Healthgenie.in is an online healthcare startup, that claims to be the second largest player in the online healthcare e-commerce sector in India. It brings its expertise from the parent company of GST Corporation, which is a dealer and manufacturer of surgical, medical and scientific equipment since 1959. It was established in October 2012 by Manu Grover, and iamWire caught up with him to see how this growing business is doing.
What was the initial thought behind launching Healthgenie?
It has been forecasted that the healthcare industry is slated to grow to USD 280 billion by 2020. With 72% of Indian specialist physicians living in urban areas, and 700 million Indians living in rural areas, the vast geographical expanse certainly lacks an effective delivery mechanism. Therefore healthcare e-commerce has become the fastest growing segment to cater to this demand. Looking at these trends, we launched Healthgenie.in to offer reliable products to meet the dynamic demands of the rapidly changing technological and dimensional needs of the Indian consumer, through the online medium.
How has the journey been up till now?
Healthgenie.in is a focused e-tailing platform that offers myriad of healthcare and wellness products and services to online users in India with a philosophy of ‘Nurturing Wellness’. The portal has more than 6,000 healthcare products and caters to 10,000 PIN Codes pan India. In a short span of less than two years, Healthgenie.in is among the top two etailing portal in health in India. The e-commerce portal has seen an average growth of 50 % year-on-year since its launch.
You are operating in a niche space, with Healthkart already having a year lead, how did the portal initially pick up traction?
Customer satisfaction is the key to our strategy and it can be easily reflected through the traction we have created for ourselves. And the factors that have helped in creating the success for Healthgenie.in are our deep product knowledge and innovative ideas which has further escalated greater operational control.
How is the online demand for healthcare products in India?
As healthcare facilities are still developing in Tier II and III cities, there is a tremendous demand from these cities as the maximum traffic comes from here. Niche has a serious advantage as the depth of the product range, filters, sorting, perfect cataloguing provides a better engagement and retention along with a higher customer satisfaction.
How is the online competition in this space of consumer goods?
We consider ourselves only as key competition. The customer demand defines our growth and makes us to strive get better than yesterday.
What is the USP of Healthgenie.in?
Healthgenie.in has strong vertical linkages that allow it to source products at highly competitive prices while maintaining quality standards. 15- 18% of the products sold at Healthgenie.in are manufactured by its associate concerns, while the rest are sourced directly from select manufacturers. In addition to offering generic e-tailing services of healthcare products, Healthgenie.in has also pioneered an innovative subscription model, whereby customer can subscribe for the product that is required weekly / fortnightly / monthly that too at a discounted price.
And how has the traction been?
Today Healthgenie.in has 100,000 registered members and is continuously growing by 10% every month. The transparent processes of costumer first, has resulted in a very high customer satisfaction with 87% customers likely to reorder and refer Healthgenie.in to their friends.
We have approximately 1.5 million monthly pageviews, with over 4, 50, 000 fans on Facebook making us No.1 healthcare etailing site on social media. On a good days we dispatch nearly 300 orders, with a 30% higher than average industry transaction size with 75% of our business still on COD.
What are the future plans for Healthgenie? Will it explore an omni-channel model?
We are a subscription based catalog company, with a high repeat business, like diabetes, elder care, nutrition supplements, women health care etc. We will get our online marketing cost down by 90%, which shall allow us to reach operational break even shortly.
To grow we still need to master the depth first, niche within niche, before we look to expand the Category width. We are in planning to establish a hybrid marketplace delivery mechanism system, the next level of omni channel retailing, which will be a game changer in the coming years.
Going forward we also plan to set up offline specialty stores that will help expand our reach, becoming a truly omni channel player to enhance our visibility, trust, sales and branding. Also, we are trying to evaluate and scale up our venture internationally.
Are there any plans for having a mobile strategy?
Mobile is the future of e-tailing. Around 25% of our traffic already comes from mobile and we expect it to grow to a good 70% – 75% in the next 3-4 years. It is a key aspect for our growth strategy, and hence we are launching our mobile app next month, to be able to help connect seamlessly with our growing mobile users.