Episode 128 / August 1, 2021

The future of Healthcare in India ft. Prasad Kompalli, Founder, Mfine

49 min

Episode 128 / August 1, 2021

The future of Healthcare in India ft. Prasad Kompalli, Founder, Mfine

49 min
Listen on

During the pandemic & lockdown since last year:

# Initially people weren’t able to visit a doctor personally;

# And, currently both the patient & the doctor try to avoid meeting physically unless it’s absolutely necessary

During this period, Telemedicine has grown silently and rapidly, revolutionizing Indian healthcare.

Recent report by EY, has predicted robust growth in the country’s telemedicine (e-consults & e-pharmacy) sector between now and 2025 – at a 31% compound annual growth rate, securing up to $5.5 billion.

And today we have Prasad Kompalli, CEO & Co-founder Mfine, which is acing this tailwind with an over 8x growth in users, and adding 250 hospitals to its platform, taking the total partner hospitals to over 550, in just the initial months of lockdown.

Mfine, which was started in 2017, is enabling doctors to diagnose more number of patients, with higher accuracy, thanks to its AI & ML integrations.

During the podcast, Prasad talks about their learnings of a customer’s journey on product, his view on the future of telemedicine in India and his advice to first-time entrepreneurs entering this sector.

Notes –

02:23 – Growing up in Vijayawada; Engineering background at family

10:06 – Key learnings from working at Myntra

13:59 – mfine thesis: Power of mobile & healthcare being a data-driven business

16:54 – Current Scale: Monthly transactions & Customer journey

18:36 – Early investments from Stellaris & Prime Venture Partners

29:42 – What worked: Primary care & Digitizing specialist care

32:39 – What didn’t work: You can’t inflate the demand

37:55 – Advice to first-time health care entrepreneur

46:34 – Being a Calm vs Aggressive startup CEO

Read the full transcript here:



Siddhartha Ahluwalia 00:04

Hi, this is Siddhartha Ahluwalia. Welcome to the 100x entrepreneur podcast. Today I have with me Prasad Kompalli. Prasad is the co-founder and CEO of Mfine. One of the leaders in telehealth in India. Before mfine, he was chief revenue officer and head of ecommerce platforms at Myntra. And prior to Myntra, Prasad spent several years in senior leadership roles in SAP in India and Germany. Prasad has been a good friend. I have known him since my days as working at prime ventures, I have taken health and leadership lessons from him. Welcome Prasad for the podcast,


Prasad Kompalli 00:44

thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It’s great that with all the work that you’re doing, you know, in your day job, you’re doing all these additional pursuits of yours. Great to see you in a fully energetic. Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of change in you and you look fit even fitter.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 01:04

Thank you. just taking inspiration from you.


Prasad Kompalli 01:09

That’s good. That’s cool, because it’s really great to be doing this.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 01:14

So, Prasad. You, Ajit and Ashutosh founded mfine in December 2017.


Prasad Kompalli 01:20

and arjun also.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 01:24

And the main offering to users is on demand, access to medical care, through virtual consultations and connected care programs like diagnostics, right. And you have currently 4000 plus doctors across 35 specialties, from 700, prominent hospitals on mfine. And you have tied up with 500 plus diagnostic centers. So, let’s start, you know, I would like to start, you know, this is where you are, and you have raised like $75 million in funding from Indian and international investors, that’s phenomenal. But I want to start from the beginning, right, if you can just throw some light about your background, your childhood days, your family, right. And what made you come into entrepreneurship?


