Today, we are on the verge of digitisation and globalisation. We are rather human robots and so our minds are influenced to think in that terms. But how can we forget that inside us runs the river of blood and an army of flesh. Our body can never be digitalized because we are human beings. Anything wrong with our body system cannot be ignored or left upon the technology solely to recover. We should take care of our body before it is too late and of course then the oxygen cylinders are obviously there to support the lifeless you. However, who wants to fall ill?
DiagnoRite Innovation Healthcare is an innovative venture which promises right diagnosis at the right time. Influenced by the ill condition of the family, they decided to eliminate the loophole and not let anyone suffer because of unavailability of a proper diagnosis. In India, the medical aids are underrated and everyday we hear and read news about the human race collapsing because of it. There is a dire need to put this on the right pedal and undoubtedly people are coming up with ideas and plans to set thing right. If everyone starts to take due care of themselves and not keep their health in the backseat, we all can collectively ensure the growth of India hygienically. DiagnoRite is one such initiative taken up by Dr. Susmita Ghosh and we can bank on it for any kind of diagnosis. She is indeed doing a great work in keeping the health of India on fore. Let’s have a look at her interview and see what motivated her to the core.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
DiagnoRite Innovative Healthcare. Diagno= Diagnosis, Rite= Right , A company with a mission to create right diagnosis
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
Hospitals, clinics, health-centres, ambulance in both urban and rural areas, but ultimately our product will serve the masses.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
Pune, MH, India, our target areas are South Asia and Africa
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
Our venture is innovating a novel blood test, that can be practiced anywhere, by any healthcare worker and detect and confirm heart attack at the earliest.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
Illness in the family and lack of available diagnostics left us frustrated. We left that our training from world’s premier organization like Harvard will be useless, if that cannot save one’s own family. So we, myself and my co-founder, we decided to start a venture that will focus on developing novel, hi tech affordable diagnostics for the masses. Initially we had no money and no business skills. So we approached corporates to sponsor our projects. One corporate gave us experience what not to do. With the other corporate, we developed a super sensitive malaria diagnostic kit, which despite of clearing FDA approval, fail to reach the market because of the difference in priorities between us, the inventor and them, the corporates. Then we realized, if we really want to solve India’s diagnostics problem, we should ourselves become techno-preneurs.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
As of now, our product is under development and there is no such product in Indian market. However, the new blood test we are developing, similar products are becoming extremely popular in Europe, Canada and Far East. Makers of these products are trying to seek entry into Indian market. But our product can have a wider customer base (as it can serve rural area), price advantage and technically more suited for India as it will be validated with Indian population. Most blood tests practiced in India are imported and are not validated against Indians, Therefore, most of the times, despite of paying a huge fortune on blood tests, the patients are treated on assumption. We want to end that scenario.
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us some thing about your co-founder/s
My co-founder is our longtime family friend, former door front neighbour, and with similar academic training. Together in 2003, we took the mission to create affordable diagnostics for the masses and went out venturing.
8.How did you hired your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
We still could not hire the right kind of people because of lack of money. There is one person who joined us during our corporate sponsored days, who joined us as a volunteer to have some experience. She was later absorbed by our sponsor until she left for USA in 2010. After coming back last year she joined our company. We now need both technical and business people. Business people we have identified- they come from different background, senior in age and has experience in business that lasts. We have three in our reserve, two retired and another entrepreneur, currently venturing in a different field. Our technical people should have a doctoral ormasters degree in any stream of life science or medical technology, and should have good hands on laboratory work.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
Next two years our product should be ready for clinical validation. With clinical validation ongoing, we will also start pilot manufacturing, which is required for FDA approval. All some certifications should be ready by 3-3.5 years, when we can launch our product in the market. We expect to start with a conservative but achievable 200 clients in major cities in Maharashtra . After six months, (4th years) reaching break even, we will try to expand to all over India. After 5 th year we will launch in other South Asian and African countries.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
In next years, I want to see our product serving most hospitals, and healthcare centres, saving lives. After 4 th year, we want to start focusing on newer products, preferably in the field of TB. We want to continue developing one product after another through world class research.
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
Next one month we will be very busy with completion of one prestigious grant we received from the government. Post finishing this grant, we will take to solid months focusing on solid fund raising leaving no stones unturned. Apart from government funding, we also want to look for angel funding. We now want to raise solid 4.6 crores for next 5 years. Once that is assured, we will spend the next one year or two in solid research and development very much required for the ultimate commercial and technical success of a novel blood test.
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We have so far raised 39+50+22.5 lakhs in government grants. But these grants come in bits and pieces with uncertainly lengthy gaps in between. This type of grant is not enough especially because these grants have caps on manpower costs. As mentioned before, now we will be focusingonly on fund raising for a few months.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
We have no business experience and we are still not familiar with business terms. We are solving the problems by burning our fingers.
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
One of the most challenging part was receiving recognition from Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India. Before us, only large industries were eligible for this. We appealed and pursued till the rule to accommodate biotech start-ups with government funding came up.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
Married with a grown up daughter
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I personally have multiple hobbies, big and small. My venture is my biggest hobby. Apart from that, I love organizing cultural workshops and programme with kids and adults, I love literature, movie music and art, both for enjoyment as well as critical appreciation, I also love traveling. Needle work and fashion desgning is also my hobby. Whenever I am not working, I continue the hobby whose materials are right in front
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
I am not a big foodie, but I love homecooked fish. I love exploring new places, especially those are not visited by commoners.
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
I do not have a single motivator. I get motivations from multiple people, some of them are not even in my good book for other reasons.
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Those who work for others lack security, so they think working for others is the best choice, even if that involves everyday humiliation.
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
There is no question about it, if I could become younger, probably I would learn how to ride a bike to reach and manage destinations with better ease.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
I clearly have doubt whether people in my family and extended family (apart from my daughter) appreciates me for being an entrepreneur. They do not have the capacity to understand. Socially, most people do not even know what I do. But there are people, who, gradually after knowing mywork, started respecting me.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
I would like to sing a Bengali song for them- Haal chhero na bandhu, borong kantho chharo jore-which translates to, dear friend, never give up, but give your loud voice for a cause!
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I am a Ph.D. from University of Connecticut, USA with a post doctoral training from Harvard Medical School. My father used to teach English in a college. I married my co researcher while doing Ph.D., he became an academician and one of the top ones in India. My maternal grandfather was one of the co-founders of Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, the first Indian pharmaceutical company in the British era.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
Most start-ups in healthcare domain are trying to find digital solutions to all healthcare problems. This is grossly incorrect, because they are not only forgetting that human is made of flesh and blood, but also ignore the fact that the majority of the data that has created a human being is unknown. Once you get a big chunk of data through a new technology, it reveal that how litte we still know about the human body.We are treating blood as blood and trying to find solutions from real humans and not data.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
The myopic vision to get rich and the lack of patience. It is a problem with both start -ups as well financers.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
I do not call myself a failure. The day my product can serve people, I can call myself successful.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
Dr. Susmita Ghosh (9226167508)
Co-Founder Dr. Sutapa Mitra (9823059843)
Team DiagnoRite : An all women organizationDiagnoRite Innovative
Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.
Bunglow B-12 Defence Officers’ Co-op Housing Society
Behind Medipoint Hospital, Aundh, Pune-411007
website : diagnorite.com