6 to 8% of B2C start-up investments are in the healthcare sector, as per FICCI and KPMG

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The number of healthcare start-ups to have come up in India in the recent past are making sure that India’s healthcare sector has a bright future. This is also required so that quality healthcare can be made accessible to India’s billion plus population.

A joint study by FICCI and KPMG in India, called ‘Indian healthcare start-ups – An inside look into funding’, which was launched today at FICCI’s flagship annual healthcare conference – FICCI HEAL 2016. The knowledge paper was meant to evaluate the role and need for Indian healthcare start-ups in India, their evolution, funding, future, and challenges.

Dr. Nandakumar Jairam, Chair, FICCI Health Services Committee; Chairman, NABH and Chairman and Group Medical Director, Columbia Asia Hospitals India said, “What we need today is a unified approach for long-term solutions that would help in optimizing disease-care to preventive and promotive care as well as patient centricity though data - driven efficient technologies. Fostering Start-ups and Entrepreneurship will provide the requisite innovative approach for achieving these reforms.”

Vishal Bali Chair, FICCI HEAL 2016 Organizing Committee; Co-Chair, FICCI Health Services Committee & Co-founder & Chairman, Medwell Ventures said, "Start-ups are already disrupting the way healthcare is delivered in India. According to the NASSCOM Start-up Ecosystem Report 2015, India serves as the fastest growing start-up-base worldwide and 6-8% of the recent B2C Start-ups in India have been in the Health-tech sector. This means that the sector has already secured ample traction from investors owing to its huge potential."


Nilaya Varma, Partner and Head, Government and Healthcare, KPMG in India, said, “Healthcare start-ups in India have potential to emerge as new enabler of accessible and affordable healthcare services. Many start-ups have moved away from traditional healthcare delivery models to asset light, technology based and enabling platforms for patients & healthcare providers. However, start-up continue to face some encounters in terms of funding, incubation and regulatory environment. The government’s Start-up India initiative intends to bridge some of the challenges and provides encouraging ecosystem for start-ups. In the recent past increasing number of HNIs, seed funds, incubators and other private investors have extended support to start-ups. The creation of conducive ecosystem for healthcare start-ups will be boon for the healthcare sector”

India has a poor doctor-patient ratio of 1:1700 (in proportion to the total population), and rural areas, with a low medically insured population, are yet to get proper healthcare facilities. These all reasons provide healthcare start-ups a huge potential.

When we talk of Indian start-ups, healthcare start-ups are yet to receive a steady stream of funding which can help them in supporting their ventures with capital as low as USD27 million in the first four months of 2016. They are not able to get funds, which has stopped multiple of their projects.

The money that is required to boost the change in Indian healthcare sector can’t alone be done by private sector investments, which is why the government also needs to take some responsibility, so that Indian healthcare system can be of a global standard.

Other key finding presented in the knowledge paper are as follows:
• Start-ups can act as a much needed facilitator to help approximately 70 per cent of the rural population with limited or no access to hospitals or clinics.

• Mobile and internet platforms can be one of the means to address India’s deficient healthcare facilities, via innovation in technology and telemedicine. This could result in better diagnosis by doctors making the history of patients available on cloud platforms.

• The start-up domain is struggling to rope in the right investors and arrange for adequate funding, which could largely be attributed to the slow pace of growth in the sector. It takes anywhere between 10 to 15 years to introduce a new product in the market with very few prevalent business models to compare with.

• India’s public spending on the healthcare sector comprises of only 1.4 per cent of the GDP and is amongst the lowest in the world.

• Private sector stakeholders could play a crucial hand in the growth and development of healthcare start-ups, by investing in high-risk which could enable entrepreneurs to bring medical advancements and generate higher returns for them.

Healthcare start-ups have the power to change the future of Indian healthcare sector by lessening the gap between supply and demand, especially in the rural parts of India, using smartphones and digitization of healthcare practices.

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