Building a healthcare start-up requires as much determination as starting any other company. Starting a company, irrespective of the industry, demands a significant amount of time, resources, perseverance and passion to see it through. Though the rules of the game are more or less similar, there will be nuances pertaining to each industry’s target audience and the type of business one is building.
Healthcare is a dynamic field that provides numerous opportunities for innovation. There are many players who are dabbling in the space to offer cutting edge, innovative and technological advances to solve real life problems. However, with increasing competition many entrepreneurs are focussed on being the first ones to launch a certain product or overcome their immediate competitors. The focus of every healthcare company should be their patients. It’s important to never lose focus of the fundamental reason of why you’re here and who you’re doing this for. If the sole purpose of your healthcare startup is to beat your competitor or to be the first to roll out a product, then you have your priorities wrong. As a healthcare start-up, your priorities should revolve around creating an impact on your patients.
Identify a solution to a genuine problem
The start-up world has been so overhyped and misunderstood that most people are enamoured by the idea of running a company than the company itself. I was one among those who were smitten by the world of start-ups. Coming from a business family, in which every member ran their own entity, it was inevitable to do the same. Though I tried my hand at multiple things, I was never passionate enough to see it through. However, a life-changing experience of losing my mother to cancer exposed me to a genuine problem and a gap in cancer care in India. This was a cause that motivated me to start my company and give it my best. The problem was so dear to me that giving up was and is not an option. It also gave me the ability to gain a more human perspective, than one that is only driven by numbers, strategy and scale. As a healthcare entrepreneur, be sure about what drives you. Identify a solution to a genuine problem and work towards making an impact.
While starting a healthcare company, most entrepreneurs are driven by this deep passion to make an impact on their patients or target audience. While being driven completely by passion is an attribute that is necessary, in healthcare it can also play as a negative. As a healthcare entrepreneur, it’s important to note that being over-passionate about making an impact may not always result in the best and most ideal business practices. The key is to strike a balance between your commitment to the cause and the interest of your business. Find the right balance between creating impact, providing value and at the same time maintain the business perspective. Though this is easier said than done, every day is a learning of these two crucial elements of starting and running a healthcare business. If you manage to get this balance right, you could achieve phenomenal impact in healthcare.
Most healthcare entrepreneurs have a very close personal story attached to their start-up. Mine was no different. While building a company about a cause that’s so close to your heart, it’s easy to get too involved in patient cases or while dealing with doctors. You should have the ability to take a step back and ensure that you are not over-involved in the case. Let your team take control and deliver the best services.
Finally, it is vital to choose the right team for your start-up. From team members to partners and investors, make sure that the people you work with understand and believe in your cause. A foundation that is driven by passion, empathy and compassion along with the ability to evaluate situations from a business perspective can play a significant role in the success of the company.
Samara Mahindra is the CEO and Founder of Carer.
First Published: IST