Prasad Kompalli 02:11

Yeah, I think. Yeah, I mean, typical background of, you know, middle class upbringing, and I’m from actually Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, and did my engineering and computer science from Warangal, nit Warangal you know, in childhood days, meaning, I mean, it’s very difficult in the sense that, you know, very much interested in focused on, you know, math and sciences, etc. I wanted to be an engineer, always my, you know, a lot of people in the family and cousins and my brother, everybody is an engineer, my father, of course was he was he was working in railways. My mother is a housewife. But both of them were teachers, they used to take tuitions as kind of a hobby additional hobby, in the communities etc. So, there’s actually a lot of things I learned and got interested in, you know, math and sciences, etc., and, you know, inevitable journey to become an engineer. So, became that, but I definitely enjoyed that entire journey of becoming a computer science engineer, I think over the years, I realized the value of you know, what we have learned. And yeah, I mean, after that, you know, typical career, worked in services companies, product companies, etc. One of the, one of the small companies I joined, which is a product company, it’s a German company started small operations in India that got acquired by SAP. And then I got the taste of working in a multinational company moved to Germany, work there in the management team, close to the board, and then came back to India and then realized that that stage India is like buzzing with activity, internet is taking off, consumer internet is taking off really good etc. And in general, technology, entrepreneurship looked very plausible and very exciting back in India, having worked many years in smaller and big companies, and multinational companies, etc. So, I really found what is exciting was that build something in India for India, and particularly in the in people around you, that really motivated me to, you know, came out come out of SAP and start a journey. I actually before joining Myntra, I started an interesting medical implant. I joined a team that was trying to build a medical implant, indigenous medical implant that didn’t go very far but taught me a lot of lessons of entrepreneurship and you know how to look at how to scope the problem, how to really define what you’re going after, and then go in steps. Then got in touch with Mukesh and Ashutosh joined Myntra. And then I learned even bigger lessons there and, and saw the action and was part of the action in terms of building a very large company, and scaling a company to a billion dollar in revenue. Yeah, and, you know, eventually started, mfine, which is completely on my own, with together with Ashu and others.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 05:38

If you can share, you know, first, my question is, how many years of your career you spent before Myntra.


Prasad Kompalli 05:48

So, quite a bit, actually, nearly, I think 15-16 years, worked in, as I said, smaller companies, big companies, in small teams, and also as an individual contributor, as well, as you know, leading big, you know, now leading teams, or engineering teams or technology teams of spanning seven, eight countries, in SAP, so had exposure to, you know, many, many different facets of how to build run businesses and teams. And, yeah, as I said, at some point, realized that, you know, the calling has always been calling has been there that, you know, something to do in India, with technology for the Indian market. So, as a technologist, always, always interested in problem solving, and, you know, imagining new solutions to old problems or new problems. And, you know, somewhere, the whole thing seemed more possible. more avenues opened up, I think, after, you know, 2008-2009 timeframe, really saw that this is the right time and more into startups and in entrepreneurship of that,


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 07:13

what is the scale of Myntra, when you join, when you exit it? You said it, right, it was $1 billion in revenues.


Prasad Kompalli 07:20

i joined, I think it was probably around $60 million annual revenue. So, it was a, it was an incredible journey of scale, growth, building teams building a brand, you know, you know, acquiring nearest competitor, and getting acquired by Flipkart. So, you know, all of the lessons of, you know, building a great business seem, you know, completely shrunk down into four years. And then it was, it was amazing, it was amazing. School for us,


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 07:59

what were your key learnings from your journey at Myntra?


Prasad Kompalli 08:04

I think what I what we learned was that really be very, very clear about, you know, consumer proposition, build it right through everything that you do in the product, and the way that, for example, in fashion selection, how do we really take care of making sure that we have a very unique point of view that is coming across, which is appreciated by the consumers, in logistics, we did a really good job in terms of, you know, no questions asked returns, and you know, 30 day or initially even longer time returns possibility. So, a lot of innovation, a lot of innovation at the forefront of you know, really keeping the consumer experience consumer position at the forefront. That was the biggest learning. And the second thing, of course, is right, the technology has, you know, immense possibility for changing things in India. And, you know, we now really saw an opportunity to build large scale systems that will have a huge impact on, you know, business operations, consumer experience, and, you know, just know, organizing the business much more in a streamlined way, and, you know, make it better for the consumers. So that is another lesson. And last but not least, I think, when you’re scaling, how to build great teams, how to build teams and culture, as a differentiation as a competitive advantage. I think that was really one of the, you know, biggest lessons that we learned at Myntra definitely


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 09:47

And did you make retirement money at Myntra?


