Manu Balachandran is a writer for Forbes India, based in Bengaluru. At Forbes India, Manu writes on automobiles, aviation, pharmaceuticals, banking, infrastructure, economy and long profiles among many others. He also moderates many of Forbes India's CEO and CXO events and hosts Capital Ideas, a podcast on the most riveting success stories from the business world. He has previously worked with Quartz, The Economic Times and Business Standard in Mumbai and New Delhi. Manu has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University and a degree in economics from the Loyola College. When not chasing stories, he is most likely obsessing over Formula 1 (Read: Lewis Hamilton), historical events and people, or planning long weekend drives from Bengaluru
The two-day wait for an MRI report was excruciating when Kalyan Sivasailam’s close friend Syed Ahmed, 48, was admitted to hospital with hypertension in 2015.
“Proper diagnosis is three-fourths of a remedial solution,” says Sivasailam, a computer science engineer from National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, Mangalore, who also has a postgraduate diploma in intellectual property law from National Law School, