StartupTalky presents Recap'22. This is a series of interviews in which we conduct in-depth discussions with founders & industry leaders to understand their growth in 2022 and their predictions for the future.
The rehabilitation industry encompasses a range of healthcare services aimed at helping individuals recover from injury, illness, or disability. This includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other related services. The industry includes hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, and private practices.
The goal of rehabilitation is to restore an individual's function and independence to the fullest extent possible and improve their quality of life. The rehabilitation industry continues to grow due to an aging population, increasing rates of chronic conditions, and advancements in medical technology.
In modern medical science, there are many traditional healthcare challenges, and as a result, many startups are working to improve medical processes through evidence-based solutions.
According to a recent market research report, the global rehabilitation market was valued at around $34.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2021 to 2028. This growth can be attributed to factors such as the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, the aging population, and advancements in medical technology.
For this Interview, we invited, Riday Nakhate, Managing Director and Founder of Kan Innovations, and we talked about the growth, challenges, insights, and future opportunities in the Rehabilitation industry.
StartupTalky: What does your company do? What was the motivation/vision with which you started?
Riday: Kan Innovations Pvt. Ltd. designs, develops, and manufactures technology-based solutions to help people live longer healthier, and more active lives. We launched a first-of-its-kind comprehensive solution called the OHM Series of plantar pressure systems that assesses balance, posture, and human biomechanics. Coupled with REGO, a gamified rehabilitation software, it also aids in rehabilitation for sports, ortho, neuro, and prosthetic patients. Our series of research-backed plantar pressure devices are used by Indian medical and paramedical professionals in a variety of sectors, including physiotherapy, orthopedics, diabetes, and prosthetics and orthotics.
The idea of Kan Innovations germinated while I was in the USA when I suffered from L4-L5 disc desiccation, a right knee meniscal tear, and a left knee cap dislocation. L4-L5 disc desiccation went misdiagnosed for two years which took away my freedom of mobility.
As a patient, I got introduced to the world of physiotherapy and worked on my rehabilitation to the point of pain relief. I assumed that everything would be fine from that point and began to ignore the last and most important part of rehab, ‘strengthening’. After my right knee meniscus tear, I soon dislocated my left knee cap and the primary reason was that I had been overloading my left limb, due to the incomplete rehabilitation of my right limb.
It was at that moment, I realized the lack of evidence-based tools available for doctors to make return-to-play decisions as well as the lack of evidence to educate patients on their issues and their recovery. The personal incident inspired me to discover a solution so that others would not have to endure the same suffering. I believe our cutting-edge technology will transform healthcare by providing better results to patients and restoring their quality of life.
StartupTalky: What is/are the USP/s of your products?
Riday: That's our niche; we have understood the gap, identified the need, and launched a complete Made in India product. What sets us apart from our competitors is our comprehensive offering where a practitioner can conduct assessment and rehabilitation on the same platform that suits all domains of practitioners: Physiotherapists, diabetologists, Prosthetists & Orthotist engineers,
StartupTalky: How has the rehabilitation industry changed in recent years, and how has your company adapted to these changes?
Riday: The rehabilitation industry has begun to evolve and focus on the integration of tech and evidence-based tools to treat patients and giving immediate biofeedback to patients has become supremely important. Patients have grown more conscious of their health and better educated about the gold-standard approaches available across the globe. Health tech businesses across the globe are also using AI and Big data learning to evolve their product offerings so that medical practitioners can deliver the best patient care. It's important to remain connected with our customers and our potential customers. They are usually early adopters of technology and invest time in learning more about new technologies and methodologies in their respective spaces. As a young company, we are quite dynamic and constantly work on accommodating new approaches, thoughts, and ideas into our offerings.
StartupTalky: How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the rehabilitation industry?
Riday: At Kan Innovations, we work very closely with our customers and our potential customers to identify the trends and requirements of the market. Our sales and marketing teams constantly bring in new requirements from customers that are discussed monthly and market research and clinical research are then initiated to further understand the business scope as well as the clinical value add for both doctor and patient. Our R&D and marketing teams are also constantly researching new technologies that are available globally.
StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check the company's growth and performance?
