HAVING grown his start-up company, MeDKAD chief executive officer and co-founder Ezuan Yaacob shares how he achieved success as an inspiration to other start-ups and those aspiring to start their foray into starting a business:
I have been running my first start-up - Jobs4Locum - since 2013 until it was acquired in 2016. As I was still keen to be in the healthcare ecosystem, I began to explore the idea of starting another start-up with the same stakeholders.
I have always been intrigued by the Third Party Administrator (TPA) model where a company acts as an intermediary between companies and clinics in managing companies’ medical benefits.
We received our first validation in December 2016 through Cradle’s CIP150.
This grant allows us to begin developing our system in early 2017. We then received the push needed through MaGIC, which has been an integral part of our growth during our formative years as we were selected to be part of their Global Accelerator
Programme as well as their e@Stanford Programme in 2017.
MeDKAD helps its three key stakeholders - employers, employees and panels (clinic, hospital, dental, optical centre and pharmacy) - to efficiently and effectively manage their medical benefits claim process.
We believe that a fairer, more efficient, transparent and technology-enabled health benefit ecosystem will support employers, employees and healthcare providers to grow and prosper together. We offer an innovative health benefits management system in mobile (Android and iOS) and desktop environments.”
> Reduce cost to manage staff medical benefits through its Fair Economy Model (pay-per-use; companies will only be charged when their staff use MeDKAD to visit its panels nationwide).
> Data transparency on medical claims, allowing the companies to do data crunching and prepare intervention if required for medical reasons or analyse detailed cost from panels to determine the most optimum medical cost utilisation for their staff.
> Long-term medication plan to further reduce staff medical claims.
> Access all the important medical benefits information on its apps, which is available on both iOS and Android, meaning that there is no need to carry physical cards to visit its panels nationwide.
> Hassle-free and zero charge to be listed in its panel and zero hardware investment.
> Minimum requirement is good working Internet and a desktop PC.
We went live in January 2018 even though our system was not perfect. We basically learned along the way with various iterations to our mobile apps (version 2.7.0 now) and web portal (Version 2 now).
We did face numerous other challenges as well apart from our system readiness, especially difficulty in securing panels during our formative years, being the newest TPA.
We are indeed indebted to Poliklinik Dr Azhar and Rakan-Rakan for trusting us in 2017 and becoming our clinic panel as well as Columbia Asia, which become our hospital panel in 2018. Their brand presence attracted other clinics and hospitals to come on board.
Focus Point Group came on board as our exclusive optical centre partner nationwide in 2018. Klinik Pergigian dan Pakar Evercare came on board in 2018 as our first dental clinic, followed by Big Pharmacy in 2019 as our first pharmacy. We now have 2,000 panels nationwide as of October this year.
Initially, our target market in 2018 included fellow start-ups and SME companies (users less than 100) and we started to enter a bigger market segment in the third quarter of 2018 by winning tenders. From an ecosystem suited for smaller companies back in 2018, we have evolved to become an enterprise model for 2020, catering to bigger clients.
From our first RM67 medical claim in Oct 2017 to RM10M cumulative medical claims in Oct 2020, we have grown seven times from 2018 to 2019 and two times from 2019 to 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The drop in total claim value from April to June 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic further evidenced the fairness of our business model (pay-per-use). We noticed that our users chose not to visit our panels during the first Movement Control Order to avoid cross-contamination, which resulted in a lower cost to our clients.
We raised our seed capital in October 2017 from an angel investor - RM300,000 in return for 10% of our equity. We are now looking to raise our pre-Series A fund for our future domestic and regional expansion.
We aspire to be the go-to app for medical-related requirements, expanding our existing B2B to B2C Market in 2021.