It’s a story of Aspiration, Determination, Attitude, Spirit, Belief !!!
It’s a story of 3 guys Siddhartha, Sowrabh, Satyadeep who chose to leave everything – Home, Jobs, Families, girlfriends (not literally- a distant relationship), friends, all possible comforts, to set up an office in a small city 60 Kilometres off Delhi, called Meerut- UP. FYI- Meerut is a city beyond the startup eco-system- Its inconsequential.
It’s a story of building a healthcare system which could serve the under- served, and the untouched.
It’s a story of travelling 160 Kms, everyday, to acquire Doctors, hospitals, partnerships, being part of “the startup ecosystem” events in the city.
It’s a story of rejection by some, who supposedly carry the beacon of the startup eco-system, and term themselves as representatives of this community in the country.
It’s also a story of one of the startup eco-system hero’s getting Siddhartha in his car- offering to take him for lunch, and then dropping him in the middle, as that guy realized that one of the elements in the application was still being developed.
It’s a story of continuous struggle with all this rejection and still acquiring 40+ Paying Doctors in Meerut (over all 70+), having 1.25 Lakh Unique patients on the platform, with over 300K appointments mapped.
A story with 3 acquisition offers, rejecting it, and still working to build a system to make that impact which this country needs.
A STORY THAT THE WORLD SHOULD KNOW!!!!! March/April 2015 – I had just launched BW ACCELERATE, and was in the process of selection of the first batch.
While we were looking at all the applications, we came across an application which made us question- As to why would someone compete with a significantly large, funded player in the market (the deck seemed to communicate so). We knew something was amiss, and we must meet the founders to understand more.
So we set up a meeting for an X day at about 11:30 am. I still clearly remember Sidd reached office at about 2:30 p.m (peak summers in North India) all drenched as his bus from Meerut broke down. Through the course of this interaction, we realized that it’s been a play beyond what was on the deck.
It was a play which was very intelligent and exhaustive. But, with this realization, a massive challenge became apparent. The challenge was in adoption. Given the sphere this Startup was operating in, where on boarding doctors was critical, Addodoc was a horizontal play(For all specialties) and we feared abnormal acquisition rate.
With these issues confronting us, through the next few interactions, we spoke with the team to discuss how comfortable would they be with certain tweaks in how we go about it. To my surprise, the attitude and flexibility this team carried was exceptional. 30 Min into the conversation we agreed on the larger trajectory, growth path, acquisition, and so many other things.
Addodoc was now part of the first batch of ACCELERATE. While the batch was up, as we had discussed, the team got on to the task and started optimizing the play. We went vertical focused. The vertical that we chose was pediatrics.
A play we believed had the highest sensitivity and will serve us as the foundation to a larger play. The tech team got to wire framing of an extension, Sidd and myself focused on the acquisition play. While we did that, piece- by-piece, we realized our acquisition timelines not essentially shrinking- it was tough. This guy was on the street, meeting over 7-8 doctors every day.
An average meeting was about 20 minute, but the waiting time was over 45 minute. While we had optimized plans by identifying catchments, but it still remained slow. It took us four meetings to convert a new doctor- it was frustrating. While at it, there were instances while he was installing printers (part of the kit) at the existing Doc’s facility smile emoticon . And that frustration, genuinely had funny moments!!! While Sidd dealt with all this, Sowrabh and Satyadeep held the fort on tech.
They ensured Sidd had all the time to focus on the market. This was a team which held each other’s back, and buoy they did it!!!!! What this team had was a very special bond that they had built in the process. Sowrabh and Satya did not know Sidd from college, they met at an event in Bangalore and agreed to work. Both these guys basically hailed from Hyderabad with each of their parents in services- Banking and education.
I’m 100% sure their parents were flabbergasted, wondering if the kids were on dope or something- as they were not moving to Delhi, but a small city called Meerut, which ranks among the highest in crime in the country !!!!! Through this journey we have seen many ups and downs. Moments when we said no to a deal, and wondered what next smile emoticon What they have built is a very strong foundation. When we met recently, Sidd had invited me to see the new office, the brilliance with which this new and large team is resonating the same vision, is commendable.
This is clearly a team which will kick some serious ass, and too, very efficiently !!!!! Guys, it’s been an honour and privilege to have known you, and worked with you!! God speed and all the very best!!
Story Shared by Ashu Aggarwal BW Accelerate
[ Also Read: Stories of Indian Entrepreneurs who started with nothing ]
This is really inspirational story – What are your view, Please tell us with comments below.