From Basic Healthcare To Financial Risk Protection: This Bengaluru Start-up Covers It All
Access to speciality healthcare in remote areas such as the north-east is still a challenge. In 2010, Bhavjot Kaur's life turned upside down when her father was diagnosed with diabetes. Having grown up in Nagaon, a small town in Assam, Bhavjot was not oblivious to the warped medical system in place.
The doctors there initially could not diagnose his disease. "They thought it was a brain haemorrhage," Bhavjot tells The Logical Indian.
Due to the lack of health care facilities, he ended up developing renal failure. As her father's condition deteriorated, he was brought to Chennai. Bhavjot's father was in need of a renal transplant. Unfortunately, the transplant could not happen on time. During the course of treatment, the family lost all their savings and had to resort to selling off their ancestral gold for medical insurance.
"Had my dad got proper primary healthcare, we would have still had him with us and we wouldn't have had to go through financial devastation. That prompted me to think about what I could do in healthcare. I quit my job in 2016 to start Clinikk, a home healthcare company," says Bhavjot.
How Clinikk Works
Bhavjot started Clinikk with Dr Suraj Baliga who is an orthopaedic surgeon by profession. His experience in Government hospitals led him to understand the situation in a similar manner as Bhavjot. He realized the apathy the majority of Indians faced in the face of medical emergencies.
Clinikk, is a private business entity which provides health insurance to poor people at low premiums. It is a subscription model where subscribers pay a monthly fee ranging from ₹50 to ₹500 for their basic medical requirements and health insurance. Six members of a family can be covered under one subscription and they can contact a doctor for primary healthcare needs at any given point in time.
If the subscriber needs to be hospitalised, he is directed to the nearest network hospital. One of the most significant services that Clinikk provides is their Tele-consultations, which are available in 11 languages and 24/7 via the platform's app, website, and phone.
Other features include an e-health profile, insurance claim support, and discounted medicine delivery and lab testing. Cashless hospitalisation benefits are also available in more than 5,500 hospitals across the country covering more than 16,000 pin codes.
Bhavjot and Suraj met in 2014 during the general election campaign. They were both managing candidates during this time. Their shared interest in healthcare, their personal backgrounds got them thinking and Clinikk was born. According to Bhavjot, their shared concern in this regard makes them the perfect team to run Clinikk.
The initial plan was to create a platform which would allow doctors to smoothen the process of postoperative care, to ensure the proper transition between the surgery and the subsequent follow-up visit to the doctor.
But they failed initially and lost ₹45 lakhs of investment. For the next attempt, they again raised ₹60 lakhs with the help of from family and friends. This time they catered to two completely different types of needs- primary healthcare and financial risk protection- combining the two as part of their new offering. The scheme worked and the company took off.
Later, external investors such as Times Internet, WEH Ventures, Rajan Anandan and Ajay Prabhu of Quest Global contributed in raising $1 million.
As of now, Clinikk has 2.5 lakh, active subscribers, on its platform and it has already broken even at a unit level. "At a company level, currently our focus remains on product building and growth. We don't want to obsess about breaking even right now," says Bhavjot.
They are not worried about competition, Bhavjot feels that there is no other venture with the unique combination of primary healthcare in conjunction with financial risk protection. On future plans, she says that they are trying to reach out to more organisations to be a part of Clinikk.
Clinikk wishes to provide the Indian consumer with a platform where they could reach out for anything related to healthcare. From basic consultation to surgery, Clinikk aspires to have them covered.
At this point, their target group included self-employed small business owners, Ola drivers, delivery partners for Dunzo, riders for Shadowfax, and Kirana shop owners. Clinikk's business model works in two ways- business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) platform.
They have partnered with Uber, Ola, Dunzo, Swiggy, Shadowfax, and Betterplace. Currently, Clinikk employs 35 full-time employees and also works with contractors.
A medical team including senior doctors, along with teams for technology, design, product, sales, marketing, and operations is also present. Bhavjot says that they have started witnessing "healthy growth" in revenues.