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The value of blood cannot be emphasize on no matter how much one tries to do so in oral or written. In India, someone needs blood every two seconds. Unfortunately, many Indians die due to unavailability of blood.
A report by WHO puts India’s requirement for blood at 12 million units annually with only 9 million units being collected. Moreover, it is shameful that some immoral and wicked individuals are resort to blood donation related scams, a heinous act that has come under spotlight recently.From illegally selling blood to its adulteration, the incidents are spine chilling. While many are concerned about the pathetic condition of blood donation industry, Kiran Verma, a youth from Delhi, actually took a step forward to purge this sector of corruption. Kiran Verma started ‘ Simply Blood’ — the world’s first virtual blood donation platform. It allows an individual who requires blood to directly connect with blood donors, thus eliminating middlemen and frauds.
StartupTalky interviewed 'Simply Blood' founder Kiran Verma to understand more about his venture that has now saved the lives of many till date by arranging blood on time.
Simply Blood in a nutshell
|Startup Name||Simply Blood|
|Founders||Kiran Verma, Achal Garg, Jatin Sahgal, Neeraj Mehraniya, Saurabh Gupta, and Mohit Kumar Balyan|
Simply Blood - About
Simply Blood is the world's first virtual blood donation platform. Simply Blood can be accessed through the 'Simply Blood' Android app available for download on Google Play Store. Non-Android users can connect to Simply Blood through its website.
A user has to download the app and register as a blood donor by choosing a date for donating blood. The 'Simply Blood' real-time GPS enabled app tracks the user’s location on the selected date and shares their availability on the app to other platform users within a 10 km radius. This way, Simply Blood will notify only the needy closest to the blood donor on the selected date.
Within 3 clicks, a person can raise request for blood requirement and their notification goes to all the potential donors available on that date and location.
Simply Blood - Team
Kiran Verma founded Simply Blood alongside Achal Garg, Jatin Sahgal, Neeraj Mehraniya, Saurabh Gupta, and Mohit Kumar Balyan. Kiran is a school dropout while the other co-founders are software engineers and alumnus of Ch. Devi Lal State Institute of Engineering & Technology, Sirsa (Haryana).
Achal Garg left Simply Blood in March 2019 and Jatin Sahgal quit the same on June 2018.
Simply Blood - How It Began
The idea came to Kiran's mind when he was just 7 years old and lost his mother due to cancer.
Her death left me all alone. I realized the meaning of losing your own at an early age.This was the initial step towards SIMPLY BLOOD – First Virtual Blood Donation Platform. I took an oath that I will do something for the mankind. Just after I turned 18, I immediately started blood donation as a volunteer.
Kiran started donating blood regularly and as his connections increased, he formed a Whatsapp group of blood donors with the common aim to help people in need of blood. He experienced another life changing event in August 2016. A member of the WhatsApp blood donors group Kiran had fostered needed platelets for his mother who was fighting dengue. The member assumed he would manage to reach his mother soon as he was around 2-3 hours away from the hospital. Alas! By the time he reached the hospital, the worst had happened. That day Kiran realize the value of time, especially in critical medical cases.
On 28th Dec 2016, he got a random call mentioning somebody required blood at a hospital in Delhi. After donating blood, Kiran wanted to meet the blood receiver. He couldn’t meet the patient but luckily met his wife. Kiran was shocked and hurt to know that the blood he donated for free was sold to wife for Rs 1500.
She took him from Raipur to Delhi and the WORST PART was, my blood was sold to her for Rs. 1500 which I donated for free. I called the person who called me but he didn’t respond to my calls. I realized the person was a tout who is doing black marketing in Delhi and also runs a blood donation society through their app and blood donation camps- Kiran recounts.
Kiran decided to quit his job the same day and give 100% to this cause. He found a few developers willing to provide technical support to Simply Blood for the next few years at a nominal cost. They collaborated and the got the Simply Blood Online Platform ready for launch on 3rd Jan 2017. The app was released to the general public on 29th Jan 2017. The second version of the Simply Blood app was launched on 23rd September, 2017 by Vijay Goel, the former Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports.
After the launch of Simply Blood, Kiran traveled a lot to different parts of the country as well as Nepal and Bhutan to spread awareness about his initiative. Over 600,000 people were educated on the importance of donating blood during his travel.
Simply Blood - How It Works
Blood donation is generally done at camps organized by NGOs, societies, and hospitals. The donor in most cases is unaware about who is getting their blood. There are occurrences of blood donated by a donor for a noble cause being sold at anywhere between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 50,000 (depending upon the rarity of the blood group) by private blood banks and NGOs. Moreover, a huge amount of blood in spite of being available ends up unused for donation. You may refer a report on the wastage of blood.
If somebody needs blood, they either buy the blood or have a donor arranged for. Even though there there are many large networks where one can find a number of blood donors, it's not feasible to call up each potential donor and inquire about their availability. This leads to the wastage of precious hours and efforts. Even the time spent on travelling by the donor is a bottleneck. Such deterrents often lead to the loss of lives that could have been saved by timely blood donation. Simply Blood is the solution to these deterrents.
Simply Blood, with a database of 60+K blood donors across India and more than 6000 registered donors on its platform, provides a medium to reach out to potential blood donors in the vicinity of the individual seeking blood. It eliminates the involvement of middlemen through the platform.
Someone who needs blood need not call hundreds of donors. They just raise a request for the desired blood type and all of the donors associated with Simply Blood see this request via the App, SMS, and email in a few seconds. If the search doesn’t yield any donor, the request is then handled manually using the help of the 60,000 strong donor database (with the count increasing every day) and partner agencies.
Simply Blood - Revenue Model
The motto behind Simply Blood is not to make money. As mentioned by Simply Blood founder Kiran Verma, the company is planning to follow the Wikipedia way of raising money to sustain its operations. The Simply Blood team shall do a fund raising event for a month every year and run the operations out of raised funds.
Simply Blood - Growth
A platform like Simply Blood was much needed and has received positive response from both within and outside India. In 2016 around 13 lives were saved (from August to December) through the blood donors' Whatsapp group that Kiran had initially created. Since January 2017, Simply Blood has saved 600+ lives in 8 countries. Some milestones achieved by the venture are:
1. The App reached organically to 170+ nations in less 16 weeks
2. Simply blood has impacted 7000+ users in more than 15 countries
3. One of the highest rated Android apps for Blood Donation on Google Play Store (4.9 rating from 200+ users)
4. More than 100+ students are a part of the Simply Blood Ambassador Program (SAP)
5. Kiran Verma was awarded the “Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017” honor during the India International CSR Conclave 2017 held at PHD Chambers of Commerce.
Simply Blood is on a noble mission to save a million lives by 2020!