Why Phaneesh Murthy Is Sure About Start-Up Success

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 24, 2015

 

Phaneesh Murthy

The adoption of technology is transforming healthcare in many ways. The need for technology is not just felt in the way physicians treat their patients, but also in the manner how people are educated about availability of medical services.

The success of ecommerce models and the need for quality healthcare has led IT veteran Phaneesh Murthy to start PM Health & Life Care, a company that offers an online market platform connecting chemists and druggists with consumers. Going forward, it will enable consumers maintain their digital health records, offer insurance facilities.

“Technology is a great enabler in a regulatory-driven market like healthcare,” says Murthy, the ex-iGate CEO and former Infosys board member.

The engagement platform

The aging population, growing need for quality healthcare and the potential of technology are contributing to the expanding healthcare market. “Despite its importance for consumers and society, healthcare remains a very fragmented market, beset with inefficiencies at multiple levels due to lack of scale and slack in technology adoption. The proposed health exchange is an innovative model, bringing technology as the great enabler for facilitating well-informed health care access,” said Murthy, who will be executive chairman of PMHLC. 

The success of Murthy’s new venture depends heavily on building trust and confidence among consumers and chemists. But Murthy is confident the word of mouth would help them engage with right partners.

However, none can dispute that it is the right time to start such a business.

Technology innovation

According to a consulting firm Equentis Capital, the healthcare sector in India is expected to grow to $158.2 billion in 2017 from $78.6 billion in 2012.

Moreover, the medical technology market commercialization opportunity in India is the highest among countries like China, Us, UK, Brazil and Japan indicating a need for medical technology innovation to meet the demands of the local market.

The medical technology sector in India was valued at US$ 2.75 billion in 2008 and is expected to reach US$ 14 billion in 2020 at a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 15%, says a PwC report.

Murthy says analytics will be a big disruptor in this space, and feels the other technologies that would be adopted include security in cloud, as the healthcare-technology market matures.

Challenges

Medical technology is a nascent sector in India and the opportunities for innovation-led growth are immense. According to the PMHLC model, consumer’s demand will be routed through the exchange to the nearest partner-service providers, who would have met the regulatory and quality standards of the company. But building that trust will be a challenge.  “We will create awareness. We will ensure that the consumer is fully informed. Currently, 40 million people are transacting on ecommerce. By 2016, it is going to reach 100 mn. We have vetted the service provide based on our internal It enabling which will bring the consumer. We will develop that trust,” says Umesh Naidu, COO of PMHLC.

Secondly, druggists and chemists will be slow to embrace any technology-driven platforms, because of security concerns.  

“The marketplace intends to initially tap the potential of e-commerce savvy households with a distinct value proposition of ensuring availability of wide range of genuine drugs and health products delivered in quickest possible time while providing ease and convenience that comes with mobile and online shopping,” says Hemant Bhardwaj, CEO of PMHLC.