NRIs use UberHealth for Healthcare
By Hitesh Shetty
Tens of millions of Indians live abroad of which many have done very well in life. There are a very large number of millionaire Indians in USA, Europe and Middle East. One thing that binds most Indians is the close family ties and how children will do everything to make their parents comfortable back home in India. Uberhealth manages all aspects of family healthcare in India.
Uberhealth enables people who are busy/living away from family to manage all aspects of family healthcare including Scheduling appointments, online consultation, Transportation, Billing, Healthcare monitoring, At Door Services etc.
Ishan Jha is one of the co-founders and Techgoss had a chat with him
Techgoss (TG): Please share with us your educational background and IT work experience.
Ishan Jha: I graduated from NIT Jalandhar as an Electronics and Communications Engineer in 2010 and then joined Computer Science Corporation (CSC) as a web application developer. I realized very soon that working as a software developer was not what I was meant to do and so switched to a profile of marketing analyst after 1.5 years. Here, I fell in love with playing with numbers and data analytics became my forte. Working in this profile for a similar time period gave confidence to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams.
(TG): How did you and your colleagues stumble upon the idea of starting a healthcare for the elderly? Tell us about the series of events that led to the formation of this novel initiative.
Ishan Jha: All three of the co-founders ought to solve a problem that we face ourselves. My parents live in Kathmandu, Nepal and I moved to India a decade back for studies. Ajay, whose hometown is Ludhiana, has worked in a number of metro cities in India and then eventually went to Chile and USA for his entrepreneurial dreams. Kamal is pursuing his PHD from Stanford University and was looking for something similar for his parents, who live in Saharanpur.
Informal discussions between Ajay and I, led to a research in this field. To our astonishment we did not find any such service in India and then started speaking with our contacts who reside outside India. Kamal joined us in the process. We also started a survey and found that 75% NRIs cited family health concerns as a reason to come to India. Even the remaining 25% agreed that it is a helpful initiative and requires consideration.
These interactions bolstered our idea and we started to interact with the hospitals, laboratories and doctors.
(TG): How easy/ difficult was the inevitable shift for you from being a software expert to running a healthcare firm?
Ishan Jha: I cannot say that the shift was an easy one because in the initial days, the first question everybody asked was, Are you a doctor? If not then, how can you understand the medical issues?
We have advisors who have diverse experience in the medical fields. They are the ones who made the transition easier for us. The difficult part was to learn the medical terms and related things in detail. I made it a point to ask a question on a new topic to the advisors every time we met. Reading blogs and articles on healthcare business helps to understand whatever is necessary.
These days I advise my friends on health check-ups and small medical issues to their irritation.
(TG): As a successful Techie you had a good income in a booming industry. How long was it before you felt financially comfortable at your business 'UberHealth'?
Ishan Jha: As time passes, requirements increase in your life. Before Uberhealth happened, I felt that the ratio between saving and expenditure will remain the same even with good hikes in the corporate. Being a single guy and no such family financial pressure helped and so, I saved whatever I could and set out to try my luck. We are bootstrapped, and luckily I did not have to compromise on my comfort zone till now.
We have huge plans ahead and want the business to grow very big. We avoid making un-necessary and lavish expenditure so that money does not become a cause for our ideas to fail. We follow Nelson Mandela’s quote –
“Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will”