Coronavirus outbreak has accelerated the adoption of digital in the healthcare sector. Data suggests that the Pharmaceutical industry had been hesitant in opening up to digital mediums. However, post COVID-19, a new picture has emerged as traditional marketing investments got halted during this time. Pharmaceutical brands are now waking up to the reality of digital and how platforms like Doceree can make their marketing efforts effective and efficient, and even help them cut costs.
The concept of Physician Marketing in the Indian Market is yet to pick pace, but this goes the same for the countries with developed markets like Europe and America, with the reason being merely the mental block due to regulations. “The thought of solving the problem digitally became exceedingly important to me after it became evident that the acute problem of the rising cost of healthcare could be addressed by bringing in efficiency and effectiveness in physician marketing with methodical use of data and creativity,” says Dr Harshit Jain, Founder, and CEO, Doceree.
Before Doceree, Dr Harshit spent a lot of time in India, where he worked as the country head of a renowned healthcare advertising brand. “During my stint in the UK and US, where I extensively crafted award-winning campaigns, I was exposed to varied markets that made me realize that Physician Marketing was lagging behind Consumer Marketing digitally,” he recalls.
On A Mission to Streamline Physician Marketing
A Latin word, Docere, from which ‘doctor’ was also derived, the word means ‘to teach’. “Doctors were at the centre of our concept of providing an edge to Physician marketing, the word looked apt. We just added an extra ‘e’ to it,” quips Dr Harshit. Creating an integrated and collaborative ecosystem for pharmaceutical brands and digital platforms, Doceree is the world’s largest programmatic physician engagement platform. “Being the largest network of Physician-only platforms for programmatic Physician marketing, we enable them to mutually benefit from untapped opportunities present in Physician marketing,” he says.
Coming from a family of doctors, Dr Harshit was always surrounded by them and aspired to become one as well. After becoming a doctor, he stopped practising medicine to explore the creative side of healthcare. “While growing up, I always tried to see positive in everything. Even in criticism, I tend to look for some positivity to cross the barrier of criticism. It helped me not get trapped in its vicious cycle. I follow the same till date,” he adds.
A Doctor Who Fell For Advertising
A Physician who was always on a lookout to do things differently, Dr Harshit has been quite active before he ventured into the path of entrepreneurship. Reminiscing the old days, Dr Harshit says, “I organized a 24-hour blood donation camp when I was in 1st year of medical school. I was also part of the team that developed Asia’s first bone marrow donor registry. I wrote the 1st textbook on Liposuction in the country. Later I realized that if I continue to practice medicine, my brain neurons will atrophy. Just to preserve them, I made a move.”
Having never approached investors, nor made any calls, Dr Harshit received funding while narrating the idea of Doceree to potential partners. They joined the team, as well as invested in it. “At this point, multiple venture capitalist (VC) groups are approaching us for investment. But we are certainly waiting for the right time for people from the industry to invest in our business in the next phase of our growth.”
The only company in the Physician Marketing industry having a global footprint with offices in the US and India, Doceree is the lone programmatic platform in the space, so essentially Doceree has competitors in the US. “Effectiveness and efficiency are what primarily differentiates us from our competitors. Unlike other companies in the US, Doceree has a razor-sharp focus on doctor-only platforms for pharmaceutical brands to market themselves. The underlying thought here is to ensure effectiveness. Our proprietary identity-resolution tool – Espiyan – helps precision target Physicians, bringing in efficiency to Physician Marketing,” quips Dr Harshit.
Given the situation nowadays, Doceree is following more humane and approachable leadership techniques. “I think it is not about just taking business decisions or about achieving numbers or any goals, it is more about being empathetic in leadership,” he says. Having dreamt of building a company where people looked forward to coming to the office and enjoy their work, Dr Harshit says, “We have a no hierarchy structure, and people are encouraged to own their responsibilities without feeling loaded or burdened. I try to be mindful of giving everyone the space they need. When it comes to working, people at Doceree are allowed to do things as they want to and come to me for support when needed. Only by doing so, I believe, they can achieve their true potential.”
Abiding by the words of one of his dearest mentors, Dr Devi Shetty, a renowned cardiac surgeon, Founder, and Chairman of Narayana Health, i.e., ‘No problem in the world is a big problem if you break it up into smaller pieces. The bigger problem gets solved eventually, once smaller problems are resolved’, Dr Harshit saw that these words worked in his favour, both in professional and personal life. “At work, we want to make Docreee a billion-dollar company which is the long term goal. It won’t happen instantly, as there are multiple challenges that I call short term problems. Fixing them one by one is the short term goal. By resolving issues around our tech, product, sales, publishers, and advertisers, among others, we are fixing the short term hurdles. This strategy will help us inch towards our long term goal of becoming a billion-dollar global company,” opines Dr Harshit.
Ultimate Aim – Reducing Cost of Healthcare
Doceree, as a business helps pharmaceuticals brands engage with its target audience – doctors – digitally. Adding value to B2B companies, Doceree is spreading its reach through word of mouth, our professional social network helped a great deal by pushing the right message to the right people. “Doceree is all about digital. Surviving without digital would have been extremely challenging for us. Marketing does not happen anymore in just the traditional way of doing meetings in person. The boundaries have expanded to digital which has grown at a skyrocketing pace,” he says. Before the Pandemic Outbreak, Doceree hadn’t seen such faster conversions in the healthcare industry. “In the last three months, we have signed with over 50 brands. Industry players realize the sheer importance of digital post the pandemic,” adds Dr Harshit.
To reduce the cost of healthcare, Doceree believes that by helping pharmaceutical brands break the digital barrier, and substantially cutting down their marketing investments. Believing in introducing effectiveness and efficiency, Doceree aspires to reduce that cost by about 10%, that would eventually reflect upon the drug pricing. Dr Harshit adds, “We want to become an ideal source of revenue generation for doctor-only digital platforms so that they do not have to worry about cash and sustaining themselves. We want the platforms to focus on the problems they intend to fix in healthcare and make an all-out effort towards achieving that rather than worrying about revenues,” opines Dr Harshit.
The 1st invoice Doceree received from their clients left an indelible mark, as it was a testimony to the fact that they were potentially solving the right problem and also that the world out there believes in this idea and vision. Advising aspiring entrepreneurs out there, he concludes, “Follow Your Dreams. It is the only advice I give others as I follow it myself. I quit my well-placed job to start Doceree. It is a difficult decision to make when you are in a leadership position, spoiled with all kinds of comforts. It wasn’t certainly easy for me to leave everything and start building everything from scratch. But when you are passionate about fulfilling your dreams, you are courageous to take that leap.”