The Indian Healthcare IT industry is booming with mobile solutions since the past few years. The growth has specially been staggering in 2015, only to go upwards from here. But, amidst the chaos of 100 apps that are serving one or other aspect of healthcare, the user is lost! It is already becoming cumbersome to have 10 different fitness trackers and doctor consultation apps on one’s mobile. The user is tired of entering grams & litres and looks for ONE smarter and more personalized solution.
Imagine consolidation of some of the best healthcare startups in India (or abroad). The way I see it, user should be able to have a complete experience on one App / Platform. With the info-graphic below, I have made an attempt to create a picture of the present along with a glimpse of the future. The combinations can be amazing and should essentially serve the following user tree –
Consult an expert > Get diagnosis / medicines/ fitness plan > Order Medicines / Healthy Food / Gym Wear , Devices & Equipment > Book Tests/ Appointments/Memberships > Get Nurse/ Expert @ home > Read Health Tips
Overall , one can imagine what would it be like if Startups in ‘Healthcare+Ecommerce+Food Tech+Logistics+Hyperlocal Services+Content Curation’ come together!
As you must have noticed, I have created a special category for “Mental Health”, as very little has been done so far in this segment. It is important that the upcoming healthcare & wellness apps have a ‘full circle’ approach , thereby delivering well balanced solutions for each of the three segments above.
All said and done, there is still so much more to healthcare than just App based ecosystems. As Mr. Manoj Bhargava ( Billionaire | Cofounder @ 5 Hour Energy | Leading ‘Billions in Change’ ) quoted
“ The concept of healthcare is not about ‘curing illness’ alone, but more importantly about creating & maintaining wellness!
Check out his solution ‘Renew’ which is along the lines of maintaining wellness!
I have mostly mentioned Indian startups and some are just Bangalore based early stage startups (most of which I have tried). Please feel free to comment with names of amazing healthcare / fitness / full stack health food startups , you know of. Also, would love to know about any other dimensions that can be added here.
There is a voice inside my mind. Some say it’s not the mind but the heart that tells you what to do and what not to. Whatever it is, it is quite loud and clear.. asking me why I inhibit myself from breaking free and wandering into the dark.
It makes me think deeper and gives me strength to face my own doubts. It is the voice that does not judge me but wants me to take a stand. It tells me that it’s okay to leave a high profile job or say ‘no’ to N great opportunities, and pursue something that excites me. At the same time, just as a faithful partner, it tells me all that it knows about me.
Over the years , this voice has grown stronger and louder. For this, I give the credit to my parents and then myself , who let it live and flourish. Sometimes I feel that it is has the persona of that child we all hide and slowly forget. Well, not the illegitimate one 😛 , but that child which resides inside our hearts. It shows when we laugh out loud or when we are fighting over a piece of cake. But sadly, for most people, “inhibition” takes the front seat , drives the child to a safe house and visits it once in a blue moon.
I am yet to explore a great deal but what makes me share this, is my journey as an entrepreneur so far. We usually live on assumptions, mostly in the worst ways possible and all that is because we are – either afraid to accept that “we are afraid of the dark” or inhibit & underestimate ourselves due to general rationalizations / predictions.
For once in our lives, if we take that road which we always wonder about, we will most probably find out more about ourselves and gain more than what we imagine to lose.
Situations vary from person to person, but from what I have experienced, I have new found respect for artists and adventure freaks who just follow their fingers & feet respectively. Being an engineer and an employee gave me discipline, basic skills and understanding of how most of the world works, but being an aspiring entrepreneur, freelancer and opportunity explorer has removed the horizon from constricted vision. Probability plays a great role in this as by removing the horizon we give Math a chance to work its’ wonders. With the horizon in place we inhibit ourselves to the possibilities we are aware of and forget that permutations and combinations change with every variable.
