Jaipur-based start-up NeuroEquilibrium Diagnostic Systems Private Ltd, which started operations in April this year, aims to break even by 2017 and treat around one million patients by 2021. The company claims to be India's only vertigo clinic chain; India has only about 20 standalone vertigo clinics.
Vertigo is a condition when one experiences a feeling of rotation, spinning or swaying or a feeling that objects around them are spinning .Bhandari says that it may be accompanied by nausea, sweating, or having a problem in walking. According to studies, dizziness affects about 20-40% of the population at some point of time in their lives and about 5% of the population has vertigo in any given year. Thus, about 60 million people in India suffer from vertigo , dizziness & balance disorders.
Founded by IIT graduate Rajneesh Bhandari and his wife Anita Bhandari, an ENT surgeon, along with Kolkata-based vertigo specialist Anirban Biswas, the start-up is looking to raise around $2 million that will go into setting up 125 clinics across the country, with plans to expand into neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, as well as some African nations. NeuroEquilibrium operates under a clinic-in-clinic model whereby it ties up with ENT specialists across different cities, and currently runs about four clinics in Jaipur, Pune and Hooghly.
The firm aims to generate revenue of Rs 1 crore as on March 2017 and Rs 75 crore by 2020-21.
Interestingly, the firm claims it has also developed and manufactured the complex equipment required for precise vertigo testing in-house instead of importing it, bringing down costs significantly. "Precise testing techniques of vertigo has been around since the last ten years or so. It is that recent. Had we imported the equipment, it would cost around Rs 30 lakh for a full package. However, our software and hardware team developed the equipments in-house and a full set now costs around Rs 14 lakh," said Bhandari, adding that they have also exported equipment to Cyprus.
Bhandari says that so far the expansion, costing about Rs 70 lakh, has been funded with their savings. For future expansion, however, they need to raise funds, and are in talks with PE-VC firms and hope to close it by November.
NeuroEquilibrium has a revenue sharing model with its partner doctors. The patient is charged around Rs 5,000 for the battery of tests and the doctor who runs the clinic gets a share. The test results are then referred to a medical board comprising leading vertigo specialists and the results are uploaded on the cloud. This has been done keeping in mind the dearth of vertigo specialists in the country. Once the clinics in place, Bhandari also plans to tie up with leading hospital chains for setting up vertigo clinics.