Here is why Pune has become the hub of all major health-tech start-ups


Neeraj Joshi, CEO of Thingsmeet Solutions, zeroed down on Pune when he first decided to set up a health-tech venture, not only because of the time he had spent in the city as the centre head for Infosys or his network of contacts there. Another huge reason behind his choice of place was the easy availability of the kind of talent that he wanted.

"A lot of tech companies like Infosys and Syntel have their healthcare vertical headquartered here, so there is a lot of talent available," Joshi told ET. "Also institutes like Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences and Ashtang Ayurveda ensure access to experts with domain knowledge and expertise."

It was only last month that Govin Capital, headquartered in Singapore, announced a health-tech accelerator in Pune, with its CEO Anand Govindaluri saying, "Pune has the best start-up ecosystem because of the natural presence of good medical, engineering and management schools. There is a natural flow of talent that is automatically attracted to Pune, and so identifying management teams for start-ups with diverse backgrounds is also easier."

Pune has seen a lot of health-tech start-ups rising in the past few years, with companies like Medsonway, which delivers medicines, Docplexus, a doctor's network, Allizhealth, which lets you store your health data, and Medifee, which provides pricing information on tests and hospital procedures, all being founded here.

"There is a lot of noise in other cities; we wanted to do our groundwork and Pune provided the best environment to do that and stay under the radar. Pune lacks investor attention, but its better this way - it helps companies focus on the basics and bootstrap. Investors will get involved only when they really want to invest," said Abhijit Gupta, CEO of Praxify Technologies.

However, Anurav Rane, CEO of Planmymedicaltrip.com, a medical tourism portal, says that the lack of access to investors is a major problem when it comes to Pune.

"Pune is a technology hub but the start-up ecosystem needs to improve. What works for it, however, are factors like proximity to Mumbai, and for us, a large out of-town population of students and professionals, which helps create demand for our services," he said.

Abhimanyu Bhosale, CEO of Live Health, is of the opinion that along with easy access to talent because of the educational and tech presence that Pune offers, several other factors like the quality of life and cost of living also make Pune substantial.

"The high cost of talent in other cities like Bengaluru can make it difficult to find the right people if you are a start-up. Though Pune lacks investor support, it's not as commercialised, making it easier to manage the cost of operations, management and travel," he added.

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