Dr. Elvee Marbaniang and Siddharth Das, founders of Runo Health barely knew each other before fate brought them together. Dr. Elvee was going to pursue a Post Graduate medical course but after he met Siddharth, he brushed the idea aside and both of them decided to start a business together.
Prior to this, Dr. Elvee served as a doctor in CMC, Vellore and Siddharth worked as a corporate professional in Delhi but both of them left their respective jobs to give their business idea a chance. Their first venture – Runo Fresh focused on providing fresh vegetables, meat, poultry products and other food items at the doorstep during the first wave of Covid 19 which people could order through Instagram. While they handled their startup pretty well, they saw there was also a need for doorstep delivery of medicines and home care medical services during the hour of crisis, where people were too frightened to step out of their houses to seek medical help. Hence, Runo Health Pvt. Ltd. was founded towards the latter part of March 2020.
Runo Health provided medicines and health care services directly to the homes of people in need which was seen as a blessing by many people. As the demand for their services grew, they decided that they needed to partner with as many hospitals, pharmacies, individual doctors and nurses as possible. Currently, Runo Health has 30 – 40 partners in Meghalaya. Dr. Elvee and Siddharth also saw that the labs in CHCs and PHCs present in Rural Meghalaya are merely functional which made it difficult for people to travel to Shillong to get themselves tested, given the inter-district travel restriction. Therefore, Runo Health penetrated into Rural Meghalaya and introduced offline pick-up points where mobile testing stations were set up in far off areas, away from city where people would have to travel only half way to get themselves tested and their results would be delivered at the same pick-up spot.
Initially, Runo Health only functioned in Shillong and Jowai but later expanded to Guwahati by partnering with more than 50 hospitals, pharmacies and other medical agencies. Runo Health also gives discounts on medicines and provides free consultation to people who belong to the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category. People would contact Runo Health through Whatsapp or Instagram and their requirements would be met at the earliest.
Initially, Runo Health’s journey with PRIME started in early 2022 when Dr. Elvee and Siddharth approached the startup hub for funding support, i.e., the innovation startup grant of 10 lakhs for Runo Fresh. On seeing the opportunities that PRIME can provide to a budding start up, they decided to pitch Runo Health for the CMECC 3.0 where they were shortlisted in the top 50 startups category of the state where their startup was awarded prize money of Rs. 50,000/-.
Currently, Runo Health is undergoing incubation under PRIME where it is under the strong mentorship of business experts and analysts from the Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP). Through this mentorship, Runo health is being guided through the best strategies and solutions to their challenges. PRIME in collaboration with local and national training agencies also offer support in terms of free of cost training and capacity building that startups can participate according to relevance. Dr. Elvee and Siddharth have also applied for the startup grant to scale up Runo Health where 60% of the monetory support would be used in technology and the rest 40% would be used in operations, digital marketing and industry experts.
Dr. Elvee and Siddharth envisages a future Runo Health that is digitally operational that can be a bridge between patients/customers and health care service providers. Runo Health is in the process of developing an online portal where people will be able to book appointments with doctors online which would save them the expense of travelling to see a doctor only to know that he/she is on leave. Through this portal, pharmacies can also register themselves and connect directly with customers, thereby acting as a local resource for the state. Patients who are in need of accommodation near a hospital can book their rooms online with just one click. Currently, Runo Health have been able to cater to 3000 customers and have partnered with over 100 hospitals, pharmacies and other medical agencies in Meghalaya and Assam.
Dr. Elvee and Siddharth credits their success to the team who work tirelessly on-ground to cater to the requirements of people in need and contribute to the society in best possible way they can. Dr. Elvee and Siddharth are grateful to PRIME for being responsive to their entrepreneurial needs and for continuously guiding them towards greater feats. They also urge and encourage other young and budding entrepreneurs not to second guess themselves but to believe in their dreams, to turn them into reality and take up challenges as they come.
Planning, Investment Promotion & Sustainable Development Department, Government of Meghalaya,