Shreyans Mehta, Nikhil Baheti and Saida Dhanavath, the co-founders of ‘Aayu’, got the idea through personal experiences in the Indian healthcare system. In 2014, Shreyans’ father – a practising doctor himself – fell ill. The illness hampered his movement and that kept his patients from getting treatment. Most of the patients waiting for consultation were from rural areas and that is when the thought of leveraging technology to benefit these people came about and our research about healthcare services in the country began.
The ‘Eureka’ moment came with the idea of scaling such technology so that it reaches every nook and corner of the country. They found that there are nearly 1.6 million pharmacies that cater to 50 million people in India. Moreover, there is just one pharmacy per 1800 people in the country. This burgeoning gap is felt the most in small towns and cities and they realised that local chemists could be a one-point contact for all of a patient’s healthcare services.
The task at hand was to make these offline retail pharmacies digital and make them the last-mile access points for the patients. They believed that a local chemist store could become an e-clinic without any extra cost, and provide services such as medicine delivery, doctor consultations & lab tests for their customers. The patients would not be required to travel for long distances for consultations, lab tests and medicines.
Shreyans is from a family of doctors. Nikhil stayed next to the biggest hospital of his city, and was witness to patients’ plight everyday.
Nikhil discussed this idea with Saida, and he, too, agreed to having bad experiences in healthcare services in Telangana.
With these discussions and experiences the conviction to build something like ‘Aayu’ became stronger and in 2017, ‘Aayu Chemist – Growth Ka Super App’ was born.