The illustrious career of Rahul Shukla has been driven by determination and perseverance. He is a seasoned professional & entrepreneur with well-rounded experience across management consulting, investment banking and industry, currently focusing on healthcare services. After completing, his B.Tech in civil engineering, he went on to complete his MBA in business management. Rahul has immense expertise in Strategy development, operations strategy, marketing strategy, financial & valuation analysis. All through his career, he has held several vital posts across high valued companies.
His first stint at entrepreneurship came as a partner and COO of Axience. He then cofounded another company LabsAdvisor, with Ashish. LabAdvisor aims to improve transparency and convenience for customers / patients looking for medical tests. It is an online marketplace to enable customers to search for quality labs in their neighborhood and make an informed decision based on quality, price, and convenience.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
We are running an online platform for all kinds of medical tests from blood tests, x-ray to DNA tests from pre-selected good quality labs. Our value proposition is based on three pillars of high quality, competitive prices, and convenience. We assess diagnostic labs using our proprietary quality rating mechanism and list only good quality labs on our platform. We offer a heavy discount, along with the convenience of home collection and online reports to patients.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Widespread inefficiencies in healthcare diagnostics and an intense desire to get into a business with a strong social impact. We are on a mission to increase transparency in healthcare diagnostics to offer relevant choices to customers.
What is your life mantra?
Perseverance – Never give up till you succeed!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The most challenging part has been to completely understand the customer mindset and balance it with appropriate service offerings.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Strong customer focus, flexibility and willingness to learn have allowed us to overcome these challenges. We spent considerable time on the ground, in healthcare facilities from small clinics to large hospitals and diagnostic labs to interact with customers and other stakeholders. We keep experimenting and remain open to failure but keep a close eye on the lessons in such experiences. Incorporating these lessons goes a long way in ensuring success.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have raised angel round from seasoned investment professionals and some friends working across the US, UK and India.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Given the background of both founders in management consulting, we believe in ensuring professional growth of our employees while giving them a conducive environment. We empower employees to take responsibilities & risks sometimes, offer continuous feedback for improvement and keenly listen to their feedback and suggestions to create an open, collaborative environment that not only motivates success but also allows failures.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Commitment, diligence and willingness to learn
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Apart from the regular emails & social networking apps, I use Flipboard (to keep track of relevant news), Pocket (to save news articles to read offline) and SnapBizcard (to scan & store details of business cards).
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Clarity of thoughts and instructions while working with colleagues makes me more productive as it saves a lot of time in iterations or re-work.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I would like to change many habits, but to mention one here, I would like to be more prompt and aggressive in following up on tasks.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
Work hard and stay grounded in reality!
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Casual attitude because of overconfidence
• One most important lesson that you have learned till now:
Don’t work with assumptions, invest time in understanding your customer better
What are your plans for next 3 years?
My plans for next 3 years are to develop LabsAdvisor into a robust, profitable business and a respected brand in healthcare diagnostics with a national footprint. Subsequently, explore other related areas in healthcare where an honest intermediary can help customers.
If you offer heavy discounts of up to 50%, is it possible to still maintain quality?
Yes, interestingly it is possible in healthcare diagnostic because of the inherent unethical practices of commission. The majority of diagnostic labs have to pay hefty commission (20% to 60%) to doctors for tests prescribed, which force a customer to pay much more than necessary. We work with good quality labs and pass on most of this discount to customers so that they get good quality and heavy discounts both.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Not much. Perhaps I’ll start networking & exploring different career options before joining the business school to get the most out of my B-School experience at INSEAD.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Switzerland, London and Kashmir
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep coming back” (Rocky Balboa in famous Hollywood movie Rocky).