I learn , decide and grow at every step of this quest , which I feel more and more comfortable about every passing day. People may judge me, but it is that voice that strengthens my belief in me and tells me: “Go On, make a mark or make a fool out of yourself, either way you will cherish what you find!” The journey may be long and initially I may not have enough supplies to reach the peak, but
by inhibiting inhibition, I have gained intuition.
Intuition that tells me not to worry too much about future or look for clues too far ,instead, keep walking on a dynamic map that my mind creates. Sometimes the supplies will come to me. Sometimes, I just have to keep my eyes open when they are lying around marked with my name all over. It’s amazing to see how things unravel when you stop inhibiting yourself based on pre-defined logic which was not designed for you in the first place.
So, kudos to all those who are disrupting and also to those who are re-inventing the wheel or even just painting it differently! It takes a lot to make decisions that not just impact you but also others associated with you. Stay honest to yourself and try intuition over inhibition at critical times to see what’s beyond the horizon.
PS: For those who are wondering, why I chose animation movies as graphic examples – it is because IMO these movies go beyond the horizon , yet relate with deep rooted realities of human behavior.
There was a time when people used their sense of touch and sight only on real things. Today, we are engaging these two senses for experiencing virtual wonders more than anything else. With the advent of touchscreen phones a whole new gamut of possibilities has opened up for device makers, but more so, for user experiences.
Android marked a huge leap forward in making the touch and visual appeal of any phone more exciting than ever. Flat themes and minimalist design started taking over the old bulky and complicated designs. Since inception, Google had been a pioneer in creating useful products with great performance, but Apple’s attention to design was raved about. Around 7 years ago, Google realized that there is more they can add to the overall user experience without compromising on performance.
For long, people had been buying phones just based on their outer appearance and basic features such as memory, sound and camera quality. With Google’s launch of new age flagship Nexus devices, users got a taste of the stock android experience. One may ask, what is all the fuss about ‘Stock Android’? Well, it’s the un-adulterated look & feel, quality performance and most importantly the periodic android updates on priority that come with stock android.
During I/O 2014, Google announced the future of interface design i.e. Material design. The term resonates what it actually is about. Matter from the real world comes to virtual as material. With material design, user interfaces can no more be restricted to how beautiful they look, how useful and even how functional they are. There is a new dimension that has been uncovered – which is how closely the user can relate with any interface and seamlessly interact with it.
“Interaction is the key here. Material design is what unlocks the potential of more customized touch phone experiences.”
Google’s lollipop (android 5.1) is an example of a complete material experience. For the users looking for more from their new age phones, here are some insights on the benefits of material design –
Eye candy + performance = happy user
Ever wondered why your phone used to slow down on installing too many games, themes etc. ? Good looks used to make you pay with performance. No more of that!
For instance, many apps have ‘card’ views e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Book my show etc. With material design, unlike the former android versions, there comes a recycler view that ensures the memory usage is limited to the currently visible cards and on scrolling down/up it recycled the cards, hence, no waste.
Apps with material design have more flexibility for customizations both by end user and app makers. For e.g. – the “skittle” (+) button in Evernote is customizable by users based on their preferences. The numerous options presented by the Material Design framework, have stretched the possibilities of distinct app designs on the same platform. Moreover, material design is also gradually taking over the web , which makes the transitions from mobile to web even more coherent for users.
More cognition and interaction enabled phones
What counts for a smart mobile experience? A lot of small interactions make up the whole experience. Some of them are – the feeling of actually touching something inside your phone, subtle and natural-looking animations and a lot of meaning associated with the entire flow of an app.
Things feel great with Android so far and iOS has its own design language, but what the user is missing through all this mass production of devices is customization/personalization. Today, a lot of people look for something new, something which can differentiate their mobile device/phones from others, because outer appearances are anyways covered up with cases.
Hive is an android based new age mobile OS that comes with Xolo phones. Hive is not just an early -player in incorporating material design, but also bringing about a revolution in the mobile industry for users who look for more control and choices in phones. Hive is empowering users to pitch their feature ideas and get them as OTA updates on their phones by means of programs such as – Connect and Edge (apps on Hive OS). With a deadly combination of material design and customization, users can now buy unique premium mobile experiences and not just a phone.
It’s time users pick mobile experiences that are dynamic enough to fulfill their growing needs and let them stay ahead of the curve.
I know it is a little late and it’s not exactly as I planned, but here is a small something for my fellows @ SLP BLR2014-15 . I just want to tell that each one of you made the cohort what it is ( #amazing ), whether or not you be on this piece of digital content. I hope to make something better and include everyone in the next one.
More Power to Startup Leadership Program
As a small initiative to spread word about the power of Entrepreneurship, I talked about some simple elements regarding ‘starting up’ , at a session that I delivered as a Speaker at Construkt Fest ‘ 15.
The topic : Spark a Startup – Ideate > Design > Validate !
Here are some highlights –
1. Pain point is not the only reason to start up. It could be for 2 other reasons – Customer Delight & Diluting Customer Fear.
2. Don’t start anything just for money.Try micro- entrepreneurship to build reserves/funds for your sustainability.
3. Don’t get bogged down by titles , play your role to your heart’s content.
4. You don’t necessarily need to be innovative . Where innovation can’t be brought about, bring in customer delight with a better imitation.
5. Design is about problem solving and not merely aesthetics & trendiness.
6. Hierarchy of design needs –
Image Credits – Smashing Magazine
My example of a ‘Tap’ to elaborate the design hierarchy of needs :
A. Functionality – The tap should allow free & controlable flow of water /beer/ oil whatever it is meant for.
B. Reliability – The tap should be running smoothly , without any obstructions inside it that could cause the flow of fluid to abruptly stop.
C. Usability – You may have seen a lot of taps – Sensor based, Rotatory Knob, Push button etc. If any tap, for most users , appears to be confusing to turn on (however b’ful / stylish it may be) , then the product designer has not passed the usability test.
D. Proficiency – At this level, one adds more value to the product. For eg. A tap could have features such as a mix of warm and cold water or a way to control the temperature etc.
E. Creativity – At last comes the stage when you can spice up the aesthetics of the product. But one should remember that creativity is also contextual. For eg. A colorful tap would be great for kids’ bathrooms but an elegant one is required for a fancy hotel washroom.
One must always try to create a MVP of their product / service model including the bottom three slabs of this pyramid –
Functionality > Reliability > Usability and the rest can be added with iterations.
Last but not the least,
Entrepreneurship is NOT risky !
It not only makes you learn a lot & in the best way YOU can, but also opens up a lot of avenues for you as a professional.
If you are looking for ideas , grab a copy of the Idea book ‘Startup Sparks’ – Ideas visualized as designs. Google Play Books or Kindle Books
It was their last semester (Jan 2014) pursuing Economics Hons @ Delhi University , when Siddharth & Chaitanya felt an urge to start something of their own, create something that brought value to businesses around them and that’s when it all started !
Siddharth Vij, hailing from Agra – which apart from being famous for Taj Mahal is also India’s biggest footwear manufacturing capital, had this innate desire to revolutionize this industry. Chaitanya Rathi, hailing from a business family from Gwalior – which is known for the Scindia Fort & many other historical sites, had realized that there was a need to bring in technology to revoke the growth of local businesses and make them flourish beyond their current reach. The entrepreneurial juices had been flowing inside their nerves for some time now, as both had already set on that path much earlier. While Chaitanya was learning business & strategies from his endeavors at Economy Decoded (Core team member) , Leotaur (Founder), Media Is You, etc. , Siddharth was building management skills & social circles at University Express (Co-founder).
It was with all this amazing experiential learning and most importantly a TEAM of friends – Fashion forward Charuka Arora, Graphic designer & techology enthusiast Siddharth Rastogi, and Researcher & creative writer Aditya Madhusudhan, that the making of Agra’s 1st B2B tech Startup – Bizcrum began.