Prasad Kompalli 09:51

No, I think see, through my career, money was never a problem in the sense that, you know, I had, I had enough to take some choices of my career and you know, even before Myntra, I start I spent two years trying to make that medical implant startup work and it didn’t work. So, but, but it was okay, I think I always had enough money somehow earned through various stages of my career, that I could try what I want to try and what where my heart is or what my passion is about. And I think, you know, that way, I’m lucky, I think it was okay.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 10:40

And coming to your journey of mfine. How did you get the insight to start again, into healthcare, but in a different way, right, this was more software, more, you know, trying to solve our problem which has existed forever in India, tele consult, making both, you know, such a difficult marketplace, making both doctors and patients agree? I myself and having been in healthcare entrepreneur, failed miserably in telehealth, you know, little success and electronic medical records, but nothing for us in 2014-2015. We thought that telehealth won’t work.


Prasad Kompalli 11:25

I think what we saw was that, you know, I think what Ashutosh and, myself, we got really excited about was that, what exactly you mentioned that the problem has not been solved for many years. And we saw that as an opportunity. I think, to some extent, technologies coming of age, I think we were very big believers, I personally, am a probably very big believer of mobile and the power of mobile, and what it can do to consumers life, you know, and, you know, inherently, healthcare is a data driven business, you know, AI can be really, really powerfully applied. So, we saw the opportunity of mobile and AI coming together, can really solve the, you know, solve the problem in a more meaningful manner than ever attempted, at least in India, thus far. So that that was that God is really excited. Excited, right? So, and we saw that opportunity that not many companies were trying to build products around care delivery, there were products around in healthcare, and health tech, of course, you know, a lot of the e-pharmacy examples are there, they’ve done a great job in reducing the friction there. You know, also, you know, several discovery applications, etc., or even practice management software for doctors. So those kinds of things existed. But what we saw was an opportunity that, you know, is there a better way to deliver care, both for the patients and consumers and for the doctors, efficient, more effective? Because it’s connected care? Because it’s a digital first approach? Can we actually get the treatment to be better? Can we get the outcomes better? Right, this is opportunity we saw really, and we saw that mobile in the hands of the people is an extremely an extraordinarily powerful device. And we really started one of the things we used to talk about, which is a little bit esoteric, but we always used to talk about how can we make healthcare a kind of a consumer internet service, like a, like an odd, right, people just can go on demand and, you know, get their problem? addressed? Right? Can we make it as seamless and as easy as that, so that that’s really the journey that we are, we got very excited about? And you’re right, from a business point of view, there are there weren’t many success stories at that point in time, a lot of people from that point, kind of discouraged us. But from so it’s always like, you get a challenge, you really get, you know, kind of intoxicated with that, you know, I we need to solve this. This seems to be a very interesting challenge to go after. Right? So that’s that so the same spirit four of us had, so we really got into mfine find that that


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 14:38

can you share in some numbers current scale of and like how many bookings happened per month or a proxy for revenue?


Prasad Kompalli 14:48

Yeah, so we do nearly various different transactions nearly more than 300,000 or so in a month and it’s constantly growing. Last year, we saw 15% month on month growth. And it’s continuing. So, we have reached already, you know, we have, if you look at our detailed customer journeys, and we reached more than 3 to 4 million customers who have very detailed, you know, use cases in terms of, you know, diagnostic test or talking to a doctor, etc. And they have their detailed, so-called medical records, etc., are completely digitized and available for them anytime for access. So those are the kind that’s the kind of scale that we are. I think, to be honest, it’s still tip of the iceberg. We see an immense potential to reach, you know, at least, you know, you know, we saw that health is a very fundamental need. Beyond access, if you saw the effectiveness as well, and quality as well. You know, every smartphone user can be a potential customer for us.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 16:11

And would you have crossed the $10 million arr mark in your journey?


