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Founder & CEO,Medos HealthCare Services

Below are the highlights of the interview between Top Business Tycoon and Dr P Chandra. Dr P Chandra founded Medos. Medos is an organisation that provides services relating to special treatment for people who need immediate help and treatment in order to heal quickly. Medos is one of the few service companies in the country with well-trained and experienced personnel. We are glad to share this exclusive conversation with all the readers.

Would you tell us about Yourself, Your Journey, Initial Struggle?

Growing up in a lower-middle-class family, I spent much of my childhood in rural villages in Odisha, where access to healthcare was a pipe dream. I recall walking 13 km to a nearby subdivision hospital for health care. Critical patients were transported to the hospital in "Jholas," in which the patient sat in a basket suspended from sturdy bamboo and carried by two strong men. We had to travel at least 4-5 kilometres to get the services of a "Quak" - an unprofessional, uneducated medical practitioner - since there was no adequate contact facility available in 1985.

As a meritorious student who earned 1st class during my academic career, I, like everybody else, aspired to be a doctor. However, after completing intermediate science, I was unable to pursue MBBS and instead had to settle for a BHMS in counselling in 1995. After 6 months of BHMS, I dropped out and returned to the general system of education, such as BSc, MBA, MPhil, PhD, and so on. Despite the fact that I did not become a doctor, I did become a Dr. (Academics just to satisfy the lost ego).

However, after completing my MBA, I was offered a position as a Business Executive with Raptakos, Brett & Co in Berhampur (Odisha), where I discovered that there were more "Quaks" treating patients than doctors. Since most doctors were not there, most people used to consult "Quaks" in front of hospitals. At the moment, I saw a need for technologies to help patients in situations where doctors were unavailable. So, I went to work with American Heart Care Ltd, a division of Heart Care Corp. in the United States, as a Marketing Manager, supporting Telemedicine setups, Cardio Stations- ECG Over Phone, where an ATM card, such as a Chip based card, will monitor heartbeat and send it to a nearby cardio station over the phone, allowing patients to have instant cardiac consultation over the phone.

In 2004, I received specialised training in telemedicine, DICOM software, and other related topics, but this term was still in its infancy in India. The mistake was that the company introduced this idea in India, where even bank ATMs were new and uncommon. And the highest internet speed was in Kbps. As a result, after three years, the company shut down its Indian operations.

After being forcefully fired from that role, I launched my career in Investment Banking and progressed up the corporate ladder. Yet there was still a thought at the back of my mind about how to get the programmes to the public's doorstep. So, at the same time as I was working with various companies, I started my own company to experiment with the internet, and my first project was an online hotel booking website in 2005, which failed to take off due to the same issue, as the idea was new at a time when people had little or limited access to the internet and ATM-debit cards.

After failing and burning out my savings, I began contracting IT-related work; I also took on data entry work to pay my venture's employees while maintaining my career to finance the venture. My own business became self-sustaining over the course of three years, and I launched two e-commerce websites, one of which is still operational.

Since offering healthcare facilities to the public is my passion, and thankfully, as my own company became self-sustaining and successful, I quit my last assignment in 2008. I'm not sure whether it was poor or good for me, as after joining UTI as a Chief Manager and not being assigned any headquarter due to the economic recession, I quit my last assignment in 2008. I wanted to make my own decisions and began releasing various web apps that provide various B2C resources.

Finally, in 2010, I began providing healthcare to those in need. However, the company did not take off as planned. When it became more impossible to maintain after further setbacks in the current healthcare services, luck persuaded me to reconsider and return to work, this time in the government sector (State Pollution Control Board) for more than three years, only to survive my own company.

Finally, in 2017, I resigned from all assignments to focus on my own company, which is now doing nearly 1.7 Crores in revenue, and Medos began fully operating independently in 2017-18. Though the early years were too difficult to manage on their own, they have now broken even and are operating individually under the umbrella of the company.

Nobody trusts me as they see my current condition. At first, having a square meal was a pipe dream. At the end of each month, salaries were paid to employees, rent was paid to the landlord, petrol was poured into executive bikes, and money was spent on job advertising not from venture profits, but from own salary.

“The only way to manage the business is to give up everything. Since the venture is your only passion, it's as if you had a sick kid at home that needs more assistance and care. Despite the fact that no one, including friends, family members, and relatives, has come out to assist you emotionally or financially, and you are being discouraged on both sides, you must take your winning call and eventually you will be the winner.”

Even now, despite the fact that I am applying for an incubation centre, I am seeing that those without entrepreneurial skills are having this and shutting doors within 6 months, although we are already failing on all fronts. This frustrates me at times, but you have to go on without it.

