Home Healthcare is a relatively new concept in India, which addresses a latent need of a reliable and efficient in-home healthcare service provider. Portea Medical, a Bangalore based start-up provides solutions in home healthcare services. Currently, Portea Medical’s operations are spread across seven cities with five more cites expected to be added this year. The business is a combination of a B2B and B2C model – working with hospital chains, insurance companies as well as directly with consumers to provide- geriatric care, palliative or chronic issues management, post-operative care, proactive medical intervention through personalized medical devices and health management through subscription packages. Vaibhav Tewari, the Chief Operating Officer of Portea Medical speaks to Tuhina Anand of Paul Writer on their plans and more

What is one thing that defines Portea Medical as a brand?

Portea is synonymous with patient centric home health care. Our focus is to have a 360-degree view of patient’s home healthcare requirements and fulfill those. The continuity of care that our clinical team provides leads to better health outcomes for our patients; we are also seeking to revolutionize home healthcare delivery in India by making it more proactive and personalized.

For you, what really is the task at hand?

In India, medical care delivered at home is a relatively new concept – unlike in the US where in-home healthcare has been in existence for more than a century. While there is low awareness of home healthcare in India, there are also some misconceptions around the concept. Our objectives are really to educate the public about the home healthcare concept and build awareness of Portea’s own offerings and differentiators.

The market opportunity itself is significant and growing. Home healthcare market in India, currently a $3 billion a year industry, is driven by the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, an aging population, and the need for better quality post- operative and primary care. Today, chronic issues account for the majority of deaths in India (53%) and there is a sizable elderly population that is in need of routine home healthcare visits; by 2025, one in every five Indians will be a senior citizen. The sector is set to record phenomenal growth.

How have you worked upon the communication strategy for Portea Medical?

Our strategy is focused on building awareness of the concept as well as targeted communication that reaches those people who need our service. We use a mix of online as well as offline vehicles to communicate. We use SEM and social media very effectively. Offline activities include BTL outreach at pharmacies, activation within residential communities and at health facilities etc.

What is the edge that Portea has vis-a-vis other players in the market?

Portea’s services are patient-centric and are of a high-quality delivered at a lower cost than what is available under the current system in India. We already operate in seven cities across India and have plans to expand to more than 10 this year. The founding team at Portea has a track record of excellence and has demonstrated the ability to spot opportunities and create a market, driving home first-mover advantages and using technology to disrupt the market. Husband-wife duo, Ganesh and Meena, who co-founded Portea, forayed into the healthcare sector following a string of previous successes. Portea is Ganesh’s fifth venture, preceded by four successful green field ventures and exits – the most recent, TutorVista, which was sold to Pearson for $ 213 MM (around INR 1329 crore at current exchange rates).

This is an execution-led business and technology is a key building block. We have developed proprietary technology to manage the entire delivery remotely and is scalable. And, we are investing significantly to ensure it remains a key prong. For instance, Portea staff carry hand-held devices when they visit patients’ homes. The Portea app helps clinicians access the patient’s medical history, check instructions from the patient’s specialist and provide real-time update of data from the patient. We will also implement a system where data like blood pressure, temperature and sugar levels are automatically captured. The idea is to ensure that patients need not go to hospitals but bring the entire gamut of healthcare is brought to their doorstep – doctors, nurses, physiotherapy, diagnostics and medicines.

Can you describe your revenue model?

Our model is a combination of B2B and B2C – working with hospital chains, insurance companies as well as directly with consumers to provide Geriatric care, Palliative or chronic issues management, Post-operative care, Health management through subscription packages and proactive medical intervention through personalized medical devices.

What are your expansion plans?

We have expanded aggressively – from one city six months ago, we are now present in seven cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, with 5 more cities to be added, shortly. Portea also secured Rs. 48 crores in funding from venture capital firms, Accel Partners and Ventureast – the largest ever Series A VC investment in a home healthcare company in India. We are also tying with leading hospital chains and insurance companies to extend their continuum of care to their patients at home. We are recruiting rapidly and have our senior team in place.


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