Prasad Kompalli 16:22

Yeah. We’re way beyond that.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 16:24

Yeah. Oh, awesome. So, and coming back to you know, you’re raising investments? How did you find your first two investors?


Prasad Kompalli 16:35

Yeah, so we talked to, I think it was interesting, I think initially, we bootstrapped with a little bit of money of our own. And no while of course, we bootstrap, but you’re also looking for initial investors seed or series a whatever. The first time, when I think in a chance meeting, also, we came across somebody who runs a stem cell company stem cells to his company. And he actually is part of the founder network at stellaris. And there, he took us to stellaris invitation, you know, when we talk to ritesh. Ritesh comes from background of understanding healthcare market in India, from his previous experiences, etc. So, he really immediately appreciated what we are aiming to do. So that’s where the first you know, investment happened, investment decision happened. Ritesh from stellaris took that call. And post that. Yeah, after a few months of it, when we were looking at that was a pre series a kind of investment, initial seed kind of investment. And then we were looking at it when we were, you know, continue to build the product, etc., launched in couple of hospitals, along a couple of hospital partners, etc. You know, that’s when I, again, the chance meeting, got in touch with Sanjay Swami and Sripati. Until then, Sripati, even though he was my neighbor, we never talked to each other until then we didn’t know about each other. But luckily, that happened. And then again, there was a match of minds and you know, really liked what we’re doing. And then, you know, and the second series, a discussion happened also with the prime coming in the lead as well. So, it both are kind of chance meetings. But there was a clear alignment on the vision and the capability of the team, and the approach that we are taking, which is, in our view, fresh and you know, very differentiated approach. And the capability of the team, I think convinced the investors


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 19:07

who’s more fun to work with stellaris or prime?


Prasad Kompalli 19:11

Oh, that’s an interesting question. No, I think both come from a different perspective, and different way of looking at things which is useful for us. So Sripathi, we talked to all three partners at prime but more often with Sripati and Sanjay and I worked with ritesh at Stellaris. Yeah, they do really bring different perspective. I think it’s been good so far in both


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 19:49

for so if you can share more on that, like what are those different perspectives


Prasad Kompalli 19:53

Yeah, what ritesh brings ease really the experience of having seen the ecosystem in healthcare that has been useful from the beginning? Right? So, so he can give a very valuable feedback on some of the things that we’re thinking about. And also, it’s a kind of a good discussion partner in a lot of those aspects right. And on the other hand, Sriparti and Sanjay, whenever I interact with them, it’s more about a little bit more abstract not specific about healthcare. But on the other hand, it’s a larger perspective on how you know, broader themes like India stack etc. may evolve and what would be possible role that we can play at a larger ecosystem level in India as well as some also drawing some parallels from abroad. Yeah, so, those are kind of one is very specific on the healthcare side etc. And also, another is broader, you know, building of the India stack and technology transformation that’s happening in India, a technology led transformation is happening in India, etc. So, I think these are both good to think about while we are taking decisions on strategy, taking decisions on what is the direction we need to take the company, and, you know, various other aspects of thinking about how to build the company.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 21:37

In 2021, right, we have total number of more than 50 unicorns in India 50 startups which have achieved a valuation of greater than 1 billion, in 2021, we, today we saw Zomato IPO, fantastic moment for a new startup ecosystem and similar other lined up, but there is no unicorn in healthcare, like healthcare means the startup technology part of it. Why do you think is that?


