Startup

An Interview with the Founder of TalkHealth

TalkHealth is an online platform that empowers patients to find the right doctor or medical facility for their medical condition. Through talk health you can discuss your problems with doctors free of cost, who will provide you insights about your health, and will help you find the right doctor for your medical condition. TalkHealth also allows you to search for doctors around you and book appointments.

You can also reach out to patients like you for support, motivation and advice to find out what is working for others. TalkHealth will also keep you updated with the latest happenings in the health industry, and will provide you tips on how to stay on top of your health.

Meet Sarfraz Arshad, the founder of TalkHealth – a healthcare startup that aims to empower the patients into making better decisions. Here’s what he had to say about his innovative product.

  1. What made you choose this field? 

I am a technologist with 8 years of experience in IT. I am passionate about creating products that can affect the lives of people in a positive way. Coming from a family of healthcare professionals and being a patient myself enabled me to observe the healthcare system very closely. It’s very amazing to see the way a customer is treated in the health industry. Every other industry treats customers as their boss, but in this industry the healthcare customers i.e. the patients are the least powerful. It is a double-edged sword, on one side the clinicians don’t have time to answer every question of a patient and on the other the patients today have an impression that it is not their responsibility to take care of their body, or to educate themselves about their medical condition. I knew that this problem can be addressed with the help of technology, so I decided to take the help of technology to empower the patients.

 

  1. What’s your business model? How do you plan to make/sustain revenue in the long-run?

Our revenue model is based on affiliate marketing model, in the longer run there are several other revenue streams that we can tap into.

 

  1. Who do you consider your competitors and how do you plan to beat the market? What’s your unique selling point?

There are few competitors in the market including Ezpz Sehat, Healthwire but all of them are at a very early stage. Our unique selling point is that we are not just providing the patients with the listing of doctors, but we are empowering them by providing them useful health information, allowing them to reach out to doctors for insights on their health and allowing them to reach out to other patients like them for support, motivation and to share their experiences. This brings a user much closer to our product and adds much more value.

 

  1. Have you valuated your company? What’s your current and expected market share?

We cannot share the current valuation of the company. Healthcare in Pakistan is more than $2 Billion, out of this $1Billion is for pharmaceuticals and the remaining is divided among doctor fees, hospital costs and procedure costs. Since our revenue model revolves around scheduling of appointments for doctors and medical facilities our market share is easily $50 Million.

 

  1. What’s your target market and why did you choose this market?

Out target market for now is Pakistan, since we are based in Pakistan it made most sense that we start with Pakistan.

  1. Do you think that Pakistan will have enough demand for this product/service in the next 5 years? If so, have you done any demand analysis?

Definitely, this product will have huge demand in Pakistan. We have done the surveys and our prelaunch signup campaigns were highly successful. Also a very similar product Practo has been highly successful in India that has very similar socio-economic culture.

  1. Do you think that your service/product will woo the investors? Can it bring international investment in Pakistan?

We already have investment offers, but we want to achieve product market fit first and get some traction before we go for a funding round so that we can have a better valuation.

  1. How do you plan to innovate? What is your five-year growth plan?

Our Aim is to become to go to portal for health issues, however at the moment we are trying to achieve product market fit, and once we achieve that we can press the accelerator on innovation and growth.

  1. Matti, the second co-founder of TalkHealth

    Matti, the second co-founder of TalkHealth

    How many team members are there at the moment? Are they fresh out of college/undergrads or are they experienced professionals? How do you plan to scale your team in the next 12 months?

We are a team of 9. We have an excellent mix of experienced professional and young fresh blood. The experience of our team ranges form 30 years to fresh graduates. As far as expansion is concerned we will hire on a need basis, some roles need experienced professional and some are more suited for fresh graduates, so we will hire based on the requirement of the job.

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