Medikabazaar’s “Beyond Price” services for medical establishments and manufacturers
There are numerous essential prerequisites which are needed by hospitals for providing the appropriate diagnosis and treatment to patients. One of the most crucial facets comprises of medical supplies, which along with doctors, operate at the heart of any healthcare facility by being the medium through which surgical/diagnostic procedures are conducted.
Medikabazaar understands that there are a lot of hospitals in India, especially in the lower tier cities and rural areas, who are bereft of information about the latest developments in medical care while not getting a consistent supply of medical products to administer patient care. This is why Medikabazaar is traveling up and beyond its nascent operation of not only being a supplier of medical products but also implementing an all-round operation which will service the entire procurement process of medical establishments.
In short, Medikabazaar is now a Value Procurement Organization.
Our recently signed agreement with the Association of Healthcare Providers (India) (AHPI) making us the authorized VPO for the member hospitals of AHPI, is an example of our assurance towards making healthcare affordable and accessible.
As per the agreement, our VPO services will comprise of the following operations which will give you clarity of what it entails.
Medikabazaar will serve as a single point of contact for the member hospitals catering to their 360o medical supplies and GST requirements. Our powerful online platform has the most extensive digital catalog of more than 150,000 medical supplies encompassing a vast range of products from consumables such as syringes, stethoscopes to equipment like electrosurgical units, and smoke evacuators. Hospitals can search and compare product specifications, prices which will result in informed purchases. They also don’t have to face the inconvenience of dealing with multiple manufacturers, numerous quotations, and GST compliances, a task which can be exhausting and eat into operational time.
Additionally, Medikabazaar’s proprietary new-age AI and ML tool will assist medical establishments in making data-driven, evidence-based purchase decisions, by providing accurate stock projections. Procuring the right and quality medical supplies at the appropriate time and at a suitable price will empower the hospitals to optimize their inventories, reduce the shortages, excesses, and expiries of vital SKUs.
Our value-added services like flexible payment options such as 40 days revolving credit limit, last-mile delivery connecting with medical establishments in tier 2, 3 cities, remote locations of India, and scientific sessions for increased awareness about new medical developments will also benefit the AHPI member hospitals. Due to all the above, the member hospitals will operate with a streamlined and transparent supply chain. Secondly, they will be able to save around 30% in operational expenses, procure high-grade supplies without compromising on patient care. In short, they will be able to achieve operational efficiency.
The agreement which was announced at the AHPI Global Conclave in February 2019, New Delhi, furthers the healthcare initiative of the Indian government, Ayushman Bharat which is aimed at providing affordable healthcare for everyone, with an emphasis on people with financial disabilities.
Dr. GirdharGyani, Director General, AHPI said, “It is important for hospitals and medical facilities to focus on their core duty, which is treating patients and saving lives. With Medikabazaar taking care of the procurement needs of the hospitals, the hospitals are able to focus on their core duty of patient care. We also envisage significant savings for all our member hospitals, which in turn will lead to lower cost to patients. While the Government is committed to ensuring healthcare at the grassroots level, it is imperative for hospitals to achieve greater all round efficiencies to deliver quality and affordability to realize that mission. Our main aim of signing the VPO is to bring in economies of scale and better management of resources.”
Vivek Tiwari, Founder, and CEO, Medikabazaar elaborated on the agreement saying, “We are addressing a major challenge of hospitals having to deal with hundreds of vendors and will function as a single point contact for them. Being an aggregator, it will also help decrease the value loss happening in the form of inefficiencies in procurement & additional margins that come into play when purchasing from different vendors. This will bring immense value for AHPI members by improving the bottom line, and ensuring the cost efficiency required to meet Ayushman Bharat's low reimbursements. While hospitals take care of patients’ health, Medikabazaar will take care of the hospital's health.”
In a digital age in India, customer behavior is going through significant alterations. The internet has given rise to numerous options for the modern online consumer, where they can first search, conduct extensive reviews and then select the brand/service for purchase. According to Statista, a leading website for market and consumer data, there were 483 million internet users in India in 2018 which was an increase from 437 million the previous year. It is projected that a massive 600 million will be using the internet by 2021. The website also stated that India ranks second in the list of countries with the most number of internet users, just behind to China.
Just like the modern Indian digital customer who search for different brands of consumer goods before purchasing, doctors and purchase managers working for hospitals surf the internet for numerous manufacturers before deciding on whom to appoint.
For suppliers/manufacturers, scale and reach are one of the most crucial factors. More number of loyal customers (hospitals) will not only result in good business, but more importantly, they will acquire goodwill in the market which is essential for any supplier to earn new clients. This is where Medikabazaar’s prominent digital presence and platform will come to the aid. On partnering with us, manufacturers can leverage our online presence and industry networks to connect with our ever-increasing list of clientele (18,000+ customers at the moment) and the modern digital consumers.
To add on, Medikabazaar via our consolidated and effective last-mile delivery system, 11 state-of-the-art fulfillment centers, and 200+ workforce, is connecting with medical establishments in tier 2, 3 cities, and remote locations servicing facilities situated in 20,000+ pin codes PAN India. Therefore, apart from expanding their reach across various cities in the country, suppliers will also get to leverage our competent and dynamic logistical support which will give them access to places where the offline supply chain do not reach. Our partnerships with acclaimed medical institutions such as AHPI will also result in expansion.
How to reach across to the customers in different parts of the country? Again, our online presence plays a central role. Medikabazaar is present on all the relevant social media and online marketing platforms where we run various campaigns regularly for product promotions. We have mustered a significant number of followers on these platforms which will give the products of the suppliers and manufacturers, maximum visibility and eventually more reach as well.
We are fostering and nurturing the implementation of the latest innovative MedTech products in the healthcare fraternity via numerous events which will give the suppliers, a platform to exhibit their innovations as well.
Suppliers must understand that they require prominent industry partners with a strong understanding of the regulatory framework and customer requirements. Medikabazaar has a robust knowledge and experience of both. Couple this with our significant customer base and a broad product range, makes us that perfect partner for suppliers. Manufacturers who are operating in the Indian healthcare industry cannot ignore the change in customer behavior in this digital generation. They either have to develop themselves with the surroundings, or risk missing the train and lose out on potential customers.
Medikabazaar did not enter the healthcare industry with one hand tied at the back. Both our arms are stretched out to help hospitals and manufacturers attain their targets. Thus, with both our arms we are bridging the gap between the two parties which if done efficiently, will ultimately lead to better healthcare for everyone, which is our end goal.
Contributed by Vivek Tiwari, Founder & CEO, Medikabazaar
This article was originally published in the April issue of Medgate