In conversation with Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder, Navia Life Care
Poor patient experience and dubiousness on visiting a hospital or a clinic - starts from the time patients book appointments to the time they come out of the hospital.
What is your company solving?
We aim to address a major issue of information imbalance, i.e. lack of complex and perceptive information made available to different players in the healthcare ecosystem. This includes lack of availability of electronic medical records for easy access by patients and doctors, or view on prescription patterns for pharma, or even smaller scale issues such as unavailability of waiting times in OPDs for patients or information about drug availabilities at their nearest drugstore. Poor patient experience and dubiousness on visiting a hospital or a clinic - starts from the time patients book appointments to the time they come out of the hospital. This lifecycle take anything from 1.5 to 4.5 hours, we are bringing efficiency and sureness here. Poor record management leading to poor diagnosis and sub-par clinical outcomes by enabling doctors to quickly and effortlessly create digital prescriptions. Inconvenience faced by patients for follow-up visits or smaller disorders – Not every follow-up requires physical presence or a visit to the hospital. Remote consultations are the need of the hour. Navia Life Care is one of the fastest growing Digital health companies in India, which empowers medical providers in the market through a digital platform that improves clinical and financial outcomes. It was started with a mission to help healthcare providers with its mobile and software-based engagement platforms for building effective patient and providers’ relationships to further improve patient health outcomes across the world. These digital tools are based on innovative ideas with a target to improve the relationship between patient and the medical provider.
● What is the USP/value proposition?
The simplicity of our products is our key discriminator. The founders have closely been working with the healthcare ecosystem for years together now. The main reason for the failure of products in this industry is the intricacy of the product, the expectation of behavior change, and the timing. We have worked on two of the three factors and we believe the time is just right currently. Our products are very easy for the doctors to use, there is no change of behavior required by the doctor or other stakeholders. Our voice assistant for doctors can create prescriptions as well for them.
● How did this idea of the startup pop up? What was the inspiration behind this idea?
Navia Life Care was started by Kunal Kishore Dhawan and Gaurav Gupta in 2016. Prior to starting Navia, they worked together on a couple of pharma consulting projects, having a background in healthcare and life sciences. Coming from families with chronic disease patients, and having studied and worked in the field, starting a company in the healthcare industry was a natural decision while making a difference to the ecosystem was a collective passion. More recently, Nupur Khandelwal joined Navia as a co-founder and has been an integral part of the functioning of the company since.
● The past few months have been very challenging for every sector. How are you coping?
As the lockdown was enforced in the last week of March, the patients, both chronically ill and acute, were in an immediate panic mode because of a lack of mobility and unavailability of the doctors. Along with this, there was a fear of nosocomial infections. Video consultation emerged as a viable option and provided the patients with a seamless OPD-like experience with their doctors. The government of India published the telemedicine guidelines on 25th March, this helped in instilling confidence in doctors and patients to use telemedicine as a viable option and we have seen thousands of consultations happening on our platform since.
At this time of need, our team is working round the clock to understand user behavior for both doctors and patients so as to make it easier for them to communicate using our telemedicine platform.
The doctors are used to seeing their patients in person, we are helping them to adopt this new normal of treating their patients with the help of our platform.
● Tell us about the other players in the market.
EMR and telemedicine is a fairly emerging but fast-growing industry. We are one of the key players in the industry. We pride ourselves on being the most active and capital efficient as compared to our competitors. We have been able to achieve significant growth with a very small and dedicated team. Our key competitors include Healthplix and Medtrail among others.
● Future plans. Do you have any plans to raise funding in the future?
Navia has an aspirant vision for itself to achieve by 2025. We wish to enable more than 250 thousand doctors and over 200 million patients in over 10 countries by our digital health platforms. We envision an ecosystem where patient care and patient outcomes are the primary objectives and information is available to all the stakeholders to achieve these objectives. We see us playing a central role in this ecosystem by enabling data generation and data sharing among these stakeholders.
● Explain your business and industry ecosystem in India - how are different companies solving different needs, explain the scenario in B2B and B2C?
The simplicity of our products is our key discriminator. The founders have closely been working with the healthcare ecosystem for years together now. The main reason for the failure of products in this industry is the intricacy of the product, the expectation of behavior change, and the timing. We have worked on two of the three factors and we believe the time is just right currently. Our products are very easy for the doctors to use, there is no change of behavior required by the doctor or other stakeholders. Our voice assistant for doctors can create prescriptions as well for them. The second key discriminator is our innovative business model - we keep ourselves lean with a focus on mapping growth, keeping unit economics as the focus. To do this, we are increasingly looking at expansion through partnerships, instead of being feet-on-street heavy. Partnerships with key players in the ecosystem not only increases our reach but also gives our solution presence and credibility in the industry.
● How does your product or solution work? What is your business model and how do you make your revenues?
B2B business model focused on clinics, small and medium-sized hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. Following a PAAS (platform as a service) monthly subscription model via providers, this is dependent on their size and ability to pay. We have NaviSmart EMR for hospitals and clinics with a focus on digital prescriptions. Mostly, our customers renew the licenses every 12 months and we have about a 100% renewal rate right now.
● Importance of digital healthcare services
Healthcare in India faces the growing challenges of access and affordability. Technology has the ability to address the needs of providers and change the charisma of health care delivery. In recent times, digital health in India has significantly moved from ‘Good to have’ to ‘Must have’ all because of this pandemic.
Digital health makes quality healthcare affordable in hard-to-reach areas. Through the Internet connection, anyone can access health services and always be connected to the professional to resolve concerns. The data will allow us to make accurate reports, contrast the patient’s progress, and make clinical decisions more easily. Digital technologies lead to greater patient empowerment and support to treatment. All thanks to the biofeedback they receive in real-time.
● Does the whole culture shift of the workforce working remotely have impacted your business? How are you dealing with it?
Our technology teams have always worked together in the same office, where they could coordinate with any of their team mates at the time of requirement. Initially the shift in working remotely posed a challenge to the teams, but everyone rose to the challenge and learnt the way of the new normal very quickly. For the business and sales teams, changing a physical sales model into a complete remote-operated digital sales model was stimulating. But coped up and built a model that is working very well for us. We have developed a strong sales process that is capable of giving us a high percentage of conversion. The digital remote-operated sales process is as strong as a physical process & at a few places, it has given us an even better conversion rate than a physical sales model. An added benefit that we have seen in our digital sales process is around efficiency. We are extremely confident about our process & we know that this new age process of sales is here to stay. Going forward I will not be surprised to see more companies picking up this mode of sales coupled with a hybrid model of physical & digitally operated remote sales.
We at Navia are a big family & we keep the interest of our team members at the forefront. The flexibility of working hours is something which we endure by & all our team members are free to choose their working time and days. This culture of flexible working hours has helped our remote sales model to function with higher efficiency & have increased employee productivity along with work-life balance.