Instashield Eyeing On Export Market Now
In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call to turn the disaster into the opportunity, Hyderabad-based businessman took it to whole new level and turn it into a business. Witnessing the impact of COVID-19 on the respiratory health of human being and understanding the need of the hour, Hitesh M Patel came up with a device which can give 99.9 per cent efficiency in purifying the air and surfaces. Patel speaks to Opportunity India and provides insights to his journey in this sector.
When did you start this business and how did you come up with the idea of Instashield.
Hitesh M Patel: As they say, Necessity is the Mother of Invention. We started this business post-COVID-19 as we have all seen the Year 2020 as the most disastrous year. The spread of COVID virus worldwide changed the lives of each and every person.
Since March 2020, the COVID virus has seen more than 5 variants i.e Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron, and the latest one is XXB.1.5, which is circulating globally. With a low and peak situation of the Pandemic, we are all gripped with fear. Many people are facing lifestyle disorders like cardiovascular disease (CVD), stress, depression, brain fog among others.
After rigorous research, we innovated first of its kind an electron based negative ion and virus slayer medical device tech product called Instashield, last year in March.
Please elaborate on the functioning of your Business.
Hitesh M Patel: Instashield is a simple plug-and-play device that is hassle-free, user-friendly, affordable which offers a value proposition, and has the end benefits to their near and dear ones. To reach the consumers, we have a three-prong strategy of distribution. The device is available on Amazon, Gem Portal, and on our website, Distribution channels in the state of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Apart from this, we have institution sales like Hotels, Schools, places of worship, offices. We have initiated a dialogue with the Health Ministry to support our technology as a start-up to introduce it in government sectors like Health Centres, Government offices, PSU. To promote the benefits of technology, we are active on social and digital media platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Press, TVC, and others.
How Does Instashield help people and how it works?
Hitesh M Patel: Instashield is the world’s first proven technology, approved and validated by CSIR-CCMB and backed by science and research that produces thousands of negative ions disabling viruses with up to 99.9% efficiency in the air and on the surfaces. The technology is based on electrons that create negative ions that attack airborne particles, droplets, and viruses. The positively charged collector plates present in the device catch negatively charged particles. The ionizers in Instashield removes viruses and other airborne particles quickly and effectively reducing airborne transmission. The negative ion technique balances energy cleans air and improves health as ionizers have been shown to inhibit all viruses, including coronavirus. It is a simple plug and play device which kills all kinds of viruses including COVID-19 and it is 100 per cent safe. It is non-toxic and eco-friendly with low energy consumption below 5 watts with wide applications at enclosed spaces. It is also certified and verified by Vimta labs, Emtec labs, MSME, Startup India, Make in India, CSDECSO, GEM, and CE for exports.
How Many People have benefited with this device?
Hitesh M Patel: Instashield was launched in March 2022. So far, we have more than 5,000 consumers who have used our device, and as this device can be fixed at homes, offices, places of worship, institutions, there must be more consumers who have been benefited indirectly from this device as a preventive machine.
Last year, we achieved INR 1.2 crores as revenues and this year 2023, we would reach INR 15 crores. In the next five years, we would expand rapidly as we are targeting both the domestic and export markets.
If Funds are raised how difficult it was?
Hitesh M Patel: We are a bootstrapped company. We have invested in product development, clinical trials, R&D, Sales, Marketing, Branding. First, we would like to get traction and are in the process of new product development. Currently, we are investing in clinical trials on mental health, other viruses post which, we intend to raise funds. We believe that if we can gain initial traction with the right product and marketing mix, it will be simple to raise investment at a higher valuation.
How do you plan to grow in the healthcare sector?
Hitesh M Patel: After the impact of pandemic, the Indian healthcare industry is anticipated to develop at a CAGR of 39 per cent to reach USD 5 billion by 2023. The market opportunity for healthcare start-ups is expected to reach USD 3.5 billion over the next three years expanding it by about 45 per cent CAGR. I think, Innovative technology in relevance to the epidemic in India and specially health care start-ups will have immense potential to grow and keeping this in view, we would like to double our revenues in the next five years to about 100 crores with a presence in the global markets.
Please enlighten us on some market insights about the Health tech sector growth and trends.
Hitesh M Patel: Healthcare has become one of the largest sectors of the Indian economy, in terms of both revenue and employment. New developments in technology, including the Internet of Things, wearables, and artificial intelligence (AI), provide a variety of investment opportunities. Key segments where new opportunities are likely to emerge for health technology players in the near future include the development of tools to facilitate emergency care and improvements to medical infrastructure, through technology-based optimization
The medical sector is a growing sector of the Indian economy. The market for medical devices in India is now valued at USD 11 billion and is anticipated to reach USD 50 billion by 2025 due to low entry barriers compared to other sectors. The medical devices sector has been growing steadily at a CAGR of 15 per cent over the last three years. Seeing the trends and opportunities, we find immense potential not only in the domestic markets but also in the global markets.
What are the challenges and learnings you have had during this journey?
Hitesh M Patel: As a start-up and innovative disruptive technology like ours, it has its own set of challenges as it needs to be proven to different stakeholders like health departments, R&D institutions, Media, NGOs Scientific Community, Health experts, Regulatory agencies, while at the same time creating value for the customers and building trust that this kind of technology works and benefits society at large. Being a start-up, we have limited resources, and at the same time, creating awareness to reach the customers is an uphill task as this requires investments and support from the government in terms of policies
To address these challenges, we were incubated with the Atal Incubation Centre of CCMB, which is under the ICMR, and as the relevant category of science and technology, we received their support for trials, new product development, using their labs, available R&D infrastructure, and networking with various other relevant institutions. Furthermore, as we are registered with MSME and Start-up India, we are seeking government support to recognise this technology. With support, we are building our brand and gaining trust among the customers, and now, with the peak situation of COVID 19, we hope that our technology will be supported and accepted by the consumers and society at large.
Any Advice for young and budding entrepreneurs in this sector
Hitesh M Patel: Being in the healthcare sector for more than two decades, there has been rapid growth in terms of technology, innovation, skilled manpower, and talent, especially from the R&D and education institutes, support from the government, start-up initiative drive among others. The time is now and here, and especially for the young and budding entrepreneurs. There is opportunity and growth, and thanks to the Start-up India drive and support from government institutions like the Department of Biotechnology, incubator centres, grants, and financial support for new ideas, they are drivers to grow in this industry.
I would say Innovation and disruptive technologies with affordable prices with the right market fit would be the key to success.