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Making Strides In healthcare

In the cutthroat startup world, challenges are aplenty. And, bringing in a new process and a product in an already-established industry is no cakewalk. But, Bangalore-based Malayali couple Dr Nidun Jacob and Parvathi Radhakrishnan has managed to take the challenge head-on  and is already scripting success.

ZEPNURhealth, an online platform for medical equipment and consumables, started by the couple aims to make the process of procuring equipment for hospitals and clinics a hassle-free experience. Through ZEPNURhealth, the duo has launched possibly the country’s first healthcare group-purchasing organisation.
In a chat with Express, the duo shares their journey and the risks of venturing into the highly-competitive healthcare sector.

For someone who runs a hospital or a diagnostic centre, procuring equipment can get a bit overwhelming. Choosing from a sea of brands that sell different equipment with distinct technical capabilities while negotiating the best price, and liaisoning with multiple vendors for different products, can be a strenuous task. That’s where ZEPNUR plays a significant role, says Parvathi who is the co-founder and marketing strategist of the venture.

“Using the platform, users can browse and review equipment across multiple specialities. They can consult with our technical team for any product-related queries and get access to the best prices by way of our Group-Purchase Model. Unlike a traditional distributor, we are not limited to work with only a few brands and products, and can offer Indian as well as international products,” she adds.

The entrepreneur duo agrees that startups as such can be tricky. “I think our challenge lies in the fact that we are in the B2B space, where there is already a set way of doing things,” says Parvathi.
That said, there is a great relevance for such a venture in a place like Kerala  which is peppered with several small to mid-sized doctor-owned healthcare facilities.

“Moreover, as the demand increases for good quality healthcare, the equipment used needs to be able to provide that kind of standard as well. This is applicable not only in Kerala, but can be said about other states in the country as well,” she adds.

Right now, ZEPNURhealth operates in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi and is planning expansion too. “We are in talks with a few potential partners that can both diversify our product portfolio, as well as expand our market growth,” says Parvathi.

Out of comfort zone

The duo was working in Australia before returning to India to start their venture. Coming out of their comfort zone and taking a plunge in the medical sector needs a lot of grit, but Parvathi and Nidhun are only happy they did it.  “Fortunately, both of us have always jumped at any opportunity to get out of our comfort zone. We each bring our own unique set of experiences to the table and are able to play off each other’s strengths to do what’s in the best interest of the company.  It’s been wonderful so far, and we highly recommend it to couples out there who are looking to start something of their own,” says Parvathi.  – The New Indian Express

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