OPEN APP
Home / Brand Stories / The future of the healthcare business is digital
PARTNERED

The future of the healthcare business is digital

In the latest episode of ‘Discovery 2022: Exploring novel business avenues for growth’, powered by SAP, Founder Director of Wellness Forever Medicare Pvt Ltd, Gulshan Bakhtiani, spoke about his journey of change.Premium
In the latest episode of ‘Discovery 2022: Exploring novel business avenues for growth’, powered by SAP, Founder Director of Wellness Forever Medicare Pvt Ltd, Gulshan Bakhtiani, spoke about his journey of change.

In the latest episode of Discovery 2022: Exploring novel business avenues for growth, Founder Director of Wellness Forever Medicare Pvt Ltd, Gulshan Bakhtiani, spoke about his journey of change.

Listen to this article

The last decade witnessed the emergence of several new business models across industries. From Med Tech, to Ed Tech and FinTech, the one common thread running along all of them was Technology. The shift to everything online in the shadow of the pandemic further accelerated this business transformation. Almost overnight, traditional companies transformed into tech companies.

But this is just the beginning. As India strives to become a $5 trillion dollar economy by 2025, companies need to stay on this fast track to development. Modern enterprises need to take advantage of business insights to create new business models that are resilient to change and explore fresh avenues for growth.

In the latest episode of ‘Discovery 2022: Exploring novel business avenues for growth’, powered by SAP, Founder Director of Wellness Forever Medicare Pvt Ltd, Gulshan Bakhtiani, spoke about his journey of change.

Wellness forever was started in 2008 when three friends decided to merge their existing stores into a combined pharmacy business. From 3 stores in 2008 to over 280 today, and plans for another 400-500 stores in the next two years, the firm has seen exponential growth.

“When we started in 2008, we realised that Indian pharmacies were very curative in nature. Abroad, there was a preventive component, and that wellness and wellbeing is something that our pharmacies need to offer. One thing was very clear for us – that the future of India is not the continuation of the past. It is an incremental future and is a transformation," said Bakhtiani.

Cashing in on the Med Tech wave, they transitioned from a physical stores format to an omnichannel retail model. “We are all internet migrants. But, as an upcoming entrepreneur, you have to be not only adapting to change but embracing change. And we could clearly see that the future has changed permanently and this is the road that we have to take," he added.

Wellness forever used the power of technology to go from incremental to transformative thinking and grew from a 8 crore drug retail chain to 1000 crore enterprise today. This fast pace of growth was powered by technology.

“You cannot be a consumer of technology. You have to be an embracer and have to go and create technology and customise it for yourself. There was a time when I used to wake up at 6.30 AM and go for an internet class till 10.30 and then attend to my business. People used to ask me why I needed to do this. In hindsight, it has been very good," he said.

For Wellness forever, technology has played a key role in helping save costs, and optimise resources. “Technology is a journey of first Ouch and then Aha! We faced three challenges – first is the mindset inertia and lack of faith in what you can achieve, second was juicing the solution, which can put you in a tech debt. At the end, you need to be resilient," he said.

In 2011, they transitioned to Cloud and once the data sets started working on Cloud, all the initial glitches got ironed out. Once our data was unified, the company could collect orders from all the stores, but needed an equally automated warehouse at the backend to process the orders.

“In our head office, almost 30 per cent of the team is a digital team. We don’t have an IT or ITes team – we just have a digital transformation team. In a 5000-people strong company, if only 10 people are thinking IT, it won’t help. Digitization has to be in the DNA," he said.

Bakhtiani also gave some words of advice to other players in the industry who are looking at making the shift to MedTech. “Don’t change for the fear of losing business – it will not give you results. Digitization is not an option or a compulsion. It has to be an aspiration and a dream. Also, it is not an input of the business but needs to be a part of the DNA," he said.

Wellness forever is all set to raise 1,600 crore through an IPO. The future for this industry seems bright, where a lot has changed in a post pandemic world. The healthcare industry is witnessing a shift from disease treatment to disease prevention. And this makes healthcare bigger than pharmacy, as pharmacies will play a major role in facilitating this.

“An average person lives for 75 years but spends just two years being sick and visiting a pharmacy. The entire gamut of not falling ill or preventing the disease is the wellness portfolio which can be unlimited times bigger than just falling ill. In the healthcare industry, the huge impetus is going to be on food aspects. Five years from now, we will be one of the deeply entrenched connected players in the connected world of healthcare," he concluded.

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!!

Close
×
Edit Profile
Get alerts on WhatsApp
My ReadsRedeem a Gift CardLogout