Often when we speak about health care we think about hi-tech and expensive devices or about hospital and doctors. We never think about all the supported care provided at home. The home care usually helps adults and seniors who are recovering after a hospital or facility stay, or need additional support to remain safely at home and avoid unnecessary hospitalization. These medicare-certified services may include short-term nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic and assistive home health care.
Even in India, this phenomenon is becoming big as illustrated by the example of India Home Health Care, the company founded by Frank Goller, V.Thiyagarajan and Sameer Mehta in 2009 in Chennai.
A German national, Frank was the founding CEO of India Home Health Care for four years. After a one-year exchange program at a High School in San Diego, USA, he co-founded an advertising agency for electronic media, which was later successfully sold to a large competitor. He joined Deloitte Consulting and worked there for almost 10 years as a manager on international projects. He focused on manufacturing as well as the healthcare industry.
Frank graduated from the University of Cologne, Germany, as Diplom-Kaufmann (MBA) and studied International Management at Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. He relocated to Chennai in 2009, where he co-founded India Home Health Care to provide quality care for patients at their bedside. After resigning as CEO towards the end of 2013, Frank moved back to Germany, but is still active as the Director.
Entrepreneurs are people who see opportunity in a problem. That’s exactly what happened to Frank and his co-founders. “I wanted to work for something that will bring about a change and will be sustainable. We saw the dismal care provided at home in comparison to the west. Personal experiences with homecare needs planted the seed for India Home Health Care,” says Frank. With this motivation, they were able to create a great startup that is differentiating themselves from the market. “We provide care for the patient at home. This is not a new concept for India, as agencies have been providing care givers to patients for a long time. But we do things differently. First, we focus on quality: we provide only trained staff and our established processes ensure a constant monitoring of the care given as well as continuous education of the field staff. Second, we are not an agency, as our field staff are employees of our company. This is very important to us, as we stay closely connected to the staff,” adds Frank.
India is a different market from the western world and the perception of customers here to home healthcare is very different. They are not willing to spend much on it. “People ask for the service only at the time of need and they are happy to find someone professional. Unfortunately, the perception of Home Health Care in India is very different from the western perception. In the west, patients are eager to go back home and want quality care. For this they are willing to pay. I sometimes feel that patients and their family in India are very interested in quality treatment in the hospital, but lose this sense of quality when moving home and replace this with price sensitivity. We are aware that not everybody can afford our service, but our investment in the quality of care is necessary and not something we will compromise for growth,” says Frank.
The results achieved in these four years gave a push to India Home Health Care mission and a consequence of this is the partnership they have forged to improve and expand their services. “Since mid 2013, we have partnered with BAYADA Home Health Care USA. This partnership does not only help us finance our expansion into other metros, but it will help us to learn from a leader in the home health care industry. Mark Bayada, MD and founder of BAYADA, shares the same dedication for the care we provide to our patients. He has sent two of his senior staff for training our office teams and soon another trainer will spend two months training our field staff too.
All this will help us provide better care and will help us gain more visibility and trust in the community which will enforce our growth. Within five years, we will be in 15 metros and within 10 years we could achieve to provide care to patients of all income level as the government will recognize Home Health Care as a valuable extension of hospital care and support this care financially,” states Frank proudly.
Despite his young age, Frank has already founded two enterprises and he has some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. “The one and only advice I want to give is: focus on your core product or service! Do not get distracted on possible opportunities which seem to be easy to take. This will only distract you from your core product or service,” says Frank.