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BW Businessworld

The Health Delivery Boy

Deepak Sahni with his patient-centric attitude and his belief that prevention is better than cure has helped Healthians thrive

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IN A NEW WORLD ORDER determined by a global pandemic, our health and lifestyle choices have come under great scrutiny and have acquired a chief spot in our immediate concerns. Healthcare and diagnostics saw a rise in operations eventuated by the Covid crisis and Deepak Sahni’s Healthians also made the most of this upward trend.

An entrepreneur with a passion for new-age diagnostics, Sahni’s Healthians is a technology-driven D2C healthcare ser­vice that offers pathology testing and follows it up with advice and consultation for screening, monitoring and check-up. 

Speaking to BW Businessworld, Sahni explains how the pandemic has ushered a new sense of awareness among people. “The pandemic has changed a lot in the diagnostics space which will be long term. It was massive for the first quarter as the attention towards health has increased and this has been in favour of Healthians where we focus on preventive and routine testing,” he says. 

Shani says that earlier they had to convince customers about why they needed routine testing to monitor their lifestyle and comorbidi­ties. “Covid has changed that perception as people realised that the virus affects those with comorbidities and lifestyle diseases more seri­ously. With the fear of stepping out, as an at-home service like us and as the largest such service provider too, we benefited,” he adds. 

The Pandemic Push

Between February-November, Healthians saw a 120 per cent revenue growth. They also grew in cities and in terms of workforce. “We added 15 odd cities in the last two quarters alone and hope to reach 70 cities by march 2021,” Sahni shares. 

Talking about operations, Sahni elucidates that healthcare and at-home diagnostics saw a conspicuous hiring trend. The company reports having offered employment to more than 200 people during the pandemic. 

“We used our workforce for sample and data collection during the pandemic and even partnered with the state governments of Haryana and Karnataka.” 

While a steady new pool of employees entered the organisation, the L&D also went under a necessity based technology upgradation. “April-June, we made a lot of training videos from our homes and today our entire training process is online which used to be physical and different each time. It is standardised now and as we move to new cities; a standardised training process helps.” 

The company has also assumed new roles that facili­tate resuming operations in other organisations by auditing workspaces for safety require­ments and advice. 

Thinking ahead, Sahni remarks that the organisation wants to clock a $50-60 million in revenue and get listed by 2023-2024. Sahni hopes to establish a pan-India presence, especially in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. 

To Foray Into Advice

At the heart of it all, he maintains a patient-centric attitude and a perspective that views healthcare as preventive rather than curative is important. As people prioritise their health and keep their comor­bidities and lifestyle complaints in check, Healthians also hopes to foray into healthcare advice in terms of using the data provided for smart actionable reports that will suggest supplements, vita­mins and dietary needs. 

Sahni believes that the future of diagnostics will be in favour of data and digitisation. “Let me put it this way, the largest diagnostic company in the future, won’t own a lab. It will be a data company.”

He also added that the height­ened awareness surrounding health will lead to a trend where the largest contributor to spend­ing in healthcare would be life­style diseases, making it the larg­est player. Sahni remarked that while we may slowly come out of this pandemic; it is unlikely to be the last pandemic we’ll see. “The key is to be prepared,” he con­cluded.