Updated on 16 January 2013
Start-ups often face severe difficulties in raising funds during the initial phases of their functioning. However, for Mr Reddy, this was not the case. He mentions that "Raising funds was not so difficult. As soon as I had the business plan ready, I got the funding from Mr Ramprabhu T K and one more NRI investor." Mr Ramprabhu is presently the director of eHealth Access and heads the R&D team of the firm in Hyderabad.
The challenge for Mr Reddy was that the technology that he was introducing to the country was fairly new and people found it difficult to accept the technology. "One of the main challenges was to make the people understand that our technology, market the same and at the same time, develop the technology with a very small team," adds Mr Reddy. The technology development for the voice platform for DialurDoctor took six months.
Another challenge that Mr Reddy faced was that starting the company with a disruptive business model (a model that creates a new market by applying a different set of values, which ultimately overtakes an existing market) was not easy in India. "It is rather difficult to get investments when you enter the market with such a business model, but thankfully that was not the case for us. We rather had the difficulty in convincing our corporate clients about our services and they were skeptical in using them. But when we gave trials, they understood that our system was not a hoax and realized the benefits of such services for office employees."
Towards the end of November 2012, the company launched India's first Virtual Medical Kiosk in Bangalore. Through the kiosk, patients and doctors can communicate through phone, web-cam, video conferencing, messaging or chat. The kiosk is embedded with a touch screen system, audio-video capabilities, diagnostic equipment, scanner and medical management software that is capable of recording personal health data in order to give a real-life experience through a proprietary platform that has been developed by eHealth Access.
The company plans to launch these kiosks in rural and in corporate settings. About the marketing strategy of the kiosk, Mr Reddy explains, "In the rural segment there is no limitation because one needs 1 kiosk per 1,000 people, so it depends on the initiatives taken by the governments. Corporate is an open market, which we can tap immediately." The cost of the kiosk is about $6,300 (Rs 3.5 lakh) and the company has several corporate plans whereby companies will pay annual subscription fees for each employee. The fees would ranges from $11 to $18 (Rs 599 to Rs 999).