“He has worked as the Managing Director of ESPN Software India (ESI), served as the COO of Idea Cellular in its Eastern Operations and has experience of more than 25 years of working in big brands such as ITC, Pepsico, Madura Garments & Reliance Retail. and at presently he is the CEO & founder of niche initiative in the telemedicine sector- Doctor 24*7 !!”
Any guesses of whom we have been talking about so far ?
Well, it’s none other than- Mr Aloke Malik!
It’s been an honor to cover the story an “Experienced Professional turned Entrepreneur” wherein he shares about his highs and lows, not only in the professional & work life but also personal space.
Read & Get Inspired !!
EVOLUTION OF “DOCTOR 24*7”
“There comes a point in our lives where we feel that we have accomplished most of our goals and wish to give it back to the society in the form of service. I started off my career as a management trainee and reached the level of Managing Director and in terms of career progression I had done most of it. I was at a stage where I wanted to build a service that could deliver a “Positive Social Impact”. Based on personal life experiences, I entered into the field of Telemedicine where we could provide 24 hours medical assistance to the people in different parts of the world” says Mr Aloke Malik, Founder & CEO of Doctor 24*7.
PANEL OF DOCTORS:
The panel consists of private practicing as well as doctors attached to hospitals (big & small) across various cities. Each of the doctors are qualified and registered with the Medical Council of India. The venture started off primarily with 3 categories : General Physician, Gynaecologist & Pediatrician, now expanding on to other fields of medicine including cardiologist, super specialists, oncologists, etc.
“ For on boarding the team of doctors, I meet them personally across the country and evaluate them on the basis of a number of parameters including experience, growth of their practice, field of medicine and the willingness to be available 24*7 (that being the basic criteria)” mentions Aloke Malik.
HOW DOES THE “DOCTOR 24*7” APP WORK ?
The primary USP of the app is that it connects you with a doctor anywhere across India 24*7*365. It allows you to personally speak to the doctors, consult them over phone and get a prescription over the app. The prescription is authenticated mentioning doctor’s registration number and digital signature. The mobile app is linked to various wallets & net banking payment gateways for you to pay the consultation fee safely and in a secured manner. What else one could ask for, Right !!
ME: Coming from a corporate background with almost 27 years of experience, how has been your journey as an “ENTREPRENEUR” so far ?
“I was clear in what I wanted to do. The tough part was in to get the technology to make it happen (me not being a Techie per se). First thing was to find a co-founder in place (who’s apparently half my age) who could understand technology and help me in the execution of the idea behind my venture. An entrepreneur journey is a hard one but you just need to hang in there!! I have been through a lot of phases wherein I ran out of money faster , had countless moments of despair, soul searching, etc., but I am happy with the way we have grown from an idea to a full time Venture” shares Aloke Malik.
ME: How has your educational background & alumni network helped you in your venture?
ALOKE MALIK: Oh, Networking certainly helps! I am really thankful to all my friends for being there with me despite of me being an entrepreneur. Some of them are even a part of my business in the form of Angel Investors & advisors. Whether you’re in a B2B or B2cC space, networking opens doors to multiple opportunities but in the end it’s your service that delivers the experience. No level of friendship or networking can be a substitute to your service.
ME: How did you come up with the name “DOCTOR 24*7” ?
ALOKE MALIK: I wanted the name to be simple that delivered service. A doctor that is available round the clock in virtue of service, that was the Motto!
ME: What keeps you motivated?
ALOKE MALIK: Books, music, travel…..Zest for Life!!
I look at it this way, I am 55 and 80 % of my healthy life has passed by. Who knows whether I have 5, 10 or 20 years to go ? Gone are the days of running after materialistic leisures! I am done with them. All I want is, to fill my time with quality life.
ME: Whom do you look up to in your life? (your Ideal)
ALOKE MALIK: My closest would be Rajiv Bhalla (my cousin brother). He has been through really tough times of going through law school and becoming a judge (in High Court). I really respect him and learnt a lot from him. No matter what come may, he’s always been there with me in times thick and thin and a great pillar of support throughout. I have looked up to him for every little thing in my life.
ME: Being an entrepreneur is a tough cookie & you tend to work across hours. Do you get time for yourself in such a tight schedule?
ALOKE MALIK: “Oh, I definitely make sure I do !! I love to get outdoors, walking, gymming, running, golf, etc. It’s relevant and a necessity for people of my age.
Me: No wonder you don’t look 55 !
Aloke Malik: Well, the credit goes to my father for passing on such great genes!”
ME: Is Doctor 24*7 your first venture?
ALOKE MALIK: Well, not really !
I came up with the concept of an Emergency Alert app which was my first ever entrepreneurial offering. It didn’t really do well and we couldn’t generate much revenues. Unfortunately, people could pay thousands of bucks on caller tunes rather than a safety app.
What was the app all about ?
Suppose, you are walking on a road or coming home late night from work or feeling unsafe, this app helped you to reach out your closed ones in a click. I started off with this app during the time of Nirbhaya case seeing the turmoil “Women in Delhi” were going through back then. The app enabled to connect with your top eight closest people in your contact list and the first one to pick gets connected to you. All this could be done without you even making a call. But sadly, the idea didn’t work out well.
ME: Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line ?
ALOKE MALIK: I see us building it as an organization providing good medical advice & service conveniently, cheaply and quickly, not only to the urban areas but also to the isolated, rural and under served population. Technology will change the traditional ways we consider telemedicine. In times to come, we want our organization to service across various countries. However, if I talk about it in revenue terms, I see it as….let’s say a couple of 1000 crores company. Telemedicine is just one part of the ecosystem and we are expanding in various sectors of healthcare. And of course, building an organization of youngsters so I could be a mentor or an advisor or a strategist !
Who knows, you would get to see a young CEO soon !!
TOP 3 TAKEAWAYS :
While conversing with the man behind one of it’s own kind concept of Telemedicine, we have captured a few takeaways for all the aspiring entrepreneurs out there. Let’s take a look:
“ When you build something new by yourself, it’s a Regeneration. It’s like an adrenaline rush! It makes you feel alive, worthy and Limitless. We all are limitless and there are no ifs and buts about it”.
“I am the peon, the marketing guy, the courier man and but of course..the CEO! It’s a tough journey but that’s what keeps me alive. So, don’t ever get scared of doing what you really want to. Don’t let the thought of lack of organizational support cripple you. We will survive.”
“Do not get seduced by the word Startup. It’s not as fancy as it sounds and is a difficult journey. In the planning stage you should be clear of ways to generate revenues. Having started, there will be changes to your model. Be open to spend money to a plan, acquiring customers and the turn around time to recover your money.”