Prasad Kompalli 22:10

Yeah, I think things are changing really rapidly. If you look at you know, some of the companies starting from You’re right, that core healthcare delivery, they’re not rotten, but yeah, the areas of like e-pharmacy, etc., have seen good momentum. And more than that last, you know, six months to one year, there has been a significant change in the ecosystem. I think now, Indian consumers and providers have recognized the value of going digital in healthcare. Just similar to what happened in commerce and FinTech, etc., and even EdTech. I think healthcare is now definitely has changed the perspective of COVID definitely has changed the perspective of how to think about healthcare delivery in the with the help of new technology. In this kind of age 2021st century, I think that is changing pretty fast now, the entire landscape in India, I think unicorn is one way to look at it and characterize it. But if, if that is one way to look at it, I think there will be more unicorns sooner than later in healthcare as well as healthtech as well. And whatever is the fundamental changes that are required to be achieving those level of investments, level of growth, level of reach of technology, I think those fundamentals are already in place. And there is a huge behavior change and shift in the consumer and provider side in healthcare, post COVID.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 23:56

And if you can share, right, what have been the hurdles of building our startup or tech startup in healthcare, which you couldn’t foresee when you started? Or did your research?


Prasad Kompalli 24:11

Um, what I think what I mean, we got into it, because we were very excited about it. And, you know, we had, I wouldn’t say we fought we, we already knew exactly what is the kind of problems we’ll face. At the same time. It’s not like, it completely took us by surprise. In fact, in the last four years, first two years was, you know, the pre COVID era, and the next two years was post COVID era. Even before COVID we had a significant number of people who want to move to digital and you know, our business model is such that we got the specialist doctors and you know, hospitals on board and some of the prominent diagnostic chains on boarded etc. And you’re looking at end to end care to as the as the business that we are in, in rather than individual verticals of, you know, tele consult or you know, Doctor discovery or something like this. So, those things were really playing out well. But what is the learning that got reinforced, you know, from day one to even now, even today, I share that with the employees, you know, pretty, let’s say seriously, that, you know, you need to build healthcare is not going to be healthcare solutions, particularly from technology, not going to be possible to build without a deeper understanding of, you know, how this sector works, how the science works, how the doctor thinks, how the consumer, what does the consumer combined state, when there is a health issue? I think what I say usually is to convey this, that, you know, it’s not a common-sense domain, like, you know, you’re a smart engineer and a BA, or something like that, or you had experience in building basic commerce solutions, or supply chain technology or things like this. Know, nothing to undermine the complexity of those, but health care is a little bit more esoteric, and you need to be really respecting that you need to be really getting the knowledge of that deeply, then only you can build the right solutions. I think that’s a learning that you’ve gone through. And I believe that’s the learning a lot of tech companies have gone through, successfully, unsuccessfully, whatever it is, in building for healthcare, right, you hear a lot of things like, you know, healthcare technology stuff, doctors don’t like technology, it not a lot of this is just opinions out of the same problem coming out of the same problem that was not solved that you know, you, you wouldn’t you didn’t build the technology, good enough, with a deeper integration of aspects of healthcare and the science of healthcare, etc. And that’s probably why people found it difficult. But we learned this pretty early days. And that seemed to, you know, it resonated well with us that, you know, we need to solve a problem with a more meaningful, deeper manner. And that’s what is working for us better.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 27:31

And if you can share certain nuances, or deep dive into what worked and what didn’t work at mfine.


