While searching for the best crowd-funding platforms to help our fellow entrepreneurs, Team Entrepreneurs Bus came to know about one of the start-ups that are growing in this field rapidly. To understand their initiative better, we talked to Piyush Jain, Co-Founder and CEO of ImpactGuru.com, a crowd-funding platform in details.
How will you introduce yourself to the world? This is Piyush Jain. I am the Co-Founder and CEO of ImpactGuru.com, a crowd-funding platform in India with a major focus on healthcare. ImpactGuru.com is the GoFundMe equivalent in India. I was previously an M&A investment banker with J.P. Morgan (New York, Hong Kong, and London), a management consultant with BCG and EY (Southeast Asia and India). I have an undergraduate degree from Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, where I was a Joseph Wharton Scholar and have a graduate degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. At Harvard, I assisted Professor Thornburg in teaching a class on Financial Management in Non-profit Organizations. I have co-authored a paper at Harvard Business School on innovative ways to finance entrepreneurial and social ventures. https://hbr.org/product/non-equity-financing-for-entrepreneurial-ventures/an/814005-PDF-EN
Tell your readers about your achievements till today (Be Honest)!! To be honest, after all the hard work I think we can boast about some of our achievements. You can count- • ImpactGuru.Com, Winner of Maharashtra Start-up Week 2019 • ImpactGuru.Com, Winner Of 2018 Top 3 Start-ups – an Initiative In Collab With NITI Aayog & Govt. Of India – • MedAchievers HEALTH NXT 2018 – Rising Start-up Award • TechCircle 2018 Public Choice Award – Best Social Impact Start-up • Businessworld Techtors Awards 2018 – Tech Companies To Watch Out For • ImpactGuru.com Co-Founder Piyush Jain featured in Fortune 40 Under 40, 2019 list • ImpactGuru.com Co-Founder Piyush Jain, Winner of Entrepreneur India Awards 2019 – Social Entrepreneur Award category • ImpactGuru.com Co-Founder Piyush Jain featured in Businessworld 40 Under 40, 2019 list Tell us about your start-up! ImpactGuru.com, incubated at Harvard, is India’s leading healthcare financing platform for patients, raises money online for medical expenses via crowd-funding. With a target addressable market of $3bn, ImpactGuru.com is following the Shuidichou and QingsSongChou crowd-funding model in China. It aggregates a large number of online payments to allow any individual requiring financial assistance to raise funds for medical expenses – be it cancer, transplant, accident, or any medical emergency.
“What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
Our focus – We at ImpactGuru.com are working hard towards our mission of helping patients in India fund their critical illnesses. How are we making this happen? – Significant scaling up of sales and marketing to increase awareness about crowd-funding. What’s your take on your segmented/targeted Market? Our target customers include two segments of India’s population. These patients are from 1) below-poverty-line backgrounds suffering from critical illnesses and 2) middle-class patients who have drained their finances sustaining long-term treatments such as cancer, organ transplants, and accidents. Approximately 800 million people in India do not have health insurance. And those who do, have an average health insurance cover of only Rs. 5 lakhs. Critical care for in-patients at private hospitals is ~$19bn. We are targeting to finance these critical illnesses. The demand for healthcare financing of critical illnesses is a huge market opportunity with crowd-funding being the only feasible solution (considering very high treatment costs and high default rates for loans for critical illnesses) Healthcare crowd-funding is the most disruptive solution as funds raised online is considered as a donation. Crowd-funding allows people to raise money quickly in a hassle-free manner without any payback liability. What are the challenges you have faced and what are the current challenges? Mention the top three challenges for both. Growth & Scalability – Out of every 100 target customers or patients, only 1 or 2 are aware of healthcare crowd-funding as a solution. The question is how to break past a certain threshold in terms of scale. That’s a marketing and a sales challenge. Cost efficiency/ profitability –How to ensure that ImpactGuru.com is structured to have high operating leverage so that when revenue doubles or the traffic doubles or the number of customers double, resources required to support higher scale is an ideal number. Innovation/ Differentiation challenge – Fundamentally, what is ultimately important for any company to grow and sustain is innovation. How to build an organization that is continuously thinking about innovation and continuous improvement in the service we offer, which creates differentiation? Why you have started up? Be specific with your reasons!! The strong passion to make a difference in the lives of people and save more lives inspired co-founder, Khushboo Jain and me to start a fin-tech company focused on making healthcare more affordable. Our vision is to make sure that nobody in India has to ever struggle to fund their medical treatment due to lack of money. We want all of them to be able to raise funds successfully on ImpactGuru.com. Healthcare crowd-funding is an alternative method of raising funds online for medical expenses, with the patient (or his/her friends or family) primarily relying on social media networks to mobilise donors to finance the relevant medical bills. Typically, each of these donors contributes relatively small sums of money online to help raise a much larger goal amount. For example, 200 donors contributing Rs 5,000 each can mobilise Rs 10 lakhs for cancer surgery in less than 24 hours. The additional advantage of crowd-funding is that patients do not have to repay that money to their funders as the money provided online is a donation and not a loan. ImpactGuru.com is creating social impact every day helping patients fund critical illnesses and saving lives. So far, we have helped more than 6,000 patients raise funds from over 400,000 donors. Here is a recent healthcare crowd-funding case study highlighting this impact. Alamelu from Tamil Nadu was able to raise Rs. 21.97 lakhs in just 24 hours through crowd-funding on ImpactGuru.com. A fundraiser was put up with the intent to gather funds for Alamelu’s son’s Stem-Cell Transplantation. Her son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease, Hemophagocytic lymph histiocytosis. This was a new record for us, as well as a testament to how far ImpactGuru.com has come since its inception.
Where do you want to see yourself in next 5 years? Continue to lead ImpactGuru.com as CEO Mobilize funds for over 5 lakh patients Help ImpactGuru.com expand its financial services offering within the healthcare space beyond crowd-funding into more verticals Spend more time mentoring and encouraging the amazing workforce of ImpactGuru.com and coach them to take on more senior leadership roles and more responsibilities Please share your learning for fellow Entrepreneurs? I believe entrepreneurs should be resource maximizers. To make the best use of limited capital, team members, time, and energy, and to achieve results, one has to be organized and structured. What has helped me is advice from friends, family, colleagues, and potential customers to bounce off ideas and validate the hypothesis, Surveys and focus group discussions was a good avenue to get customer insights. • Create a minimum lovable product instead of a minimum viable product • Strategic partnership at an early stage can do wonders – In May 2018, we attracted Asia’s largest healthcare group Apollo Hospitals Group as our investor and strategic partner.
With this partnership, we have been able to scale exponentially: Here is one such crowd-funding success story of Apollo Hospitals via ImpactGuru: Rs. 25 lakhs was raised in 24 hours through crowd-funding on our platform ImpactGuru for an 11-year-old boy Naveen’s Liver Transplant. Naveen’s transplant is scheduled to be held soon at Apollo BGS Hospitals, Mysuru.