Started in 2016, Gurgaon-based Gramin Healthcare (GHC) is among the few start-ups working on a profitable healthcare model for rural areas. “We are working on changing consumer behaviour in rural India by offering them institutional healthcare, providing consistent quality services at their doorstep at a price they can afford,’’ says Ajoy Khandheria, founder, GHC. Khanderia is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in building telematics, telecommunication and healthcare businesses.
“Our business model is such that GHC, with the help of Iffco, is creating primary healthcare centres through which services can be rendered to the rural population. The services are availed by rural people using our health card,” he says. As GHC grows, the health card is going to be the means through which secondary services too could be delivered. “For tertiary services, we will compliment Ayushman Bharat,” Khandheria adds. Most of GHC’s 120 primary healthcare centres in six states are co-located within Iffco e-Bazar stores across the hinterland. Iffco picked up 26% stake in GHC in April 2017.
The GHC centres are equipped with modern diagnostic machines. “We have been using tele-assisted medicine where the rural patients are connected by a local nurse at GHC centres who connects them to our network doctor present in the city hospital via teleconferencing. Also, unlike other primary healthcare centres, we are keeping electronic health records for the patients on a cloud-based secure system which can be accessed anytime,’’ Khandheria explains.
The entire treatment process is cashless owing to the Gramin Healthcare Card which enables patients to go for medical consultation without worrying about immediate availability of money. The Gramin Healthcare card is a prepaid card issued for a period of one-year for an entire family of four members. It offers product discounts, free tests, and secondary healthcare services through partner hospitals.
“We have invested about $1.5 million in this company. We are in talks with a few investors, both, financial investors and strategic investors. Additionally, we are constantly evaluating partnerships in products and services that are complimentary and will help enhance the service we offer to our patients,’’ he adds.
GHC hopes to make the unorganised rural healthcare sector more organised in the next five years. “We want to get better patient traction. When we scale up the business, we should be able to make a modest profit out of it. We have widened our reach to six states within two years and look forward to expand to other states in the coming years,’ ’ adds Khandheria.