Prasad Kompalli 27:39

Yeah, so, as I said, like know, some examples I can give right now, what definitely worked for us is that telemedicine has always been seen as something which is kind of on the side a little bit. Kind of unimportant problems are simple enough problems can be solved with some video consultation. Yeah. And so, a lot of people ended up playing telemedicine having telemedicine play in primary care, and you know, you know, even like lead, I would say, even less sophisticated than a regular primary care of, you know, dealing with the conditions of people. But what worked for us is that from the beginning, we had a hypothesis that we have to reverse this we have to make, what is more important, what is more specialty care what is more at scarcity in India, that needs to come to digital, right, and that need to reach people and that need to be effective and efficient for doctors, like specialist doctors to use. And that’s when real, meaningful impact can be created and value can be created. So, without value creation, you can’t also monetize you really can’t get people to pay for your service. And you know, it’s like a vicious cycle where your business won’t take off at all. So going with this reverse approach really worked for us. So going for a specialist care, going for solutions that actually will make it efficient for doctors, that’s where we deploy a lot of AI, they’re going for kind of on demand services, not just appointment booking and you know, waiting and you know, not knowing which doctor you have to talk to etc. Having a consistent product experience and on demand product experience. Those are some of the insights we got very early, were talking to me and Ashu used to meet, we actually met around 100 different consumers of health care services, and I don’t know 50 or the doctors and hospital owners, etc. And so, the hypotheses that I’m talking about right now came out of those things as well as you know, being in constant touch with doctors and from the very early on, we had a doctor on board, actually a couple of them in the management team. So being keeping ourselves honest, and not just no fly too high without having the foundational strength. So those things help, and definitely those things work for our advantage. What didn’t work? I mean, it’s these are small experiments. constantly looking at. You know, I think there are not, if you try to know, accelerate growth or inflate demand, that won’t work, right, you know, there is no, it’s not that we tried hard at it, but we learned very early in the market. So, it’s an advantage and a disadvantage, right. So, in healthcare, you can’t inflate the demand artificially. That also means that if you’re the right product, there is not a huge price comparison and price issue as such. And so that initially itself, you know, from the rest of the market, we have learned, and now we’ve seen couple of experiments we have done and it really doesn’t work that way. People really want highly trusted highly, you know, expertise, experience and expertise-oriented doctors and serve other services like diagnostic labs, etc. So, they really value that when it comes to health. Those are some of the things that we learned pretty early on, you know, we still are seeing the results of, you know, sticking to those principles, you know, to the tea.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 31:43

So, you mentioned couple of times, right, that you even during COVID. You saw 15% acceleration month on month in growth, can you share, right, what was your reaction when lockdown happened in March 2020? And how did you gear up to prepare the demand? It was the consumer behavior expected when COVID happened in healthcare?


Prasad Kompalli 32:09

No, I think to some extent, it is a surprise for us also, to what extent this can this can change the consumer behavior. So, I think initially when the lockdown is there, and you can’t go out and you know, people are in a panic situation, we understood that, of course, there will be some, you know, peak capacity of our peak demand on the consultations, remote consultations, and you know, at home tests and all that so and we were prepared for it. And, you know, we could manage to capture that demand and serve the people in need. However, what was a little bit positive surprise was that how permanent that behavior change became, right? People really understood that, oh, this is, you know, this is way better than visiting a hospital and increasing your chance of infection. waiting hours together, even in without COVID or even without, you know, in a safe period or non no lockdown period. People really understood this. And, you know, that’s number one. Number two is on the provider side as well. They realize that no, see, we always believed that there is an inevitable digital transformation that has to happen in India, because the supply is so constrained unless we find efficiencies with technologies, we can’t reach all the people that are in need from the in a very short supply of doctors and other services. So, we knew that this was inevitable, but the entire ecosystem site, right, how important and urgent it so I think that entire behavior change what we thought would happen over the next few years, got accelerated by at least two to three years.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 34:01

Wow. And if you can share in some numbers that you shared today, there are roughly 300,000 transactions, which happened per month on M fine. What would be the number just let’s say in February 2020?


Prasad Kompalli 34:13

Oh, that would be I think it was a I’d say something like 40,000-45,000 or so.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 34:24

So, it’s been almost a 6x growth in less than 18 months.


Prasad Kompalli 34:29

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 34:32

And can you share like what’s the current size of the team of mfine?


