Focus on the Customer’s Problem than your product
K. Chandrasekhar (KC) completed his Master’s of Science and Technology from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani), PGDMM from Annamalai University and Global Manager Program from Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. KC has a successful track record of over 25 years in handling Business Development, Business Strategy, Operations Management, Partnership Management & Sales Management portfolios for major Semiconductor and Software Companies. KC has extensive experience in handling customers & partners in USA, Europe, Asia-Pacific & Middle East Markets.
KC talks passionately about the company he co-founded – Forus health and the product is “3nethra” which is a screening equipment for ophthalmology. The team began working with a world renowned hospital and that hospital was the inspiration for them to develop this product. When he implemented the product in that hospital, the hospital gave critical comments on the features, on the applicability based on that KC and his team upgraded the product based on the feedback. They worked very hard and grew the key account and made sure that this became the reference account for all the prospective customers. The founding team had minimum ophthalmology experience, but had rich and diversified industry background. They were also able to showcase their mission which was to help in eradication of preventable blindness and customers started to appreciate that Forus was a Medical Device company working for a cause.
KC says that the original idea was to prevent avoidable blindness and they began analysing the various aspects of how to solve the problem they had spotted. When they began speaking to the Ophthalmologist, they found that the doctors could not do an early detection because of the lack of an affordable unified equipment being available. On top of that, the ophthalmologists had to carry multiple equipments when they went on a camp and which was a difficult situation because these equipments cannot be moved that rapidly and will lose alignment. On the treatment aspect of preventive care, one can’t dilate the eyes in a camp because the patient has to be there for 3-4 hours which no daily wage low skilled labour will be interested and hence they realized that the time of screening needs to be shortened. Finally , the ophthalmologists were also limited in number and hence creating a device that can be used by senior technologists and lastly to be used in India were the problems they uncovered and they built one product to solve all these problems together. Once they met the doctors and started talking about these issues and the product as a solution, the thought was immediately connected.
KC advise to founders, ”If you would work for the problem and not on the product, you will find a product that the world wants, but if you would work for the product and not the cause, you will build a product that only a few would want”. . He said that this principle made it easy for him to associate with the end customer and the product that came out was a consequence.. So they found the problem and put a solution to suit the problem rather than comparing with competitors and trying to match their features to make a product.
Today, 3nethra has close to 500 installations in 15 countries.
They got a distributor who they met in a conference where both of them were speakers. He got bowled over by the concepts and he wanted to be a distributor in the eastern region. He also worked with lots of thought leaders in the industry. He gave demonstrations to them and made them feel good about the product ,