Monday January 22, 2018

Medical online startups attracting foreign patients to India

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Image source: keweenawhealth.com

New Delhi: India, ‘the pharmacy of the developing world’, sees foreign patients flocking to the country due to its specialised and cost-effective medical care. This has resulted in the mushrooming of online startups that help foreign nationals find the best treatment in the country.

One such medical tourism start-up, PlanMyMedicalTrip.com, which was started nine years back, is now serving as a one-stop solution provider for foreign medical tourists.

“We have patients coming in from all over the world. However, Africa, GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) regions contribute towards the sector by as much as 30 percent of the total inflow,” said Anurav Rane, CEO, PlanMyMedicalTrip.com.

“There are a lot of different medical and surgical options for medical tourists coming to India. Primarily, medical tourists get elective procedures done such as cosmetic surgery, hip and knee replacements, dental procedures and infertility treatments,” he told reporters.

According to a white paper by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Grant Thornton, the Indian medical tourism market is set to touch $8 billion by 2020, up from the current $3 billion.

Saed Saber from Egypt recently came to India for knee replacement. “I wanted to get my knee replacement done but was confused as to how I should go about it. Since options in my country are limited with a high price tag for treatment, I started exploring for options, that is when I came to know about PlanMyMedicalTrip.com,” he said.

Saber visited PlanMyMedicalTrip.com to get his queries answered. “I got to know several options for hospitals across India and also got all the necessary procedures sorted for me in no time,” he told reporters.

IndiaHealthCareTourism.com, inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is an initiative by the government to boost healthcare tourism. It is a web portal that helps and guides the patients who are looking for treatment options in India. It lists 93 topmost medical centres, 30 Ayurveda and wellness centres and one special category centre.

Another online venture, Medi Connect India, deals with the latest technologies like IVF (infertility), robotics surgeries, stem cell therapies, etc.

“The main reason behind India becoming a hub for medical tourism for foreigners is cost-effectiveness. Here in metro cities, you would get world-class treatment under the best doctors in a much cheaper way than what they would end up paying in their respective countries,” Shalini, assistant team lead, Medi Connect India, told reporters.

“In countries like Africa, a lot of modern treatments and good doctors are not available and hence they find India a good destination for medical reasons. Here, the best treatments are available with no waiting time in the company of highly-qualified doctors,” she added.

Medi Connect India has won the “National Tourism Award” for two consecutive years for excellence in medical tourism.

To serve foreign nationals better, most of the top-rated hospitals in India have also hired language translators to make patients, especially from Balkan and African countries, feel comfortable and help facilitate their treatment.

According to the CII-Grant Thornton white paper, Chennai, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi-NCR are the most favoured medical tourism destinations for foreigners who avail treatments in India.

Cost is a major driver for nearly 80 percent of medical tourists across the globe, it added.

The cost factor and availability of accredited facilities have led to the emergence of several global medical tourism corridors like Singapore, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Mexico and Costa Rica- and India appears to have taken a lead. (Vivek Singh Chauhan, IANS)

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Top 10 startups funded by celebrities

The buzzword of Indian economy 'Startup' gaining the attention of celebrities

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Funds Ziddu. Wikimedia commons
Funds Ziddu. Wikimedia commons

Recently celebrities have been ready to invest in valuable startups. India has become one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the world, hence many celebrities seem to have growing business interests.

Here is the list of top 10 celebrities which are funding some major startups.

You may also like: Startup and a more competitive India

1. Ziddu funded by Amitabh Bachchan

Funds grouphomebuyers.com Wikimedia commons
Funds grouphomebuyers.com Wikimedia Commons

The actor decided to invest $250,000 in a startup based in Singapore, in 2015. Ziddu, a cloud service provider, was founded by Venkata Srinivas Meenavalli. It is run by Meridian Tech, and also offers free file hosting for documents, pictures, video, and audio.

2. Grouphomebuyers.com funded by Shilpa Shetty

A site which has a listing of new and upcoming residential projects from top cities. Shilpa Shetty is the co-founder of this website which has helped 200 families get properties at discounted prices.

3. Pulse funded by Chetan Bhagat

This new age photo-sharing mobile app was founded by Karthik Vaidyanath and Prakhar Khanduja. This app has a combo of articles and user-generated content. It is a bit like Snapchat, but one major difference is that you cannot take screenshots of this one. Many prominent people have participated in its funding, one name is Chetan Bhagat.

4. Healthians funded by Yuvraj Singh

One of the many startups that Singh has invested in, is Healthians. It is a home service health test platform that operated in NCR. It is now launched in Mumbai and Bangalore too.

Funds Qyuki. Wikimedia commons
Funds Qyuki. Wikimedia Commons

5. Qyuki funded by A.R. Rahman and Shekhar Kapur

They both joined hands in 2012 to launch a social media platform. Qyuki aims to engage Indian youth to new media content. It was built on Cisco’s cloud infrastructure and had received an investment from it too.

Read more: Bollywood celebs security trimmed

6. Yatra funded by Salman Khan

All of us know about Being Human. However, what we don’t know is that Salman Khan has a 5% stake in Yatra.com. He is also the brand ambassador for the company.

7. HealthEminds funded by Robin Uthappa

It was in March 2016 that Uthappa invested an undisclosed amount in HeathEMinds. The startup aims at helping people to deal with mental stress and depression. It was started in 2013, the startup offers video counselling without disclosing the identity of the caller.

Funds Muvizz. Wikimedia Commons

8. Muvizz funded by Manoj Bajpayee

Muvizz was founded by Bajpayee’s friends Abhayanand Singh and Piyush Singh. This startup offers cult, classic and independent films to lovers of cinema around the world. It is a Video-On-Demand platform.

9. GOQii funded by Madhuri Dixit

This startup designs wearable fitness bands, it also provides fitness training. Madhuri started out as an investor with GOQii founded by Vishal Gondal. Dr. Sriram Nene, Dixit’s husband, is the CMO of the company.

10. Indi funded by Anil Kapoor

It is video social network founded by Neel Grover which was launched in 2012. Kapoor invested an undisclosed amount in the startup.