How can you keep on top of performance improvement and shifts in industry thinking that you'll be focusing on more now?

The demand for healthcare support services is enormous, and according to my estimates, it is worth at least Rs 1500 crore in India. The main issue is a lack of trained and skilled personnel. Although an increasing number of people are using these facilities, there is a shortage of skilled personnel. In this vertical, there is a demand-supply imbalance that needs to be addressed and taken seriously.

Furthermore, the Covid-19 has put a lot of strain on this industry. The majority of people want compassionate nursing treatment at home, and they're also looking for a nurse who knows how to deal with ventilators and has critical care expertise. The demand increased dramatically, and I believe that most service providers would be unable to meet the current demand. There are also requests for assistance, such as renting oxygen tubes, ventilators, and emergency facilities at affordable rates, as well as delivering treatment for Covid +ve home isolated patients, among other things. I believe that as more people become aware of Covid +ve and stop wandering outside of their homes, we can see a 500 % increase in demand for home distribution of medicines, laboratory facilities, and the provision of home nurses in the coming months.

What incident had most influenced your career choice?

Entrepreneurship is a passion rather than a profession. One must marry his own business and grow it as though it were a child. Second, I accept that choosing the vertical is an option. And this decision should be based on your interests. Since I had a childhood dream of being a doctor but was unable to do so, I decided to seek an alternative to acting as an intermediary to deliver the best healthcare support services to people at their doorstep.

Furthermore, I was in Bihar-Jharkhand and was searching for an orthopaedic surgery doctor on an urgent basis, but was unable to find one. This prompted me to launch an application (Mobile) for an online doctor database and consultation. Despite the fact that I was present at the district headquarters, I inquired of various locals, pharmacies, and pathology laboratories, but to my surprise, no one understood the distinction between a general surgeon and an orthopaedic surgeon.

In another instance, I was in need of a nephrologist in Bihar, but no one could respond in a timely manner. Even though I attempted Practo and was dissatisfied with the information, I am not blaming; rather, I am stating that there are so many resources in this vertical to offer the highest, most accurate, and most valid information to the public. This incident prompted me to include online doctor consulting services in my portfolio, which will be ready in 2022.

Why should one prefer you?

When there is an emergency, Medos-Medical-Emergency-Door-Services works on delivering all health-care services to people's doorsteps. People, in general, should not need such services and they do not need others' assistance for payment unless there is an emergency. Medos provides door-to-door medicine delivery, pathological service collection, home-based nursing and elder care, maternity care, and ultimately, home-based doctor consulting services—a basket of full home-based healthcare options.

What/Who Inspires MEDOS to come up with a unique way to care about people’s health?

Nothing, but it is my own passion to serve people alternatively not being a medico.

What kind of support did you need when you started MEDOS?

I believe that if you are not fortunate enough to receive venture capital, seed money, or a start-up incubation centre, no one can accept you, including families, relatives, and friends. If you want to defend your zeal, you must cry foul.

If you will see, we currently lack a proper framework for registering as a service provider. We are exempt from the Clinical Establishment Act, the Drug Controller Act, and all other relevant statutes. We don't have anything on our own and we don't have anything on our own. We act as a middleman to provide this collection of resources. There is still the possibility that the police will object to our service, or that the government will object because there are no laws or rules in place to govern us.

What are your views on today’s industry scenario? What is your strategy to reach new people?

Today's market is very dynamic, necessitating careful preparation to meet the final client, as well as adequate service pricing to reach the correct audience. This year, we want to invest 10% of our sales on various methods of positioning our services.

How does MEDOS work on making mankind better? What can be expected from MEDOS in the upcoming years?

In the future, Medos hopes to hit at least 10%-20% of the households in which we have a presence. By 2023, we want to sell our services in all metros once more. By 2025, we want to see a fivefold rise in sales and a 500% increase in client base. Our mission is to provide a comprehensive range of healthcare facilities that meets or exceeds your expectations.

How do you keep up with the latest technology/resources advances?

We plan to launch a Medos smartphone application that will enable users to access all of the company's resources online, as well as have access to online doctor consultations. We had already released a beta edition, which was removed after several bugs were discovered, and we expect the upgraded version to be ready by March 2022. It will be available on both Android and iOS, with a fresh look and a new set of services.

How do you evaluate success?

Success is a path rather than a destination. "Success is a bastard, and Failure is an orphan," as someone once told me, is still real. Nobody will assist you in achieving success, because if you do, everybody will claim that they contributed to your success, because if you lose, nobody, even friends, family members, and relatives, will be interested in speaking with you. It's the unvarnished truth about success.