Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based health benefits startup, ekincare which has raised $3.6 million (over Rs 25 crore) recently in a Series A funding round, is eyeing for expansion in India as well as foraying into South East Asian markets. The company will primarily look at markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Looking at the health regulatory scenario in these markets, the company will decide to foray independently or through local partners.
The corporate health market size in Asia Pacific is valued at $4.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR of 9 per cent over the next 10 years as per a report by Transparency Market Research.
Explaining the opportunity, Kiran Kalakuntla, CEO and founder, ekincare, told Telangana Today, “We cater to over 200 companies including multiple Fortune 500 clients and manage over 3 lakh employees’ health in over 100 cities, on our patent-pending platform. We want to spend money on expanding teams, operations, marketing efforts and bring new products.”
“Health benefits segment at present is new and there are not many players. Individual health is often ignored. One in two corporate employees is at risk of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Companies are providing health insurance, but there are high-loss ratios experienced by insurance companies, which are increasing the premium, and insurance is becoming unaffordable. It becomes important in this scenario to focus on preventive care and have a structured approach to healthcare. With ekincare, organisations can administer their health benefits efficiently, improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs by up to 25 per cent.”
Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) is the sector that is driving adoption of corporate health, followed by IT and high-technology sectors, with few large size manufacturing companies embracing it.
Historically, ekincare has catered to companies that have over 500-employee base. Enterprises account for 60 per cent of business, medium companies account for 30 per cent while the small companies and startups account for the remaining 10 per cent
Kiran informed, “We are keen to cater to small and medium enterprises and startups. These companies typically do not get the benefits of large business conglomerates. Large companies have larger negotiation power. But these small companies compete with larger enterprises in attracting talent, and health benefits is one of the attractive features that shows companies do care for employees. So our mid-term focus is to go aggressive to serve SMEs from this quarter onwards.”
Vinay Rao, Senior Investment Manager, Ventureast, said, “There is a lot of innovation needed in catering to the SMEs. There are opportunities which are untapped. Focusing on bringing together technologies and learning on how to cater to healthcare and lifestyle choices in corporates will be crucial.”
Kiran explained, “Today, telehealth is available in the segment. But one of the major challenges in digital health is that customers talk to a different doctor each time they come to the digital platform. We are building the concept of ‘Family Doctor’ going by the traditional system of approaching a family doctor. A designated family doctor will deal with a customer. This is for the first time ‘Family Doctor’ feature is being tried out in digital health. We are not going to chase big numbers here, but we intend to chase quality consultations and interactions. Family Doctor feature will be launched this month.”
Additionally, with the three lakh user data base, ekincare is planning to build a digital health assistant towards building positive health. There is also interest on using this data for deeper insights for corporates to identify where the risks are, where they should spend and what could be the potential savings in terms of premium.