From the platform of PakWired, we are creating a gallery to display your startup/business. With Business Showcase we aim to put forth an exhibit of YOUR success, YOUR journey and YOUR story. It is a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit at work in you!
Business Showcase is an idea born out of the need for a gallery of the fiercely promising entrepreneurial culture in Pakistan. To develop a comprehensive and unbiased industry profile, we invite you to take your part and make your contribution, regardless of your years in the industry and the revenue generated. Let us join together and celebrate each success and each struggle contributing to our striving ecosystem.
The platform is envisioned to grow into a hub of opportunities and resources for those with experience and those struggling to have any. Write your entrepreneurial story, we will feature it. Not good with stringing words? No worries! Take your camera, show us your product. Let us see with you, your dream.
Today, featured at the Business Showcase is myZindagi.pk.
By PakWired, following is an interview with Talha Bhatti, Product Manager at myZindagi.pk:
What is your product/service idea?
Our aim is to be a complete digital healthcare solution for Pakistan. We provide users the ability to book appointments online, consult physicians via video straight from the app, order home medicine delivery, order at home lab samplings and create secure medical records. All services are designed to be accessed with just one click.
When was the idea born? And how long did it take before you began working over your idea?
The initial seed for myZindagi.pk was planted 3 years ago. It was brewing in the background as we worked on other projects. We finally took the plunge and started working on the idea full time last year.
What has been your basic motivation for working over your idea?
Our founder was intrigued by the idea that users could find doctors online and book appointments quickly. He had used similar services in the UK but did not find anything similar in Pakistan. Instead he was faced with long waiting periods and hit and miss referrals from friends. Once he realized that there was an actual need for a service that would help patients independently find doctors and book appointments, myZindagi.pk was born.
What doubts did you have about the success of the idea?
myZindagi’s success was initially dependent on the users access to internet. Since doctors schedules were to be synced online, any loss of internet service would lead to issues in appointment bookings. Pakistan’s internet coverage, especially on mobile was not that great 3 years ago but has gotten tremendously better and our concerns have been alleviated. However, we added a landline so that users that lose internet or do not have access to internet can call in and avail the service.
Where did you work before you began working on the idea?
Synnapps developed several successful apps and services for foreign clients before launching myZindagi as our own in-house service.
At what stage of startup cycle / business phase do you find yourself now?
We have come out of stealth mode and are publically launching the service. The most heartening indicator for us was that we started getting appointment bookings even before launch when we were not promoting the service at all.
What technique/business model have you used?
There is no fee for patients to use the service currently. In the future we plan on monetizing our premium services (Video consultation, etc). There is also a subscription service for Doctors.
Why did you use this technique?
The ability to pay for a service online in Pakistan is not as smooth as other countries. We overcame this by going with a business model that allowed us to directly receive payment on a monthly schedule.
What have been the most daunting challenge/s you faced?
Convincing users, especially doctors, that a new way of doing things will help their business has been an uphill battle. In many cases we saw that established physicians were quite set in their ways and did not want to automate or digitize any portion of their processes. We had to entice these customers by offering free trials, training and a lot of customer support.
What has been the greatest risk you took that contributed to the way things turned out?
One major issue that we noticed with our competitors and information available online in general was that it was not reliable. Phone number for doctors, locations and even specialties were wrong or outdated. We decided to take a risk and hire our own team for data collection and verification. This has really helped us in differentiating ourselves from the pack.
What has been your greatest strength that made a difference in the outcome?
myZindagi.pk chose to offer a human touch to all our interactions. So in every aspect of our service a user can get in touch with a live person at any time. This ‘hand holding’ has helped new users figure out how to utilize the service and benefit. We have also seen that users come back more often because they know a friendly person is available anytime they have issues.
What strengths did you receive from external sources that helped make a difference and how?
We got a lot of support from vendors and service providers in the healthcare market. For example, Chugtai Labs is our official lab provider and they have been very open-minded about working with us. They see the potential in our technology and service and were very happy to collaborate. This encouragement really helps us in being confident that the health landscape in Pakistan can change for the better.
What has been the happiest moment of this entire journey? (and why)
There have been many great and exciting moments. One type of interaction that we see often is people that thank us profusely and give Dua to our customer service agents when we help them connect with the right doctors. The first time this happened our entire office felt a sense of happiness and purpose. This type of feedback never gets old.
What has been the scariest moment? (and why)
The scariest moment was when we first launched our Video Consultation service. We had done internal testing for weeks before we went live but that first day was stressful. Would the app crash? Would internet be stable? Would people not like the service? All these questions weighed heavily on us at the time.
What mistakes did you make that, if given a chance to redo your journey, you’d make sure to avoid? Your advice to entrepreneurship aspirants?
Initially we wanted to make sure that everything was just right before launching anything. We worried too much about perfection. Overthinking and over analyzing things can grind progress to a standstill. In a startup environment it’s better to go ahead and release a feature and let it break than waiting for everything to be perfect. Nothing will ever be 100%. You just need to make sure you are fast to correct issues, learn from them and support the customer.
How would you want the audience to reach you? (Business website/ Business email)
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