In this column, we bring you the stories behind how startup founders got their business idea, and the things, events, and actions that eventually led them to their big eureka moment.
‘We need India-specific data on cancer for customised cures’: Suresh Ramu, founder, Cytecare Hospital
THE IDEA: To build a cancer care hospital and research chain in India
EUREKA MOMENT: Suresh Ramu isn’t new to entrepreneurship — in 1999, the IIT-M and IIM-C alumnus started a telemedicine company in Pune. He then worked for a clinical research firm for more than 10 years. In 2012, when a friend was diagnosed with cancer and went abroad for treatment, Ramu wondered why the best cancer care was not available here. “I realised this was because there were better research institutes in the US. I decided to build the best institute for cancer care,” he says. He started Cytecare in April 2014 with the aim of capturing India-specific data for research as well as providing better care.
EARLY DAYS: Ramu started with a focus on clinical trials, and about 70% of the research and development related to cancer. India-focussed studies on types and prevalence of cancer could help doctors customise treatment, he says
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Reaching out to doctors directly and convincing them to join me,” he says. Doing clinical trials in cancer research was also quite complex.
WHERE I AM NOW: In 2016, Cytecare opened a 150-bed hospital, which has treated close to 3,000 patients in Bengaluru. It plans to launch a second hospital in six months.