HealthKart is India's premier e-health store, where consumer healthcare products, such as diabetes supplies, nutrition supplements, home medical devices, baby care products etc can be ordered via internet and received at the doorstep. HealthKart sells authentic products, procured either directly from the manufacturer or authorized channels, as the best possible price to the consumer. In addition to selling healthcare products, HealthKart also offers free assistance and nutrition counseling. HealthKart was founded in March 2011 by IIT graduates - Prashant Tandon and Sameer Maheshwari who have significant experience in healthcare and technology domains, both in India and US. The founders are also MBA graduates of top tier US business schools. We had a chat with Prashant (Founder and Managing Director) to know more about HealthKart and their plan going forward.
HealthKart.com is an online store that provides health, fitness & personal care products. We address the market need for authentic products and provide them to customers across India. Our customers are Indian citizens across age groups & demographics – everyone needs products that enable healthy and good living. A lot of demand comes from Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities.
Our fitness product range is popular among the youth, health products are bought more by the 40-60 age group and wellness/ personal care/ family care products has a lot of appeal for homemakers, typically in the 30-45 age group.
Tell us something about your background and what ignited you to start HealthKart.com
HealthKart.com was started by Sameer Maheshwari and me in 2011. We are both IIT graduates who worked in US and completed our respective MBAs there. Sameer went to Harvard and I went to Stanford for MBA. Thereafter, I worked with McKinsey & Co, where I largely consulted for healthcare companies. Sameer spent his career on the technology side, and was an investment banker with UBS before we teamed up and decided to come to India.
We chose to work in the healthcare technology space, and initially were working on technology based business models with doctors and even worked with PHFI. However, soon realized that the big need and opportunity was in the direct to consumer– India needed a quality health store which sells authentic products which were needed by people across the spectrum. E-commerce was just taking off and provided the ideal platform to access consumers across the country, and hence HealthKart came into being.
Typically, how many visitors comes to the website and what is the conversion rate?
We get almost 25-30k visitors on a daily basis and have a pretty healthy conversion rate between 2-4%
You received 27Cr funding from Sequoia capital and Omidyar Network, how are you utilizing it?
We actually raised $7.5 M (around 37 cr and not 27 Cr). Kae capital also participated in this round, besides Sequoia and Omidyar Network.
We are using this capital to strengthen our operations, expand our product range, get quality people to join the team and invest in marketing & brand building.
How do you see the recent acquisition of MadeinHealth.com ?
We acquired MadeInHealth.com to access and further engage a community of fitness enthusiasts. MadeInHealth has India’s largest community of bodybuilding and fitness enthusiasts on facebook (130K fans) who are highly engaged. The community has been built organically and offers us a great avenue to engage and access a large base of potential customers.
We are further strengthening the community and adding our backend operations network to ensure MadeInHealth can provide the excellent community/ information, coupled with the strength of our backend operations and service. We would be adding many new features and functionality on MadeInHealth and overhaul the technology platform to make it a focused community site for fitness in India.
How many brands /products you have and how many more are you going to add in coming future?
We have ~1000 brands & 13-14k SKUs and we would keep adding more as we find good brands in India or globally. Soon we would be introducing very interesting range of products from US & Europe, to further provide the best products across India.
Which categories are giving you high volumes?
Diabetes & Home Devices, Nutrition & Fitness and sports accessories are doing very well. We also have started selling a lot of fitness equipment like treadmills, rowers, cycles, cross trainers recently.
What all technologies are you currently buying or looking to buy in next 6-8 months?
We are developing most of the technology in-house, or having it custom developed by quality technology partners.Key focus areas would be Mobile Applications, Pharmacy information application & interesting user-engagement tools that we are developing.
What is your marketing strategy?
Our marketing is largely online using social media (Facebook, Twitter), Online advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook ads) and customer referrals. We are also conducting health camps, fitness camps, diet counseling on phone and local activation to increase our reach.
Where do you see HealthKart 2-3 years down the line?
I see HealthKart as India’s health store in 2 years. It should be the one stop shop which consumers all over India can trust as their partner in Health. We would provide all genuine health products, information, and technology resources to ensure the customers get maximum value out of their purchase.