Riday: Our primary objective is that our solutions are accessible to patients around India and that the technologies are being used effectively to drive better outcomes. Like most companies, we track sales of our systems but also offer several different business models. We track the number of installations around India and the number of tests that are conducted as well. We have also begun working on a strong educational campaign which includes, talks at colleges, workshops, and webinars. We also track these.
StartupTalky: What were the most significant challenges your company faced in the past year and how did you overcome them?
Riday: The primary challenge has been that this is a concept sale for most of our clients. Most of them don't have a strong clinical understanding of the technology and what it can do for them. Also have not seen this in use, and they are hesitant about the financial outcomes of investing in a device like this. We have also begun working on a strong educational campaign which includes, talks at colleges, workshops, and webinars.
As a small startup working with a low-volume good, we have always struggled with finding the right production partner. Low-volume manufacturing in India is already very hard to establish and coupled with the high accuracy requirements, it makes it exceedingly hard to find the right partner who sees the same vision. We spent a lot of time on vendor development and have finally managed to set this up with strong Quality Control measures.
StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack which you pulled off.
Riday: We use a consultative approach to selling. Our sales personnel are trained to the depth that they can hold up clinical conversations with all kinds of doctors and are also trained in understanding the clinics/hospital requirements to provide them with a proposal on how they can better their ROI from their potential investment.
This coupled with a series of educational webinars and workshops allows customers to gain the confidence to adopt the technology in their own practices. We share regular pieces of content that current customers as well as potential customers can learn on a regular basis. We also use traditional approaches like tradeshows and seminars to generate new leads and interest. We also have a strong distributor and dealer setup that helps generate new leads.
StartupTalky: What are the important tools and software you use to run your business smoothly?
Riday: We use multiple software and platforms for our smooth functioning:
- LeadSquared for CRM
- Zoho Books and inventory
- JIRA for development and project planning
- Fusion 360 for mechanical and industrial designing
- Adobe for graphic design
- Razorpay and Gpay for payments
Startuptalky: What opportunities do you see for future growth in your industry in India and the world? What kind of difference in market behavior have you seen within states in India?
Riday: The diagnostic sector is rapidly expanding in India, and there will be plenty of opportunities. Now that the medical fraternity is implementing evidence-based practice, the demand for diagnostic devices & instruments stands omnipresent. According to the report, ~411 million individuals in India require rehab in some form.
To meet their requirements, infrastructure development, trained professionals, cutting-edge technology, and evaluation processes will be on the rise, keeping the health tech companies in a sweet spot. Vocal for local, made-in-India emotions are now taken seriously with the adoption of technology education is improving as a
result of government incentives. With such the latest advances, the opportunities and future Medical Device Industry look brighter.
The west of India is relatively early adopters looking for both a clinical and business value add however real estate is usually the problem. The south is a lot more focused on research, whereas the north is focused on technologies for patient education.
StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year and how will these inform your future plans and strategies?
Riday: The biggest lesson is that in India, in the medical space, it's all about the in-person touch points. Constantly showing your face and remaining in touch with the contact brings yield.
We have also learned that conversion times are a lot slower and need to be sped up with education through strong well-planned workshops and webinars. We also realized that all clinicians have very different approaches. It's important to listen and learn from every conversation and bring insights back to HQ. New concepts require flexibility in several domains. We intend to bring this flexibility in our pricing and business models, in training as well as in product development.
StartupTalky: How do you plan to expand the Customers, product, and team base in the future?
Riday: Education! Education! Education! For our customers. There is no other way but to constantly educate our practitioners. Busting the myths and helping them envision their practice of the future is our priority.
Product evolution is always to be derived from market insights with cyclic development for our current product line. New products like upper body gaming as well as an all-in-one diabetic foot lab are currently in development in partnership with some other startups doing some great stuff.
StartupTalky: One tip that you would like to share with people reading this article who want to get into entrepreneurship?
Riday: There is a big difference between starting a ‘Dhanda’ and being an entrepreneur. If India is to be the next startup capital of the world, there must be constant innovation, whether it be a service or product. I have always believed in starting something, where you can create an impact because that mission and vision will continue to drive you even when things become difficult.
Create LONG-TERM VALUE!
We thank Riday Nakhate for spending his valuable time and sharing his learnings with all of us.