like 35 million consultations that could happen on the platform every single day. The other way to gauge is by adjusting the market for what we have seen in China; because that’s the closest precedent we have in the developing world. We can’t compare it to the US because the healthcare system is very different there versus in India. But India has a lot of similarity between the Chinese healthcare system, so in China, around 900,000 consultations are happening every single day and they are growing in double digits month over month. So, if nine lakh consultations are happening between four players, India has probably 90% of the same population so you can apply the factor of 90% and say almost 800,000 consultations could happen in India every single day through the organised platforms.

Q) How do you identify doctors for your platform?

With Doctor Insta we have a curated platform. What we do is selection, screening, and training of the doctors before putting them on the platform. First of all, the Doctor Insta itself has cherry-picked doctors and owing to crowdsourcing of the ratings and reviews if a certain doctor rating drops below a certain threshold, then they get decommissioned. So, the platform is a huge success and survival-ship biased because only those who are continuously making their patients, happier, stronger and healthier would survive. That’s why we are the company of first choice for almost all of the large companies in the Indian market.  As I was saying earlier, we have 1.2 million employees covered through Doctor Insta across 107 large companies.

Q) Is there a rural service model too?

Doctor Insta is more prevalent in urban India than in rural. But we do have rural India presence and it works differently through ‘Doctor Insta Inclusion’. In this service offering, the paying capacity is not much and a good MD doctor would expect good compensation for the time spent. Hence the ‘Doctor Insta Inclusion’ plan works through third-party assisted e-commerce companies.  We offer the services through MBBS doctors because the math doesn’t work out for an MD doctor. The way it works is that we have village-level entrepreneurs (VLE) who can be reached out for facilitating the consultations. Here the VLE would enable the consultation between the MBBS doctor and patient. While the VLE would collect the money from the patient, the payment would get deducted from the VLE’s wallet and then the parent company would settle it with Doctor Insta every month. The consultation charge, in this case, is around Rs 120. We offer only MBBS level consultation.

Q) How much have you invested in the business and what kind of revenue is the platform doing annually? Is the business profitable?

We invested a few million dollars and we are also backed by some leading healthcare-specific venture capital funds. One of them is Round Glass Partners based in Seattle and the second one is BrahmaX Ventures in Los Angeles. Collectively investors have put $3 million and in Doctor Insta and they own around 30% of the company.

We are growing in double-digit month over month and our revenue this past year i.e. March 2018 would be under $2 million. We are profitable on operating profit level clearly. But if you take into account all the indirect costs, we are still in the growth phase. So, we are in the red but at the operating level, we are profitable.

Q) Do you also have associations with the pharmacies and the test laboratories?

Yes, we have tie-ups with all the leading pharmacies of the country from Apollo Pharmacy with 3,000 stores to all the leading online pharmacy stores like 1mg, Net Meds, Pharm Easy.  The pharmacy partners offer between 35% and 40% discounts on medicines. We also have aligned with all the leading diagnostics labs like SRL, Dr. Lal, Metropolis and Thyrocare. Discounts offered by laboratories are in the 45% to 50% range. This apart, we have tie-ups with all the leading insurance brokers of the country.

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