Much like in other markets, startups in life sciences and healthcare have been facing challenges around funding and regulatory processes. Out of 60 life sciences and healthcare startups surveyed by professional services firm EY, around 57 per cent (34 startups) have claimed a lack of funding and regulatory issues among the top two challenges impeding their growth.
“Lack of sufficient funding was evident from the fact that 43 per cent of the respondents were bootstrapped while 42 per cent are leveraging government incubators,” the report titled ‘Life Sciences 4.0: transforming health care in India’ said.
26 respondents said that have been bootstrapping their ventures while 25 and other 24 startups have been leveraging government incubators and innovation based startup contests for their funding needs.
Collaborations with other life sciences and healthcare companies, human resources and infrastructure were among the other key challenges for the startups.
In fact, collaborating or partnering with large companies says startups is challenging for them as 60 respondents prefer collaborating with small businesses that have revenues of less than Rs 1 crore.
However, the shift in consumer preferences and technology-led services have opened up opportunities for startups in the two markets as well.
Hence, to capture that 35 per cent of start-ups highlighted that taking feedback from customers (patients and physicians) and focusing on product innovation, apart from industrial and technical know-how of the resources were among the key success factors.
23 per cent of startups pointed towards government support as another area for driving improved business growth.
“Emerging technologies such as robotics, blockchain, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and scientific breakthroughs such as gene editing have led to the transformation of life sciences companies business models,” said Sriram Shrinivasan, Global Emerging Markets Health and Life Sciences Leader, and National Health Services Sector Leader, EY.
Going forward, life sciences companies must invest in the three new capabilities: personalization, customer engagement and data literacy, added Shrinivasan.