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  • Writer's pictureVinay G V

Why we invested in VitusCare

VitusCare is a micro-dialysis service provider that was incorporated in 2017 with the mission of enabling availability & delivery of dialysis therapy to kidney patients in small towns & rural India. It provides a chain of dialysis micro-centres providing the access to and delivery of dialysis therapy to patients in ‘Bharat’. It was co-founded by Prabhat, Pankaj and Saurabh in 2017. The start of the company emerged from the pain point that one of the co-founder, Prabhat (now Co-founder & CEO, VitusCare) had experienced in his family. Prabhat’s father was diagnosed with Kidney Failure about 10 years back. Prabhat used to stay with his parents in Jabalpur, a tier-2 city in Madhya Pradesh back then. Owing to his father’s medical condition, Prabhat had to relocate his entire family to Delhi in the want of a quality dialysis center for his father, which was a painful thing for the family considering his parents had spent their entire lives in Jabalpur. While in Delhi, Prabhat consulted with Dr. Saurabh (now Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer, VitusCare), for his father’s Kidney condition. Dr. Saurabh, being in this space for the last 25 years, used to express to Prabhat, how underserved this space is. Over his more than three decades of practice, Dr. Saurabh had seen thousands of patients relocating or traveling from tier 2/3 cities to metros in need for a dialysis session. Prabhat floated the idea to Pankaj (now Co-Founder and Chief Finance Officer), family friend of Prabhat’s since >10 years and also his ex-colleague. All three saw a business opportunity in the space & decided to start VitusCare in 2017.

Prabhat Shrivastava Co-Founder & CEO

Prior to starting VitusCare, Prabhat had been a senior corporate Lawyer with >15 years of experience across legal, regulatory & policy, infrastructure, management and healthcare streams. Prabhat completed his Bachelors in Law from Jabalpur University in 2006

Co-Founder & CEO

Prior to starting VitusCare, Pankaj had been a senior corporate finance Professional with >25 years of experience. Pankaj has earlier led the Finance and Accounts departments across organizations such as GMR and ACME Telepower.

Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer

Apart from being the co-founder, Dr. Pokhriyal is also a senior nephrologist and Head of Department at Manipal Hospitals. He has >25 years of experience, and is leading multiple Nephrology departments at major hospitals such as Medanta, Fortis and Manipal.

As per government estimates, nearly 220,000 patients develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD) annually in India, leading to an additional annual dialysis demand of 34 million treatment sessions. With nearly 5,000 existing dialysis centers and 3,340 nephrologists (estimated by the industry), this may be inadequate to meet the upcoming demand for dialysis as this disease gains traction due to various sociological & environmental factors. Moreover, the majority of hospitals offering kidney dialysis facilities are located in tier I, II cities & are not able to reach the taluka/village level, primarily due to the massive operations costs. 80% of patients in India are required to travel more than 50 kms for dialysis therapy. Travel and other expenses add to the treatment cost. Global recommended dialysis frequency is 3 times a week. However, only 20% of patients get dialysis 3 times a week in India.

VitusCare purchases high quality dialysis machines from Fresenius and deploy these at their 4-5 bed micro-dialysis centers across small towns in India to facilitate sustaining therapy of dialysis & enabling patients to avail of dialysis without traveling. Company operates in a hub & spoke model with North India being their primary focus.

VitusCare’s primary impact is making dialysis services accessible & affordable to patients living in rural & semi-urban areas. Average cost of dialysis in India ranges b/w INR 2500- 4000 per session. However, VitusCare is able to provide the service at INR 1800/- per session. Besides, 50% of VitusCare patients come from low income backgrounds & are covered for treatment under Ayushman Bharat Scheme, an insurance scheme by Govt. of India. Hospitals as well as standalone clinics can get empanelled under the scheme and offer cashless treatments to individuals with household income of less than ~INR 5 Lakhs per annum. VitusCare is enabling treatment to these low-income group patients.

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