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The Entrepreneur: Ranjan Singh, HealthHero

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Becoming Europe’s largest telemedicine provider in less than three years is no small feat, but that is exactly what Ranjan Singh’s company HealthHero has done.

Company: HealthHero
Founder: Ranjan Singh
Website: healthhero.com

HealthHero is the brainchild of experienced digital executive and private equity investor Ranjan Singh. Its purpose? To revolutionise the healthcare industry by offering users a suite of virtual healthcare services, delivered 24/7 via phone, video call and online chat.

Ranjan, co-founder and CEO of HealthHero, spoke to Startups about his “Digital Healthcare 3.0” vision, the dangers of hiring the wrong people, and the importance of knowing when to walk away from a business venture.

The Business

Describe your business model and what makes your business unique:

HealthHero is a digital telehealth platform. We offer a suite of virtual healthcare services delivered 24/7 via phone, video call and online chat – but we go far beyond ‘Zoom for GPs’.

HealthHero’s digital triage tool acts as a ‘navigator’ for users, directing them to the right practitioner or course of treatment, which they can access through our bespoke communication tools. This approach makes it easier for people to manage their health, providing more convenient access to a holistic range of health services and facilitating better outcomes for patients.

  • We are the largest telehealth platform in Europe by number of consultations and market presence. We’re also one of the few businesses in this field that has traversed separate geographical healthcare markets, integrating with different national healthcare systems.
  • We have more than 4,000 clinicians within our network, and they are involved in every layer of the business – from advising platform development teams, to helping with quality regulation and governance, to connecting with the end users seeking care through the platform. This helps us deliver on our joint aims of making care more accessible for users and alleviating pressure on the healthcare system by providing high-quality remote alternatives.
  • Most telehealth companies are focused on digitising individual steps of the patient journey, inadvertently preserving the overall inefficient structure – but HealthHero is fundamentally deconstructing and reconfiguring the entire healthcare journey, making it simpler and easier to access. Our combination of digital tools and clinical expertise facilitates pathways of care rearranged around the individual. We are really looking to provide a holistic digital experience covering the entire care spectrum, from prediction, prevention and diagnosis to treatment and management.

What is your greatest business achievement to date?

Growing HealthHero to become Europe’s leading digital telehealth platform in such a short space of time – and all during a pandemic. We increased our revenue 20 fold over a two year period. It’s bonkers!

It is incredible what you can achieve in tough circumstances if you have a strong purpose. For us, that purpose is: simplifying healthcare; improving lives. This guides everything we do and has been the fuel we have needed to get to where we are today. And we are only just getting started.

It is incredible what you can achieve in tough circumstances if you have a strong purpose. For us, that purpose is: simplifying healthcare; improving lives. This guides everything we do and has been the fuel we have needed to get to where we are today. And we are only just getting started. 

How did you fund your business?

HealthHero is backed by Marcol, a privately owned pan-European investment house.

What numbers do you look at every day in your business?

There is a range of information that is critical to me on a very regular basis, but first and foremost it is about growth. Are we taking our proposition to more people and increasing our coverage in the markets we serve?

I keep a close eye on metrics related to service levels, the consultations we offer people, and client satisfaction. Then, of course, product integration/development, budgets and where we are placing our bets in terms of investment in technology. We are growing so quickly and we have such a huge opportunity to change healthcare for the better, that being laser-focused on our objectives is critical for success.

To what extent does your business trade internationally?

HealthHero is the largest telehealth platform in Europe by number of consultations and market presence – operating in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany. We are scaling rapidly in our ambition to be the dominant force in digital telehealth in Europe.

Where would you like your business to be in five years?

Beyond geographical expansion, our overall vision is to help achieve what we call ‘Digital Healthcare 3.0’. This is the point at which patient experience and healthcare system efficiency intersect.

We want a world where healthcare is seamless, straightforward, convenient, comprehensive and easy to access. People should be able to get the care they need at a time and place that suits them. They should be empowered to manage their own care with digital tools. Our aim is to have every touchpoint in the healthcare ecosystem connected.

