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Pharma & healthcare start-ups spur innovation & generate employment as Centre creates conducive ecosystem

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Pharma and healthcare start-ups in the country are seen to propel innovation and generate employment opportunities with the Union government supporting to strengthen the ecosystem.

Startup India is a flagship programme of the Union government that was kicked off on August 15, 2015. On January 16, 2016, the government announced the Start-up India initiative coordinated by the Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPIIT) to focus on simplification - handholding, funding support and incentives. Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared startups as the backbone of the Indian economy and declared January 16 as the National Start-up Day.

Both pharma and healthcare start-ups have proactively proved their potential in developing and commercializing novel drug discovery devices and platform technologies to accelerate development of the lifesciences industry. There are several innovative startups that are scalable enterprises, evolving in a dynamic business environment.

The ongoing pandemic has seen start-ups expand and garner exponential growth as they provided every possible technology support or convenient door-step service in medical care. From home healthcare devices to remote patient monitoring and telemedicine, ambulance care and medicine delivery, the start-up companies spanning from BeatO 4basecare Haystack Analytics: zMed Healthcare Technologies, Tricog, AIRA Matrix and Qritive among others have assumed importance.

Pranav Bajaj, co-founder, Medulance, a medical emergency response service provider, said, “We  started operations as a bootstrapped company in 2017 and  reaped significant benefits from the Startup India Program, including the tax redemption. These initiatives enable startups like to scale faster with fewer roadblocks”.

The National Startup Day is yet another encouraging step by the government to strengthen the Indian startup ecosystem, he added.

India is the third largest startup hub in the world with over 60,000 companies. Startups raised US$ 42 billion in 2021. “Indian unicorns have come up with many unique technologies while generating large-scale employment, pointed out Dr Surendra K Chikara, CEO, Bione, a DNA and microbiome testing company.

Quoting the PGA Labs business research and market intelligence report, he said another 45 or more startups have the potential to achieve $1-billion-plus valuation and are at the threshold of becoming a unicorn. While fintech and e-commerce currently dominate this space, we are of the view that even Bione which offers AI powered preventive healthcare will soon catch the public eye and join the unicorn club.

Ravi Kunduru, CEO, QurHealth said startups have proved their mettle to develop new-age technologies. Our company has been playing a crucial role for patients, especially with chronic diseases, to stay connected with their doctors and map their health on a real-time basis. We are aligned to work towards the government's Universal Health Coverage and National Digital Health Mission.  

Gautam Chopra, founder & CEO, BeatO which is a digital app-based platform that provides clinically proven diabetes care programs bagged the National Startup Awards 2021 stated, “Five years of blood and sweat yielded this great result. The company will continue to build innovative solutions to offer high quality and affordable care for the largest healthcare problem in India, diabetes”.

Vivek Tiwari CEO and founder Medikabazaar, noted that national start- up day as a revolutionary step to build an integrated entrepreneurial ecosystem. As one of the largest B2B online marketplaces for medical equipment and supplies, the company is identifying emerging technology opportunities that can benefit the healthcare infrastructure.

 

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