The Digital Healthcare Specialist At Practo
Shashank N.D.,Co-founder and CEO, Practo
As the co-founder and CEO of Practo Technologies, Shashank N.D. has come a long way in the last 14 years. The tech company he built (along with friend and co-founder Abhinav Lal) as young engineering graduates in 2008 is at the cusp of becoming an integrated healthcare provider. The initial offering of Practo, the online practice management software for doctors and health management information system (HMIS) for hospitals — which accounted for almost 100% of Practo’s revenues till FY16 — contributes just 10% to its overall income today. The company runs 100 brick and mortar Practo Clinics that offer elective surgeries alongside one-click delivery of services, including tele-consultations, online medicine supplies, door-step diagnostic tests, and more. It connects the entire health ecosystem — patients, doctors (including surgeons), pharmacies, diagnostics, clinics and hospitals.
In FY15, when Shashank featured on Fortune India’s 40 under 40 list for the first time, Practo’s revenues stood at ₹29.7 crore. In FY22, it expects to clock ₹225 crore, and is looking to transform itself from a service provider that plays an intermediate role by helping customers meet doctors and hospitals, to one with doctors and surgeons on rolls.
Incidentally, Covid-19 played a major role in driving this change. “The demand (for online consultations) was so high that we decided to have doctors on board at Practo and serve as a digital hospital,” explains Shashank.
At the peak of Covid, Practo had 1,000 doctors on board just for teleconsultations. Today it has a steady count of 400 on its rolls. About 300 surgeons are also working closely with Practo, and the company wants to scale up the number to 1,000 very soon. “We launched Practo Care Surgeries in six cities, expanded to 40 cities (in about a year). The plan is to be present in 75 Indian cities by the end of 2022. There are about 100 Practo clinics in the 40 cities where the patient physically meets the surgeon for an elective surgery such as general surgery, ophthalmology, urology, gynaecology and cosmetics. Once the need for surgery is established, the patient is given the option of choosing the hospital, depending on the price point each partner hospital of Practo offers in that city. The Practo surgeon will do the surgery with the company responsible for equipment, consumables, and pre and post-operative care.”
“Practo care surgeries have taken off very well,” says Shashank. “We also plan to launch subscription programmes for customers,” he adds. Practo has grown 125% since last year and is positioned to grow at more than 100% year-on-year over the next two years, the company claims. While its B2C is quite diversified between outpatient and inpatient services, B2B continues to be a cash-generating business, and is fully profitable. “Today, B2C revenues are almost 90%,” says Shashank.
India is a $150-billion healthcare ecosystem and Practo believes it has only scratched the surface.