What software or technology has made the biggest difference to your business?

Our online triage tool has the biggest impact on the two critical areas we are looking to influence, namely patient experience and healthcare system efficiency. This is the entry point for many into the HealthHero ecosystem, setting them on the right care pathway for their needs. This tool effectively reduces the burden on the healthcare system.


Growth Challenges

What was your biggest business mistake and what did you learn from it?

When scaling at pace, it is hard to get 100% of your hiring decisions right, and I have learnt a lot about the importance of hiring the right people because of that. There were times when I should have cut ties more quickly when it was clear that a relationship was going in the wrong direction. I think you need to be ready to make difficult decisions, no matter how painful.

What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started on your business journey?

It is okay to walk away, change and adapt your business. At a previous venture I almost learnt this too late. I think entrepreneurs are fed a narrative that the most important thing to do is never give up. However, as many founders reading this will appreciate, sometimes a business cannot succeed down a certain path for reasons that are completely outside your control.

In that circumstance, even though it is painful, giving up is a better course of action than ploughing more money and resources into an idea that is doomed to failure. I would argue that sometimes giving up is exactly what you need to do in order to gain perspective, find firm ground, and start the entrepreneurial journey again.

It is okay to walk away, change and adapt your business. I think entrepreneurs are fed a narrative that the most important thing to do is never give up. However, as many founders reading this will appreciate, sometimes a business cannot succeed down a certain path for reasons that are completely outside your control. 

How has the pandemic affected the market you operate in?

There is no doubt that the pandemic has highlighted that healthcare systems are outdated and failing to keep up. However, these systems were overstretched even prior to the pandemic; services were disconnected and inefficient. COVID-19 will have a lasting impact, but we hope that one positive outcome will be the long-lasting adoption of technology that delivers better outcomes for patients.


Personal Growth

Did you study business or learn on the job?

I have done a bit of both. I have an MBA from INSEAD, and something like that helps you develop unique perspectives on business and create a valuable network. You also gain confidence and get to benchmark yourself against similar people.

80% of where I am today is due to learning on the job, though. There is no substitute for real- life business situations.

What would make you a better leader?

Time is one valuable resource that I would like more of. Being able to free up time for thinking and developing deeper relationships, rather than focussing on transactional interactions, would have a huge positive impact for me.

One business app and one personal app you can’t do without?

On the business side, I find LinkedIn incredibly valuable and I love Ted Talks for learning and new perspectives.

On the personal side, one app I could not do without is Google Maps!

A business book or podcast that you think is great:

I love ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari. The insight in this book, about connecting the dots between how things have happened and how things will evolve, makes it a must-read. I also am a big fan of ‘Predictably Irrational’, by Dan Ariely – it offers incredible insight into human behaviour.

Business

Startup Launch: The Ultimate Guide for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

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concentrated female entrepreneur typing on laptop in workplace

Introduction

Launching a startup is an exciting and challenging experience. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance to succeed. But if you have a great idea and a strong team, anything is possible.

This blog post will provide you with the ultimate guide to startup launch, covering everything from ideation and planning to execution and marketing. We’ll also share some tips and advice from successful entrepreneurs who have been through the process themselves.

Section 1: Validating your Idea

The first step in any startup launch is to validate your idea. This means making sure that there is a real market for your product or service, and that people are willing to pay for it.

There are a few different ways to validate your idea. You can conduct market research, survey potential customers, or even create a landing page and see how many people sign up for your product or service.

Section 2: Developing a Business Plan

Once you’ve validated your idea, it’s time to develop a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and financial projections.

A well-written business plan is essential for attracting investors and partners. It will also help you to stay on track and make informed decisions as you grow your business.

Section 3: Securing Funding

One of the biggest challenges facing startups is securing funding. There are a number of different ways to raise money, including bootstrapping, crowdfunding, and venture capital.

The best way to raise money for your startup will depend on your specific industry and business model. But no matter which approach you choose, it’s important to have a solid pitch and a well-written business plan.

