It’s frustrating to wait in a room for hours to get a few reports or make an appointment with a doctor. It can also be difficult to quickly recover specific reports or prescriptions from files that have been hidden. When it comes to the elderly, it can be even more difficult.
Their loved ones often have to take the time to take them to the doctor from time to time, which can get overwhelming.
To make life easier for the elderly and their loved ones, Neiharika Rajiv spear SuvidaCare in January of this year. Through the Suvida app, users can book appointments and have access to all medical reports and prescriptions without any hassle. Although he is based in Gurugram, his services cater to clients across India.
Neiharika Rajiv, Founder, Suvida Care
Suvida Care was funded by the Indian government under the Standup India program.
Talk to His history, Neiharika talks about the app and her journey as an entrepreneur so far.
Technology with a human touch
Once a client logs into the Suvida app, they are asked to enter the contact details of the care provider and the care recipient, and can then make an appointment up to 24 hours in advance for their close and also set reminders for it.
On the day of the appointment, the person treated is accompanied by a Suvida Care Manager who takes them to the doctor, accompanies them throughout the consultation, brings them home and downloads all relevant documents on the app for easy access, such as prescriptions, visit summaries and reports.
Depending on the individual needs of their loved ones, the customer can also contact the Suvida team for a personalized service pricing plan.
“Suvida regularly organizes events in residents’ welfare associations, businesses and public sector companies. More recently, we held a session at SAIL and PowerGrid where our services were highly appreciated, ”adds Neiharika.
The startup also recently linked up with dialysis chain 7Med, which estimated that many of their patients were coming alone and would need the startup’s services. There are some companies which also opt for company formulas for the dependent parents of their employees.
“Suvida Care’s customer base is growing thanks to the B2B and B2C models. There are companies that buy our services as a benefit and a complementary service. Our target audience is anyone with elderly relatives who need to go to the hospital on a regular basis, for things like dialysis, preoperative and postoperative care, or routine visits, ”explains Neiharika.
The Suvida Care team is made up of four members and has a growing group of care managers.
As the daughter of a civil servant father, Neiharika grew up in different places in India such as Assam, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. She holds two MBAs, one from IMT Ghaziabad and the other from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Before embarking on entrepreneurship, she worked at companies such as Kotak Mahindra, McKinsey and Dell. She was also awarded the “XPrize for Women Safety” for her work with Leaf Innovation Pvt Ltd.
Neiharika launched Suvida Care this year, to help the elderly who may be left behind by a growing number of nuclear families in India. She says, “Imagine going to dialysis centers and cataract centers and seeing so many elderly people alone without support. This visual was disturbing for me to think about it.
Besides a demographic perspective, Neiharika adds that there is a personal story behind her decision to start Suvida Care.
“A person very close to me had a terminal illness and it took the whole family unit for the logistics of the medical visits. I know for a fact that not everyone has this kind of luxury that our family could afford and for which they are available. Thus, Suvida Care makes access to the doctor very easy for the elderly, while keeping them independent.
And while launching a startup can be an exciting journey, it comes with its own set of obstacles.
Neiharika says recruiting Suvida’s care managers was the hardest part of setting up. “As a team we have to be very careful in the selection. Our due diligence in making the right choice and hiring the right talent would help Suvida Care last longer. “
Another challenge, says Neiharika, was to create a niche in the market because the services offered by his startup are quite new.
Neiharika says his family, parents and six-year-old son Viraj have been by his side throughout the trip. She also says her team at work is like family and is dedicated to making Suvida Care a trusted partner in geriatric health care.
Happy customers and heartwarming stories can also be great motivators for entrepreneurs. Remembering such an experience, Neiharika said,
“The daughter of an elderly woman has booked a visit with us for post-operative care after her mother’s cataract operation. After our care manager visited her and accompanied her through the day, she started to trust the care manager so much that when her daughter offered to accompany her next time, she said : “No need, Suvida is here”. “
Neiharika is also inspired by the idea of providing care for the elderly, making changes in the healthcare system and ensuring that India can serve those who need help the most.
The road ahead
Neiharika is currently working in the dialysis and cataract market, and making Suvida Care a B2B solution. Over the next two years, she aims to create her start-up as an end-to-end medical coordination partner for the elderly and user-priority EMR (electronic medical record) system, with medical records from all combined centers.
To other entrepreneurs who are embarking on their startup adventure, Neiharika has some short and simple tips:
“Don’t listen to those who doubt your abilities. No one else can do the things that you can.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)