A new startup has emerged in Malaysia trying to solve the country’s healthcare woes. Founded this year, Bookdoc is an app company that wants to connect all users with healthcare practitioners when the occasion arises.
We speak to Chevy Beh, Founder, Bookdoc, to find out more about the business model employed by the company, and where it sees itself in six months.
In our interview, he notes that Bookdoc has plans to enter the regional market. If this does happen, it will face competitors in various parts of Asia that are more established and have a bigger share of the current market.
But Beh is not fazed.
Having spent a number of years working in the healthcare sector, he believes that his experience will help him scale the business and grow it to the next level.
Here are the edited excerpts…
Can you tell me more about the company?
Bookdoc is a app that runs on both iOS and Android that connects and unites users with healthcare providers.
When and how did you come up with the idea?
I first came up with the idea for BookDoc after my good friend Wayne’s near-death experience with dengue fever.
When Wayne first began to feel ill, he underwent blood testing at his doctor’s office and was sent home with negative results.
His fever receded, leading him to believe that he was on the road to recovery. But, three days later, his condition suddenly took a turn for the worse.
When he went to see his usual General Practitioner, Wayne was told that he had to go to the hospital immediately.
While enduring the long wait at the hospital to be admitted, Wayne noticed that his gums started bleeding and he began to feel drastically ill. Panicked, Wayne gave me a call and luckily, I was able to arrange for Wayne’s immediate admission into a hospital.
The attending physician mentioned that had Wayne been admitted any later, his life would have been at risk.
Inspired by my close friend’s experience and being a seasoned player in the healthcare industry, I pledged to do something to address the inefficiencies and information asymmetries in healthcare.
I founded BookDoc with the goal of improving the timeliness of diagnosis and helping patients find appropriate care.
Has the company received external funding, and if so, how much and from whom?
We raised a pre-seed seven-digit USD round with an eight-digit USD valuation.
The initial investors include Danny Yeung, Founder, Groupon Hong Kong and former CEO, Groupon East Asia; Datuk Yvonne Chia, former CEO, Hong Leong Bank Berhad; Kenny Thing, Chief Marketing Officer, Manulife Insurance Berhad; Dato Sharil Tarmizi, former Chairman, Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC); Dato Dr Maimunah, former Deputy Director General, Health Malaysia; Dato Syed Budriz Putra, Founder and former CEO, Sepang Aircraft Engineering which is an Airbus Group Company and Lee Mean Yeit, former Head of Strategy, Sime Darby Healthcare.
What are a few challenges faced by the company?
We would like to grow regionally as quickly as possible. In the next six months, we intend to enter countries in the region such as Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
How does Bookdoc differentiate itself from competitors?
The BookDoc team has a combined business experience of more than 150 years, comprising seasoned healthcare, ICT and insurance professionals, entrepreneurs, bankers, regulators and policy makers, with deep management expertise across Asia.
How does Bookdoc generate revenue? If it doesn’t, how does it intend to do so in the future?
The platform has been able to generate income from early on, and it will be charging the companies a fee per employee every month.
BookDoc will help said corporate clients to unite their employees with panel clinics and hospitals to help improve the productivity of their workforce, optimise health benefit costs and automate HR processes coupled with data analytics for better management of their staff.
BookDoc will provide the companies with an analytics dashboard that will help them better understand their staff’s health-seeking patterns, this, in turn, would give them a better idea of their staff’s long-term medical needs.
The analytics can also be used for a productive outcome during negotiations for the staff’s medical insurance coverage.
What keeps you going when things are rough?
My motto: The harder you try, the luckier you become.