Section 4: Building a Team

No startup can succeed without a strong team. When putting together your team, look for people who are passionate about your idea and who have the skills and experience necessary to help you achieve your goals.

It’s also important to create a positive and supportive work environment. Your employees should feel valued and appreciated, and they should be empowered to make decisions and take risks.

Section 5: Developing your Product or Service

Once you have a team in place, you can start developing your product or service. This is where your hard work and dedication will pay off.

It’s important to focus on quality and customer satisfaction. Make sure that your product or service meets the needs of your target market and that it is well-designed and easy to use.

Section 6: Launching your Startup

Once your product or service is ready, it’s time to launch your startup! This is the moment you’ve been working towards, and it’s an exciting time to be alive.

But launching a startup is not without its challenges. There will be setbacks and unexpected challenges along the way. But if you’re persistent and never give up, you’ll be well on your way to success.

Section 7: Marketing your Startup

Once your startup is launched, it’s important to start marketing your product or service. There are a number of different ways to do this, including online marketing, social media marketing, and public relations.

The best marketing strategy for your startup will depend on your specific industry and target market. But no matter which approach you choose, it’s important to be consistent and to track your results.

Section 8: Growing your Startup

Once you’ve started generating sales and acquiring customers, it’s time to start growing your startup. This means expanding your team, increasing your production capacity, and entering new markets.

Growing a startup is not always easy, but it’s an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success.

Section 9: Lessons from Successful Entrepreneurs

Here are a few lessons from successful entrepreneurs who have been through the startup launch process themselves:

  • Focus on your customers. Everything you do should be focused on meeting the needs of your customers.
  • Be persistent. There will be setbacks along the way, but don’t give up.
  • Never stop learning. The business world is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.
  • Build a strong team. Surround yourself with talented and dedicated people who share your vision.
  • Have fun! Starting a business is a challenging but rewarding experience. Enjoy the journey.

Conclusion

Launching a startup is not for the faint of heart. But if you have a great idea and a strong team, anything is possible. By following the tips in this blog post, you can increase your chances of success.

Section 10: Common Startup Mistakes

Here are a few common startup mistakes to avoid:

  • Not validating your idea: Before you launch your startup, make sure that there is a real market for your product or service. Don’t just assume that people will want what you have to offer.
  • Not having a business plan: A business plan is essential for attracting investors and partners, and for staying on track as you grow your business.
  • Not securing enough funding: It’s important to have enough money to cover your startup costs and to give yourself a runway to grow.
  • Not building a strong team: Your team is your most important asset. Make sure to surround yourself with talented and dedicated people who share your vision.
  • Not marketing your startup: Once you’re launched, you need to start marketing your product or service to potential customers.

Section 11: Resources for Startups

Here are a few resources that can help you launch and grow your startup:

  • Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a variety of resources for small businesses, including loans, grants, and counselling.
  • AngelList: AngelList is a platform that connects startups with angel investors.
  • Y Combinator: Y Combinator is a startup accelerator that provides seed funding and mentorship to startups.
  • 500 Startups: 500 Startups is another startup accelerator that provides seed funding and mentorship.
  • Startup Grind: Startup Grind is a global community of entrepreneurs that provides networking opportunities and educational resources.

Section 12: Launching a Startup During a Recession

Launching a startup during a recession can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips:

  • Focus on a niche market: Instead of trying to compete with the big players, focus on a less competitive niche market.
  • Offer a unique value proposition: What makes your product or service different from the competition? Make sure that your value proposition is clear and compelling.
  • Be lean and efficient: Don’t waste money on unnecessary expenses. Focus on the essentials and build your business slowly and steadily.
  • Be patient and persistent: It takes time to build a successful business. Don’t expect to become an overnight success.

Conclusion

Launching a startup can be a daunting and challenging experience, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. However, the reality is that many new businesses fail within the first few years, often due to a lack of preparation and planning. To increase your chances of success, it is important to focus on your customers, prioritize their needs, and provide value through your products or services.

Additionally, persistence and a willingness to learn are crucial qualities that can help you navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Building a strong team that shares your vision and passion can also help you achieve your goals. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun along the way!

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