During the second wave of COVID-19, when India's healthcare was overwhelmed and witnessed a shortage of staff members, Virohan, a Gurugram-based startup, created a niche intersection of healthcare and edtech by providing training for allied healthcare professionals, such as OT technicians, lab technicians and x-ray technicians ensuring them of a progressive livelihood. To accelerate the pace, it has been focused on scaling up to as many as 160 centers in more than 35 cities across India in 2021.
The startup has developed an end-to-end, proprietary technology stack to aggregate training providers and standardise operations from mobilisation, training to placements. Virohan is replicating the 'Uber-model', but instead of taxis, it focuses on 'healthcare education' as their proposition for medical professionals— a critical need for India during the pandemic.
"There is a massive shortage for Allied Healthcare Professionals in India. The country needs at least 50 million health care professionals to be working currently whereas the number is less than 10 million. Approximately 90 per cent of these 10 million are also currently untrained and uncertified. Virohan's mission is to bridge this gap and strengthen the Indian Paramedics force manifold," Kunaal Dudeja, Co-Founder and CEO, Virohan told The Logical Indian.
The company is looking to collaborate with colleges and training institutes to expand its reach and would focus on Hindi-speaking belts to provide a vernacular option for aspiring paramedics. Currently having centres across Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Chattisgarh, the vision is expanding across other states and cities. With its expansion, the aim is to provide quality medical and healthcare training to students at large, strengthening India's healthcare workforce and preparing it to be ready for any severe crisis like COVID-19.
Providing skill enhancement training for healthcare professionals, Virohan has trained over 7,000 students in over 20 plus cities and has an enormous placement rate of 91 per cent. The company also witnessed an increase from 20 per cent to 48 per cent in the proportion of female enrollments.
Idea Behind Inception
Virohan was established in 2018 and the main idea was to bridge the existing gap in terms of requirements of the Indian healthcare industry—to equip them with trained healthcare personnel.
"So, the aim was to essentially bridge the market gap and become an organisation that imparts quality training to ensure that the workforce is ready when they enter the industry," Dudeja said.
"The traditional education system in India is flawed. So, Virohan was started with an idea to convert and fix the training failure, fix the scale failure, to make the education system demand-driven, completely scalable, standardised and to make sure the desired outcomes," he added.
NSDC Certified Diploma Courses
To become Medical Lab Technicians and OT Technicians, Virohan offers NSDC certified Diploma courses for students through videos, gamification, and real-time tests, leading to increased student engagement and retention. It also meets other educational needs through its myClassroom kit, a proprietary, end-to-end Hybrid Training solution.
The classrooms are also run by facilitators who use an app and all students use the myCareer app, both inside and at home. Several data points are analysed by a team of data scientists to provide personalised interventions to students who need them.
"When the pandemic started, we took the spirit of our pedagogy entirely online, with video and message chat-based doubt support, live classes, and remote mentorship sessions that focus on student motivation. This led to us building a leading omnichannel training platform that can switch between training online and in-classroom seamlessly with our NPS ratings jumping to over 60%, dropouts to below 7% and 90% placement rates, and 40% referral rates," Dudeja explained.
The team ensures that the training is delivered across India and further plans to expand abroad like Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
"India is one of the substantial exporters of healthcare technicians. The future plan is to expand operations to more than 160 centers across 35+ cities in the country and to train at least 1 million students by the end of 2025," Dudeja added.
He said that the company is looking at a 78 billion-dollar market in India for health care over the next 10 years. The plan is to be one of the largest, quality-conscious, and demand-driven companies in India. One key focus is making these programs aspirational for the youth, ensuring they have huge career progressions after concluding the programs.
"For that, Virohan is actively collaborating with partners like GE Healthcare, Lenskart Etc. Virohan is currently working as a partner with UNICEF YUWAAH! Program, GE program, and the Indian Medical Association. The more such partnerships we bring, the more acceptance of the program in the market," the CEO said.
According to Dudeja, the company has completely shifted from a trainer-driven module to a facilitator-driven pre-recorded delivery of training with real-time evaluation in the classroom.
"This has led to less than 7 per cent drop hours compared to a 35 to 40 per cent dropout in the industry. Over 90 per cent pass percentages compared to less than 65 to 70 per cent dropouts in the industry and over 95 per cent students on jobs after completion of the programmes, compared to less than 60 per cent if you look at the industry," he said.
He added that the startup has been able to fix and achieve these outcomes over the last three years.