Shreyans Mehta | Medcords
Three old friends Shreyans Mehta, Nikhil Baheti and Saida Dhanawat are busy building ‘Bharat ka Healthcare Network’ or, as they like to put it, “Healthcare’s Aadhaar”. And engineering change from where it matters: The grassroots.
When the Prime Minister of India announced the National Digital Health Mission from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day, underlining the criticality of connecting every Indian with an universal Health ID, he was echoing the same vision that Shreyans Mehta – a ‘new age’ entrepreneurial leader of ‘new edge India’ – has been nurturing for years. Many dream, only some dare. Belonging firmly to the latter tribe, Shreyans has given that noble vision flesh and shape as the co-founder of MEDCORDS (medcords.com).
Medcords is on a mission to revolutionize India’s – particularly rural India’s - largely ‘disorganized’ healthcare dynamic by structuring its information and connecting stakeholders hyperlocally. Specifically, Shreyans’ team is organizing medical information and patient history in the form of intelligent documents that can be easily accessible by every stakeholder (doctor, patient, provider, support, government). Significantly, the smart document goes well beyond just data with helpful insights to enable smarter decisions and healthier lifestyles for the entire family.
While Healthcare is no stranger to data, Shreyans and his team is disrupting the space in a very different, and distinct, way. The transformation they are ushering, despite being digital in nature, is more ‘human’ than ‘tech’. The flux they are engineering is taking place in the heart. And the keywords they are adding new meaning to, are trust and dependability.
They are doing it by identifying and recognizing India’s – particularly rural India’s – inherent detachment and distrust with a system they perceive as a ‘rich man’s preserve’ and one that is primarily concerned with profits. To bridge this trust deficit in as friction-less a manner as possible, Shreyans’ organization has been subtly modifying the existing system instead of force-fitting ‘foreign’ processes. This empathy-first approach, which is ensuring that change is gradual and comfortable, is meeting warm approval and paying rich dividends. As more and more families experience the life-changing convenience of systematically documented prescriptions and easily retrievable medical information, they are turning from sceptics into believers, and eventually, into advocates. They have good reason to do so, too. Here is an app that doesn’t just attend to a specific patient ‘type’, but is thoughtfully designed to accommodate the needs of the entire family. The benefits of a ‘personal’ archive of medical records that’s accurate, continuously updated and readily accessible can be felt in drastically improved outcomes – both at the level of doctor / provider and patient.
A great product does its own marketing, and it’s no surprise that word-of-mouth has been driving awareness and goodwill for Medcords. When a 55 year old patron felt satisfied with his experience and recommended it to his entire family, this passionate trailblazer felt a satisfaction no award or accolade – which, incidentally, has also been flowing in – can match. “Growth has been user-driven and organic so far, which not only validates our faith in the idea, but makes our long-term plan of large-scale disruption feasible”, says Shreyans.
The other game changing move by Shreyans and his team is going hyper local in both letter and spirit. The team is ensuring that each family is being connected to doctors, clinics and care-providers who are located in or near their home. The reassuring presence of neighbourhood faces with whom there is pre-existing level of familiarty is breeding a unique sense of comfort and trust with the product, and encouraging more and more people to turn adopters. This has proven to be effective in delivering behavioural shift at the bottom of the pyramid, and carries the potential to create social transformation at scale. Importantly, the strategy is also going a long way in ensuring that the healthcare sector as a whole experiences winds of change at the grassroots. “The more active we are at the primary care stratum, the more people we can reach and touch, and the less load we will be passing on to secondary and tertiary levels, where resources and access is a far bigger problem”, explains Shreyans.
Success that is self-made tastes the sweetest. Ask him about the hurdles and tailwinds he’s had to negotiate along the way, and the first thing that Shreyans mentions is the lack of ready-made support. Making a dent in the conservative hinterlands of India, and particularly in a domain as critical and ‘personal’ as healthcare where patterns and practices have remained unchanged for hundreds of years, is a task of truly herculean proportions, and a target not for the faint of heart. In practical terms, there was no precedence or template to follow, and every inch of progress was crafted out of grit and sweat, over numerous trial-and-runs, and backing one’s gut and conviction at every step of the way. This makes Shreyans’ journey – and the milestones they have crossed at regular frequency – even more commendable. This is a glorious case study of ‘home grown success’. A shining example of the deep impact ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ – when ruddered by the right vision and passion - is capable of. In the words of Shreyans, “Every startup starts from Zero. But in our case, even the industry and context was at zero. Whatever we have achieved therefore is a ‘First’. Nothing is more swadisht than Apne Haathon Ke Bana Hua Khana, I must admit.”
The recipe is powerful enough to make this visionary’s goal – that of touching and transforming the lives of 10 crores Indians – come true, sooner rather than later. So what are the ingredients that make the ‘Shreyans Model of Growth’ tick so tellingly? The humble pioneer responds with a shrug and a smile, “Keep it simple, do it well – that’s what my model of growth, if you want to call it that, is about. Don’t get influenced by trends, stay true to your laksh and be patient – because nature works to her own clock, not yours. And always remember that your patron is your compass. If you can accurately decode your market’s pulse, you don’t need strategies, plans or tactics. Humne User ko humesha sarvopari maana. We placed our customers at the highest pedestal at all times. And the rest worked itself out. That said, this is just the beginning. The road ahead is long. We need the support of our well wishers to keep going the way we are. ” The candid and inspiring perspective doesn’t just capture Shreyans Mehta’s winning story in a nutshell, but can also be a priceless roadmap for a bold new generation of entrepreneurs.
How would he like to be remembered? “Simply as someone who was there for his people when they needed him most. And someone who played a role – however modest - in the digital transformation of India’s healthcare, which is an idea whose time has come.”
And what is his opinion about the Voice of Healthcare platform and Network? “Respect”, shares the B.Tech-preneur who is practically building Healthcare’s Aadhaar. “You guys are doing a great job of engaging and connecting decision makers and change leaders in Healthcare, and that makes VOH a powerful source of transformation in Healthcare.”
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