Prasad Kompalli 34:38

Yeah, we have nearly included all colleagues in in operation support and everything growing we are around 500 people now. We were again in feb 2020. If you ask me, I think we were around 200 people or so. 200-250 people and I noticed because we had an office that only can hold 250 people. And after the lockdown, we never used office so far, except for a couple of events in between. But now we can’t actually because the space is not enough.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 35:18

so, in spite of, you know, the struggles you face first time in healthcare, you came back again. Because one reason was you were you’re passionate. And you thought the second was, you saw the opportunity that India has to eventually transform into a digital healthcare nation, you can’t serve 1 billion people in the same room. It has been right. What would you advise healthcare entrepreneurs who are starting today to do their homework on to be prepared?


Prasad Kompalli 35:50

Yeah, I think the most important one, I do keep meeting a few people who are now more and more interested in this sector, and starting off, and I remember a few of the interactions over the last few months as well. So, the constant thing that I tell them always is that you have to go deeper understand exactly the what exactly problem you’re solving, unless you’re solving a peripheral logistics problem of, you know, moving the boots or moving certain last mile, few things, etc. Unless you’re solving that problem, but if you’re really going into let’s say, wellness issues or mental wellness or you know, the few people that I talked to, or even nutrition or otherwise, you know, those kind of consultations problems etc., different issues. I really tell them that you know, you have to really understand that this is not this is not the problems are not purely cannot be defined as a logistical problems or efficiency problems, you need to really look at how care is delivered, what are the long-term impacts of it, what the customer expects better outcomes? How do you enable those outcomes, the doctor expects that he or she is more effective and more able to reach more patients, etc., with the expertise? How do we ensure that? How do we what is the power of digital data in healthcare, because a lot of decisions in the end, healthcare delivery is an intensely data driven business, right, the doctor is making a lot of algorithms in her head, right? while thinking about the treatment or every data, every vital that is measured on a connected device or a every blood parameter, every x ray, or every of this, for each of these data is an important has an important role to play in the decisions that are made for the better health of the consumers. So, you’re to understand those very deep. Sometimes also know it’s probably important to learn basic signs of how medicine works and what is the approach people take. I don’t expect engineers to become MBBS doctors but I expect people to at least to have the appreciation number one for those things. Secondly, have a doctor in the team. No, we have a we have a doctor in the management team, we have a we have three four doctors who are product managers. We have a doctor in customer support, we have a doctor in content marketing and marketing in general in in the team. We have a doctor in business development. So, we have put doctors everywhere. It’s really, it’s really help it really helps us in the in the end. We are in this business and we you have to understand this deeply I think we can’t do we can’t This is not this cannot it no levels can be a no frivolous or anything can cannot be frivolous or meaningless in this now everything has an outcome related to this. But so, you better be very accurate or a detail oriented better be learning about how this whole thing works. Whichever department you are in your area you are in whether you are a marketeer or a customer support executive or a product development engineer. This is important.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 39:47

And if I were to ask which are the top five healthcare companies in India healthcare tech companies India you respect and why? Five is a lot larger number you can restrict yourself to three,


Prasad Kompalli 40:01

I think different people have tried to solve different aspects of healthcare delivery. You know, there are a couple of companies who are trying to solve, you know, building, how to make the entire radiology, radiologists’ assessment more efficient. Usually, I’ve seen those companies, I’ve seen companies, which are trying to make it a more the diagnostic process in pathology more accurate with image processing, coupled with, you know, just the chemical processing of the sample. So, I think that different areas, to be honest, it’s not that I and I really appreciate and you know, talk to them. And now there is a small company I recently met, who are trying to do what, you know, pill pack has done in us in terms of repacking the dosages for people to consume medicines in a correct way. So, there are different people attempting those things. It’s sort of not it’s not lack of respect, but it is still India is a very nascent market still, haven’t seen yet. massive scale. So, my dream and vision, my real, let’s say, desire is to see that India leapfrogs the world, Western world in a way that with mobile and technology, that we suddenly have a much better healthcare delivery, much more empowered consumers of Healthcare Services, much more effective doctors and doctors’ time. We are we are quite far away from it. But, you know, I see a lot of attempts in different perspectives going after these kinds of goals. Hopefully, not one or two or three or four. Not that, you know, you know, my respite is there, there’ll be at least like a dozen companies transforming the entire healthcare experience, and setting up an example for the rest of the world. Right, I believe we have done bits and pieces in FinTech, you know, with, you know, UPI and you know, other things around FinTech in general, empowering you know, billion people towards having financial control and, you know, you know, you know, empowerment, I want to do, I want to see the same thing in healthcare, we are not yet there we are far from it. But at least the seats are there, the attempts are being made. And the technology has definitely come of age to make it possible. Along with I’m not, I’m not going to say that you know, what others are doing is better or good or worse, or whatever. I think we are all in the same boat. And we are trying a lot to transform this entire marketplace.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 43:03

