Impact & Value perceived has to be real, simple, clear and delivered early

Vipin Pathak, Co-founder & CEO, Care24

After graduating from IIT, Vipin Pathak started his career in the consulting industry with a comfortable life and little to complain about. However, the one constant worry that never left him was his parents health and his inability to ensure good quality and consistent care, while living away from home.

Garima and Abhishek, the Co -founders at Care24, who shared similar concerns came together and realised that there was a huge addressable gap in the home healthcare segment in India, and that’s how Care24 was founded.

Care24 is one of India’s first few venture backed start-ups in the home healthcare space, which offers personal and affordable healthcare assistance within the comforts of one’s home. Since its inception in 2014, Care24 has successfully helped 20,000-plus patients heal at home, with its network of nurses, physiotherapists and attendants. Care24 offers world-class medical care at home with 100% background verified caregivers. Services dispensed include nurses (ANM, GNM and B.Sc.), attendants, physiotherapists, nutritional guidance, pregnancy care, cancer care and infant care.As patients need the continuity of care at home to recover physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally fast with ease and comfort Care24 acts as an extended arm for the hospitals at their homes.

In early 2016, Care24 raised $4 million in its Series A round led by venture capital firm SAIF Partners, and $350,000 from India Quotient. These funds are being used to enhance technology and to train care givers  who visit patients. Care24 is targeting to expand their business across all metros in the country within the next 12 months. Care24 has recently started their Delhi operations and will be soon launching services in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad during the next quarter.

Vipin Pathak share some more insights from his professional journey with team ABT.

Who is your greatest inspiration & why?
I think family remains a constant source of inspiration for me pushing me all the time to achieve larger success. Outside family, I take a lot of inspiration from life of Mr. Bindeswar Pathak, founder of Sulabh international, who started sanitary movement in India. Sulabh changed the perception of making toilets from a area of untouchability to area of competition and bid. Today not only in India but in many developing nations, Sulabh is considered a case study where millions of lives have benefited from the revolution. All this Mr. Bindeswar pathak and team has achieved in one lifetime which otherwise countries have taken generations to solve.

What led you to the path of Entrepreneurship? Why did you choose Healthcare?
I always wanted to venture into entrepreneurship at some stage in life, and when I noticed the gap that exists in the home healthcare space, while I was working on the consulting side, had some personal experiences, that prompted this thought process, there was really no looking back! I realized there was no better time than now for us to build a startup that is committed to easing the pain that families and patients experience in the sunset years of their lives or after a major health/illness incident.

As for choosing healthcare, it was more the idea behind Care24 that drove me, rather than the industry. With more people, including myself, exploring better opportunities in metros and urban cities, the trend towards nuclear families is on the rise. I have experienced firsthand, the problem our senior parents face when left to fend for themselves, without any trusted caregiver around to help them. This is why, at Care24 we are not just involved in connecting the patients to the right caregivers, but also specialize in providing reliable, transparent and secure service.

Globally, the home healthcare market is anticipated to reach US $368 Billion by 2020. In contrast, the market for home healthcare is growing faster in India. There are many reasons for this:
> Increased digital adoption and strong consumer demand
> Better diagnostic technology, lessening the need for a hospital setting
> India’s geriatric population, the second largest in the world
> Viable business with long term profit streams

Tell us more about Care24 and its unique offerings
Care24 was set up with the idea to cater to that segment of population that needs professional care but is not sick enough to be admitted to a hospital. For such patients, especially those in the age bracket of above 60, turning to untrained help at home may cause more harm than good. Therefore, Care24 aims to provide personalized healthcare at your doorstep.

The core idea is to leverage technology to track all aspects of patient care and enforce a stringent feedback system while also enabling caregivers to plug into this technology network to contribute meaningfully to the entire process. This ensures back to back, integrated best quality services to the patients.

Through our service, a patient can connect with the right caregiver, and seek assistance according to one’s needs. Care24 has a network of qualified nurses, attendants and physiotherapists who provide assistance round the clock, for varied requirements, including Elderly Care, Pregnancy Care, Infant Care, Neuro Rehabilitation and Cancer Care.

What are your expectations from the Industry in 2017?
The home healthcare market in India is all set to disrupt the conventional medical service space in near future. The existing gap in this segment will be addressed by organized players who will bring in credibility, standards and accountability. The sector will get an additional boost when insurance companies will add home healthcare to their cover. Home healthcare will play a critical role in expanding the spectrum of healthcare services in India in the years to come.

Presently, the Indian home healthcare companies are focused on elderly care, rehabilitation and diabetes management. Although, the elderly care still contributes a substantial portion of the revenues, there are new market segments within home healthcare that are opening-up, including neo natal care.

What is your philosophy when it comes to doing business?
Impact and Value perceived has to be real, simple, clear and be delivered at the earliest. Business gets created if you are delivering real value and you don’t need to sugarcoat your proposition to sell your idea. I don’t like convoluted value proposition.

If you were to do one thing differently, what would that be?
I strongly feel we should have started Care24 may be 5 years back and potentially impacted more lives by now.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
The home healthcare industry is pegged at approximately USD 3 billion, and we aim to achieve 10 per cent market share in the long term. Also, we aim to take the patient count to around 2,500 per day from a current 1000 per day, as we spread to other metros in the country. Our focus remains to enter a city and establish a strong foothold within that city with a depth of services and network as opposed to achieving scale through a multiple city footprint.

We would rather have every patient share positive feedback on their experience with Care24 in the cities we operate in, and as such we work hard to sharpen our focus on service delivery and a resilient patient management system. We have recently kick started operations in Delhi-NCR and plan to follow it up to at least two other cities by the end of this year. We plan to enter the markets of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.