IdeapreneurIndia-What does your startup do?
Curofy on the surface is the social networking app for the doctors, connecting the doctors from all over the country, encouraging real-time peer to peer learning and knowledge sharing. However digging deep we can see the entire healthcare industry is dependant on the doctors. Hence Curofy is enabling the healthcare stakeholders come online and reach out to their end users (i.e. the doctors) economically.
Curofy aims to build a support system for the doctors solving their professional needs by enabling discovery of right peers, knowledge, and resources, thereby making them efficient every day.
IdeapreneurIndia- What is the market size and estimated amount of funding received in this sector so far or last year (whichever figure known)
Currently, the spending by healthcare businesses (including pharmaceutical companies, medical devices companies, hospitals, medical publishers, insurance companies etc.) industry side, spend around $8 billion annually in reaching out to these doctors, which is expected to reach to $20 billion in next 5 years. Curofy which is doctors’ only app with verified doctors will be an important platform for them to get insights and access to doctors digitally.
This is a nascent space in India. However, globally the sector has received a lot of funding with players in USA & China having received funding of over US$150m. Also, there is a Japanese listed firm, M3 which is valued at c.US$ 8.15bn today.
Curofy Team :
IdeapreneurIndia-How and when did the idea strike you?
In the final year of 2012 during a midnight coffee break, the idea of starting something floated among the three founders and nobody ditched. We initially started working in the healthcare sector with a medical tourism company. The business was lucrative and offered good margins just to bring in patients from overseas, but it thrived on a big inefficiency where doctors are not connected enough to each other. It was then that we dropped the idea, took jobs with MNCs and continued researching about the concept of medical networking in India. Till May 2014, we met around 1000 doctors on foot and realized that various functions of a doctor’s practice are inefficient today; be it obtaining continual knowledge, best devices, financial support, medico-legal support etc. In a country with 1800 patients per doctor, this was a major flaw in the entire healthcare industry. We envisioned a product that can build a support system around the doctors and make the doctors more efficient every day.
In January 2015, we started alpha phase of the mobile app to receive user feedback and launched on Play Store in early Feb. Now we have about 2,00,000 doctors on our App.
IdeapreneurIndia- Who are your competitors?
There a few of them such as – Docplexus, DailyRounds and PlexusMD
IdeapreneurIndia- How is your product different from your competitors?
Curofy is fundamentally different from its competitors in terms of the approach taken to solve the same problem. However, our engagement levels are 10 times more than the best of them. To be honest, engagement is the key metric for determining success and failure in this segment. We have already proved engagement, where others are still struggling to find it.
IdeapreneurIndia- What are your plans for next year?
We will keep improving our core offering to the doctors and help them in all aspects of their practice including knowledge, reputation, finance, and resources. We would also like to increase and improve the quality and quantity of our case repository, which can be used later to develop automation tools with the predictive diagnosis to help doctors take faster and accurate clinical decisions.
We will first conquer the Indian market first and then go to other markets. We have already started running pilots in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Nigeria etc. We plan to have 1 million doctors on the app in next 2 years.
We want to lead the way in making healthcare marketing efficient by building products which can be used by various stakeholders in the industry to reach out to doctors.
IdeapreneurIndia- What was the biggest challenge in your journey?
At initial stages, the biggest challenge that we faced was getting doctors’ attention. Doctors are so busy in general, that they would hardly be available to meet us. We often spent hours sitting in a queue with MRs, only to get 5 mins from a doctor. It took us a lot of time convincing the initial 1,000 doctors and onboarding them on the app. But then, through consistency and combined efforts we have almost 200,000+ doctors on our app now.
Another big challenge was to keep the network spam free for doctors by not allowing the pharma reps and other industry players to get access to the network. Providing them a spam free with very high relevance for each user was the key. The word is spreading now amongst the doctors and the network is growing rapidly.
IdeapreneurIndia- Tell us something about the co-founders ?
CNipun Goyal is an Electrical Engineer from IIT-Delhi 2012 batch. He worked with Rothschild in Mumbai for 2 years before starting with Curofy full time.
Mudit Vijayvergiya, a dual degree student, studied Chemical Engineering and graduated in 2013. He worked in a pharmaceutical consulting firm, Axtria for a year before starting with Curofy.
Pawan Gupta is also an Electrical Engineer from 2012 batch. He worked with Deutsche Bank in Mumbai for 2 years.
The three co-founders are friends from IIT Delhi and have together run a medical tourism start-up before Curofy.