you know, as a ex healthcare entrepreneur, my dream is right. Today, my household asked me, you know, that if I can transfer through UPI, 2000 rupees to her village, right to her son and village or to her sister in village, I want to see that dream of coming true when she asked me that, can you arrange a virtual doctor working for her relatives who are sitting in village?


Prasad Kompalli 43:30

Yeah, or even do it herself. You do it herself. It’s a that’s what I said, every smartphone user should be able to use the healthcare service on her or his smartphone, we see we actually we saw examples, right? You know, even during COVID or otherwise, we saw really amazing examples of people getting care from, you know, remotest parts of the country, as well as different economic segments, as well as different times of the day and you know, you know, different kinds of specialties and medical needs, right. from, you know, a child from a village where nearest Primary Health Center is 40 kilometers away. On a Sunday night. I had an accident with, you know, second degree burns. So, pediatrician could actually guide them and connect them on find so what I’m really amazed and feel fulfilled with mfine is that the parents were in that remote part could think of him fine. Connect and talk to the doctor. Right. So, recently, one of the doctors was, was telling me that on the platform with that, it’s amazing what mfine can do because she just came out of concert with a family which is affected by COVID, near Nepalese border, almost like nothing available except basic medical shop, etc., then they could actually be constantly connected with the doctor. And they Luckily, I mean, fortunately, they all could recover. When the doctor was selling, we realized that No, they didn’t have a lot of things, but they had a smartphone and, and they had the they had enough knowledge and they could manage to contact the doctor on mfine. And this is this, it gives me an incredible satisfaction and, and so much more excitement, to go out and solve for the entire, you know, 1.3 billion people of the country and so much more belief that it’s possible.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 45:55

My last question to you, solders that you are very calm focus, I have seen more startups use of like for very fast-growing startups, very aggressive. I’d been in this ecosystem for like, last seven, eight years. is external sign of aggressiveness necessary to be in shoes of a last startup CEO? And if not, then what makes you comfortable in your own skin?


Prasad Kompalli 46:21

No, I don’t I don’t think anything is necessary. I think people are different. Yeah, and yeah, I mean, could be, it’s just the way I am and, and it works. So, if somebody believes these stereotypes, I think that definitely I will discourage people to believe in such kind of stereotypes. I think people have different way of going with the life and going with the profession. So, this is this is always worked and, and it actually works best when you are comfortable in your own skin. Right. So that’s, that’s the thing, right? And probably, you can’t try to just emulate somebody who you are not right. So that’s unnecessary, I think. And again, I think no stereotype, really, I would not advise anybody, for any stereotype, I think people with sufficient passion and, and insight and humbleness to learn what is needed to fulfill that passion or do things you know, and they in reality, make it a reality or their dreams. And that capability if they have, I think they can be successful. That’s what I believe.


Siddhartha Ahluwalia 47:48

Thank you so much, Prasad it’s been wonderful to live your journey of mfine. Understand from you, and deep dive into your passion of solving healthcare.


Prasad Kompalli 47:58

Thank you. Great chatting up and all the best for all the things that you’re doing. And great, great having this conversation. Thank you so much. Thank you.

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