Meet The SHEROES: A QnA With Ritu Singh, Co-Founder, CareOnGo
Tell us about your life
Hailing from a middle class family, I was fortunate to be raised by parents who believed in the importance of education before anything else, irrespective of gender. I was always motivated to chase my dreams and make my own path when it comes to career choices.
Unconditional support and love from family has played an important role in helping me to take such a bold step of leaving a comfortable corporate job and open up a healthcare startup.
After graduating from NSIT-Delhi, I started my career with Deloitte where I met my current co-founders at CareOnGo - Aditya Kandoi and Yogesh Agarwal. We shared similar passion to take a risk and build something of our own. We had a clear vision to start a disruptive product in healthcare industry. I have also worked with Grabhouse as the Marketing Head leading digital, BTL and ATL marketing campaigns of the company.
How did your first job shape you for the professional world?
The most pivotal role of my first job was that it introduced me to the healthcare industry where-in I had seen a lot of scope for disruption in the Indian market. It also provided me a platform to work with clients from various countries and healthcare domain, thus enriching my perspective and brush up my skills at the same time. I got more interested in understanding consumer behavior in the digital world, which eventually helped me improving the product and targeting the right audience. My first job was a stepping stone in building my career as an avid marketer and eventually an entrepreneur.
What was the biggest learning experience when setting up CareOnGo?
The journey of an entrepreneur is an adventurous roller-coaster filled with falling, learning and improving at every stage. While building CareOnGo, I realized that it's very important to hire the right people to help you build the right product. A wrong team can fail even the best product. I had realized the importance of people in the initial stages and there-on took my own sweet time to find the right people.
Can you tell us about your other founders; what does everyone bring to the table?
Yogesh has been the Business Strategist for startups like Grabhouse and Quikr. He comes with the background into growing volumes of prioritized business drivers, developing business ventures, increasing revenue, setting operational leadership and Profit Managements . He leads business strategy, operations and expansion in CareOnGo.
Aditya is a gold medalist from MDI Gurgaon where he pursued his MBA post his graduation at IIT Varanasi. He has spent majority of his time working with financial institutions including JP Morgan, American Express and Barclays Bank leading their big data and predictive data practices. Aditya takes care of technology and analytics , owing to his vast experience in data and technology domains.
How did the idea of this venture first come about?
While working in Deloitte, we realized pharmaceutical industry in India is highly unorganized and lacks transparency and proper patient trust. Consumers don’t understand their medicines, even though they might be taking them over a decade. The entire Supply chain uses minimal technology to get their work done introducing various inefficiencies in the supply chain. So we came up with an idea to revolutionize healthcare sector by launching CareOnGo with a motive to bring Manufacturers, super stockist, retailers and consumers closer by ensuring transparency, standardization and trust of a branded supply chain completely working through technology.
In this sector, when setting up - what are the biggest challenge areas?
Many government regulations around Medicines have not been clearly defined creating its own set of challenges into the Industry. We refrain from going into any of such vicinities to keep ourselves in green zone. However this restricts us from doing a lot more for our partner pharmacies than we actually do.
Would you want to start another venture in the future? If so, what space / industry?
Presently there is a need to bring transparency in the healthcare industry and expand it to a new level so the thought of starting another venture hasn't crossed my mind as there is still lot to be done in this industry in India.
What differentiates CareOnGo in the industry?
Being the first e-distributor for our retail partners with complete focus to expand their business, CareOnGo is first of its kind with prime focus into B2B services – with a vision of solving consumer’s problem. We help local retailers procure products from manufacturers and stockists on the basis of predictive analytics by studying the purchase patterns and supply drivers. Unlike our competitors who are dealing in only online pharmacy space, we are building a technology-based ecosystem, which ensures quality and consistency with a turnaround and delivery time unmatched by any other player in the market today.
Apart from catering only to end consumers, the healthcare company wanted to bring transparency in the whole fragmented pharmacy industry in India and decided to launch a CareOnGO Partner app for pharmacy retailers through which these micro pharmacies can source authentic drugs from wholesale retailers.
CareOnGo has recently launched their proprietary "Pharmalytics" platform aimed towards strengthening the logistics and supply chain issues of independent micro pharmacies pan India. The "Pharmalytics" feature will enable these pharmacies to study sales insights of most-selling medicines in their areas along with keeping a track of Freshness quotient.
Any thoughts you'd like to share with fellow entrepreneurs who are still in the setting up phase?
My advice to all the budding entrepreneurs would be to stay focused and keep believing in themselves and the team. Its very important to always work towards the objective behind the company and lead the team in such a way that all collective efforts contribute to the final picture in a big way.