Spotting Opportunities and Qualifying Prospects
Abhinav, an early stage entrepreneur, has worked with PwC, Deloitte and Intellecap in their Corporate Finance Divisions. He has been part of the team for equity investments into leading microfinance institutions in India and also an Entrepreneur-in-residence at GSF Accelerator in India. Abhinav has an MBA from National University of Singapore. At Bodhi Health Education he is responsible for marketing and business development.
Abhinav Girdhar along with his wife Shrutika Girdhar, founded Bodhi Health Education (www.bodhihealthedu.org) which was a part VilCap/CIIE- IIMA: Last Mile 2014 Accelerator Program.
Bodhi Health addresses the opportunity of shortage of the 4 million skilled health workers in around 57 countries. They teach complex medical topics to semi-literate women in an engaging way by using pictorial videos in regional language using inexpensive android based tablet computers ($65). Their capacity building solutions improve the skill levels of bottom of pyramid community health workers which form an important link between the communities and the health system in the country.
Bodhi Health Education participated at the TATA Social Enterprise Challenge, a joint initiative by the TATA group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM Calcutta). Among the participants was a prospect customer for Bodhi Health Education, an eye care chain serving the rural and semi urban areas in North Eastern states of India. When Abhinav met this prospect, he understood their business model and he realized quickly that there was an immediate fit in the potential customer needs and Bodhi’s offerings. The realization that this can be a lighthouse account which could attract the other eye care chains once this customer is acquired added to the excitement. The prospect initially was toying with the idea of having a physical mode of training in their vision centres (clinics) to their team but when Abhinav demonstrated the aspects of economics of having a technology based training, the customer was bought in. He worked out the math with the founder of this chain on the number of people they would need in the physical set up and contrasted it with the standardization and cost effectiveness advantages in Bodhi Health Education’s solution. The prospect also wanted to differentiate themselves in the market, immediately resonated with this idea and gave the go ahead. The initial plan was to start small with training for 20 vision assistants (outreach workers who organise and conduct eye camps for their vision centres), the value of the training was proved and now they have scaled it to around a few 100s of vision assistants.
Abhinav says that his ability to identify an opportunity, qualify, establish a fit and go all out to close it helps him seal the deals.
Now Bodhi health has been funded to the tune of USD 50,000 by Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad and Village Capital a leading global accelerator for impact businesses. With the fund infusion and this customer they could interact with subject matter experts (Senior Ophthalmologists) who have begun developing curriculum for advanced medical courses. They have also got a few more reference clients and are growing rapidly.