Adhiatma Gunawan, an Indonesian medical doctor who graduated from Airlangga University, opened a private practice as a General Practitioner in his hometown Surabaya for around three years. In 2010 he decided to move to the Capital City Jakarta. In these two cities, he was frequently invited to become a speaker at various health seminars. Falling in love with the digital world has led him to an idea simply to converge healthcare with technology.

In an e-mail interview with e27, the MeetDoctor co-founder and CEO shared about his startup, including the company setup, teammates, value proposition and future milestones.

The co-founders:  Adhiatma Gunawan in the middle, AITINDO guys Raymon Setiadi (left) and Ferry Mulyono (right).

The co-founders: Adhiatma Gunawan (C), AITINDO guys Raymon Setiadi (L) and Ferry Mulyono (R)

Tell us more about your startup’s early days.

Actually the idea was coming from me, but then I invited friends — who had the same belief in that idea — to establish this startup. We have developed it since 2011, and October that year was our first beta launch. The development took around six months until its first beta launch, but we are still doing regular development to improve the site today.

The other co-founders are my friends. One of them is a digital technology firm, actually (AITINDO). They came onboard as our technology partner. We met because I also have a digital service agency (VP Digital), which is quite similar to what they do, so we are both players in the digital industry. The great thing is we share the same vision about improving the healthcare ecosystem, especially in digital areas.

AITINDO has a couple of shareholders, and they have partnered with us as a company, not as an individual. The other co-founder is the seed investor who prefers his name not to be disclosed. So we have US$100,000 of seed funding, and we are currently in the midst of raising another capital from a Japanese investor.

The day we started, we only had three non-permanent staffs helping us developing some contents like health articles, interviewing some doctors, etc. Today we staff five employees.

Looking at the big picture, what distinguishes your digital endeavor compared to others out there?

MeetDoctor is a digital health platform, that’s how we call ourselves. We are definitely not a portal. I like the word “platform” because it means we are providing a foundation for digital healthcare activities.

Today our main services are online consultation and health articles, but this is just the beginning. As a platform, we will continue improving and extending our site so that through time, many stakeholders in the healthcare industry can benefit from it.

What encouraged you to play and scale up in this field?

Healthcare is something that people will always need and they will also seek for help in looking for the right services. We want to help the healthcare ecosystem by providing a digital platform where patients and health care providers to interact and be engaged.

We are very optimistic that MeetDoctor will be the solution for people to improve and maintain their health through our educational content, online consultation and other services that we are going to launch soon. While these are currently in Indonesia, hopefully one day we can extend our services to Asia.

Me and my partners share the same philosophy: we want to help people, while we are also doing a healthy business.

About members, visitors and active users — any numbers to disclose?

We have more than 16,000 members registered at our site. But the great thing is there are almost 15,000 people visiting our site daily, and we barely did any advertising and promotion.

Among those members, around 35 to 40 percent are considered active. They probably feel the benefit of our platform already, so that they keep coming back whenever they have questions regarding their health.

What are you up to and where are you heading this year?

Our target is to continue building our platform, improving and extending our services (we now have almost 150 doctors in our network to answer the consultations). We will continue to grow our partnership with many healthcare providers, doctors and the media, among others.

From media side, we have been partnering with Yahoo She Indonesia for more than six months now, and we are soon to be partner with PlasaMSN and Intisari Online. As for hospitals, we already partnered with RS Pondok Indah, RS Puri Indah, Brawijaya Women and Children Hospital, RS Husada Utama, RS Bunda Medik, Santosa Hospital Bandung.

At this stage, our main services are online consultation and health articles, but this is just the beginning. As a platform, we will continue improving and growing our services.