It was all well planned since the inception. They knew that what they needed to build is a platform where businessmen could connect, exchange & grow Glocally (globally + locally). It was not just the need of the market, but also the founder’s personal connect and the market scope, understanding of the domain, that led to the decision of choosing the Footwear Industry as the first segment to start with. Shoekonnect was conceptualized as a business social network for the footwear industry which aims to bring together component suppliers, footwear manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers on a single platform.
The team started brainstorming on their ideas, doing everything beyond their comfort zone to get to the point where they had successfully validated their concept by talking to over 200 footwear business owners, understanding their needs, designing rough mockups of their platform & building strategies around the business model. They did not wait for help in matters of technology as they could clearly see a lot of ground work was required before even starting to worry about that concern. Instead, they created something which added more value to their future product – Biznista.com: e-Magazine that delivers fresh news, trends, insights about the global footwear industry – Manufacturing , Fashion , Brands, Retailers,Interviews etc.
It was already June 2014 by the time they had launched Biznista & the time had arrived when they were struggling to achieve their self-imposed deadline for their key product. Shoekonnect was ready to materialize from prototype to an actual product but there was a deep trough to be traversed to reach the crest. After meeting countless number of techpreneurs in Delhi, Bizcrum finally found it’s Kohinoor back home at Taj city. An old friend – Sumat Nanda, an assiduous & passionate tech entrepreneur joined the founding team and that’s when Bizcrum felt complete. Looking for an entrepreneur and that too with experience in technology in the small city of Agra, was almost like searching for a pin in a hay stack. But, as they say – “Those who believe, sure do achieve”.
Though it was tough but they continued to work during their final exams, only to realize that what came next was 3x tougher than that. College was over by June 2014 & it was the next 2 months when the entire team had sleepless weeks, field studies, meetings with businesses & some even had to take up jobs to support themselves and the technology infrastructure costs. Building the product was one herculean task but creating awareness about it’s presence was much more and that’s where the entire team functioned like a well-oiled machine. While Charuka & Aditya took charge of Biznista.com, Sumat, Siddharth Vij , Chaitanya , Siddharth Rastogi ensured that they worked day and night to address all technology & business challenges faced by ShoeKonnect.
While parents supported the risks taken by these young entrepreneurs, prominent public figures/organizations such as – Rakshit Tandon (Cyber Security Expert), Puran Dawar – Chairman of Dawar Group (Leading Indian Footwear manufacturer) & AFMEC (Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber) etc. encouraged them by guiding & expressing their confidence in the product. The whole endeavor couldn’t have been grand without the help of seniors such as – GP Sharma, Ravi Saini & Rittwick Visen , the creative team of – Rishav Kumar, Varun Gupta & several bright student interns.
It’s been just a month since it’s launch in September 2014, and Bizcrum’s Shoekonnect has already on boarded 50+ businesses including some international users. Bizcrum also conducted events in association with NASSCOM’s 10,000 Startups (India’s most promising Startup Program) to spread awareness about entrepreneurship in small Indian cities such as Gwalior & Agra and has been covered by National & Local Media houses such as – Hindustan Times, Amar Ujala etc.
#Bizcrum became the fourth most trending tag on Twitter in India leaving behind Anushka Sharma, Virat Kohli, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber!
Bizcrum is a Business Social Network – a connection centric B2B portal that is created to facilitate communication amongst entrepreneurs. BizCrum derives its spirit from the word ‘fulcrum’. Fulcrum literally means ‘to raise’. Bizcrum aims to become the fulcrum for business enterprises which they can use to raise themselves to great heights.
Going forward the team aims at building similar solutions for other industries so as to accomplish their mission of bringing the about the next big evolution in building & growing business relations as well as global commerce.
With immense belief, team work, hard work and little savings one can build a startup out of anywhere !