A hallmark of the Indian startup ecosystem is the propensity of new businesses to plug structural gaps in essential services. In doing so, enterprising startups and their founders seem to have no qualms about jumping in at the deep end. In December 2021, while India was witnessing the onset of the third wave of COVID infections, the founder of HealthismPlus spotted a lack of insurance coverage for a variety of healthcare and well-being related services. The company created a special subscription plan with the HealthismPlus Savings Card, complemented by a digital platform which aggregated service providers who offer discounts for users. Not only did this include a range of allied healthcare services that are usually beyond the purview of ordinary insurance plans, like dental care, pathology tests, and wellness centers like dietician, spa, saloon, gym etc., it also helped in reducing out-of-pocket expenses that patients incur during routine treatments.
But there was a reason why few had attempted to leverage health-tech to rationalize healthcare expenses. As Piyush Kothari, Founder & CEO, HealthismPlus, explains, “In the early stages it was a bit difficult to convince our established partners to join our journey, because they did not have a good experience with similar business models.” The solution for Piyush Kothari and the team at HealthismPlus was to commit to transparency and trust. They were also helped in their efforts to build positive relationships with their customers and partners through their membership of the First Wings program, a dedicated banking service for startups by IDFC FIRST Bank, which helped the new company forge lasting connections within the industry and gain credibility.
It's emblematic of HealthismPlus’s deep relationship with IDFC FIRST Bank, which goes beyond the obligations of a mere funding partner. “In IDFC FIRST Bank, we found a partner who uniquely understands our needs as a budding startup. We are also looking at IDFC FIRST Bank as a mentor and a key industry contact”, Piyush Kothari says, summarizing the impact of IDFC FIRST Bank’s holistic approach to startup growth. For a startup like HealthismPlus, which seeks scale and profitability in a highly competitive industry, it was important to have the necessary resources and support needed to grow. With IDFC FIRST Bank by their side, the company was sufficiently shielded from risks and uncertainties to be able to concentrate on building a robust partner network, as well as modern digital infrastructure, accomplished with the launch of an app, a website and a CRM platform.
The road ahead for Healthism looks a promising one. “We are building a comprehensive network of pharmacies, pathology labs, diagnostic centers, doctors, dentists, salons, spas, and yoga centers”, notes Piyush Kothari. This immense scope for growth is down to HealthismPlus’s commitment to go beyond what ordinary insurance companies offer, precisely to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses patients incur during routine treatments. The services offered under the HealthismPlus Savings Card also work to expand access and consequently, the clientele for a wide range of health and well-being services. “Eventually we want to leverage the power of AI & ML to become a predictive platform that will help our users lead a healthy lifestyle”, says Piyush Kothari. With their trustworthy and reliable services, along with a solid financial foundation provided by IDFC FIRST Bank, via the First Wings service, HealthismPlus is poised to revolutionize how Indians seek and consume healthcare services.