Bengaluru: The Covid-19 crisis, which has had a major impact on the healthcare sector across the world, and in India, could lead to fundamental changes in consumer behaviour, said Meena Ganesh, MD and CEO of Portea Medical, a home healthcare service provider.
However, the crisis has also opened up opportunities for the healthcare sector, Ganesh said during the second webinar of Mint’s Pivot or Perish series.
Portea Medical focuses on primary healthcare, post-hospitalisation and critical care, chronic disease management and allied services. The company offers home visits from doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists, and also provides services such as collection of lab samples and chemotherapy at home.
“Suddenly there is a huge change from facility-based care as being the gold standard… Nobody wants to go to a facility unless there is no other choice. This could lead to a fundamental change in behaviour, and we are seeing that already," she said.
Customers are now “willing to look at technology-based healthcare, devices, and community-based healthcare," and asking for it, she said. “We are also doing some things we would have never dreamt -- for instance, carrying out chemotherapy administration at home," she added.
She also pointed out that this is also an ideal time for “a consortium… different elements of healthcare…to come together and provide the most appropriate solution to the consumer."
In response to a query on the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on entrepreneurship, Ganesh, a serial entrepreneur, explained how, she felt, the expectations from an entrepreneur had changed.
Till recently, she said, entrepreneurs were lauded “for their ability to think out of the box, for being aggressive in growth, for growth at all costs, to find new horizons to conquer and literally to be the warrior and Alexander the Great… conquering new regions."
However, now, the entrepreneur is expected to minimise burn, make sure (the company) can survive, (respond to) changes in customer behaviour and requirement, and still remain relevant to the target audience, and come up with new solutions, she said.
She added that expectations from the entrepreneur “have changed drastically" and this requires the investors and Board members to provide appropriate support to the entrepreneur. Some entrepreneurs, who have not faced such a situation before, may have to learn new skills, she added.