A leading marketer, an avid reader and a person who chases her dreams, Ritu Singh from New Delhi is the co-founder of CareOnGo, a one-stop-shop for medical and wellness products. The idea was to create a disruptive product in healthcare and bridge the gap between the consumer and the retailer in a fast and effective way. And the idea was shared by the other co-founders Aditya Kandoi and Yogesh Kumar as well, which led to the business idea becoming reality and Ritu becoming an entrepreneur. Here she speaks to SheThePeople about her journey from IIM to establishing a business in the digital space.
The idea of a disruptive product in healthcare
I am from a middle class family and have been raised by parents who give utmost importance to education and personality development. The passion to chase my dreams and make my own path when it comes to career choices always motivated me. Post graduating from IIM, I worked with Grabhouse as the Marketing Head leading digital, BTL and ATL marketing campaigns of the company.
Eventually, after graduating from NSIT-Delhi, I started my career with Deloitte where I met my current co-founders at CareOnGo – Aditya Kandoi and Yogesh Agarwal. We shared similar passion to take the plunge and create something of our own.
Since out formula was to start a disruptive product in healthcare industry. the support and love I received from my family has given me the choice to take such a bold step of leaving a comfortable corporate job and open up a healthcare startup. Becoming a digital entrepreneur allowed me to take the ownership of my work and excel in my field while revolutionizing the healthcare sector in the country.
‘CareOnGo’: The idea and the execution
The idea behind CareOnGo was to build a strong network of micro pharmacies in India with a complete focus to expand the pharmacy drug business, right from procurement, managing and selling to end consumers. CareOnGo is first of its kind with prime focus into B2B services – with a vision of solving consumer’s problem through its B2C services. We help local retailers procure products from manufacturers and stockists on the basis of predictive analytics by studying the purchase patterns and supply drivers. Unlike our competitors who are dealing in only online pharmacy space, we are building a technology-based ecosystem, which ensures quality and consistency with a turnaround and delivery time unmatched by any other player in the market today. We aim to provide a seamless experience to all the players of the supply chain right from manufacturer selling his products to consumers finally getting their products.
The investors that contributed initially
Finding investors in the initial stage is quite a task for every startup but our efforts paid off well as we were fortunate to raise $300,000 in the seed round of funding, led by Farooq Oomerbhoy in just seven months after starting up CareOnGo. We have recently received Pre series A funding led by Farooq Oomerbhoy of FAO Ventures, in consortium with Anupam Mittal and Anand Mittal of People Group; Ravi Garikipati, Head of Flipkart’s Ads Business; VibhuGarg, Co-Founder of Unicommerce, along with Singapore Angel Network and Konglo Ventures, among others.
Successful women entrepreneurs have always been present. The only difference now is that they are now becoming highly visible in the Industry thanks to the digital boom.
Innovation is a challenge as an entrepreneur
Many government regulations around Medicines have not been clearly defined creating its own set of challenges into the Industry. We refrain from going into any of such vicinities to keep ourselves in green zone. However this restricts us from doing a lot more for our partner pharmacies than we actually do. As an entrepreneur, one needs to innovative everyday and find out new ways to refine the processes.
Focus is very important for an entrepreneur
To lead a successful team, it is always important to stay focused and work towards the goals collectively in a company. An entrepreneur must ensure the team is motivated as it helps in increasing the productivity in a big way. Encouraging the employees to come up with out-of-the-box ideas is also important to create a working environment where creativity can evolve.
The Digital boom has brought successful women entrepreneurs into focus
The rapid adoption of digital technology and evolved shopping behaviour has transformed the e-commerce space substantially in the last couple of years. Where healthcare is concerned the digital boom has enabled the industry to become the fastest growing segment to cater to this demand not only in tier I but tier II, III cities and rural areas.
Successful women entrepreneurs have always been present. The only difference now is that they are now becoming highly visible in the Industry thanks to the digital boom. These success stories in turn are inspiring more and more women to cultivate the entrepreneurship spirit in them and get the much needed confidence to start their own business journey.
Advice to fellow entrepreneurs
My advice to all the budding entrepreneurs would be to stay focused and dream big! Its pivotal for every entrepreneur to believe in their vision behind opening up the venture and always work towards the objective to achieve them.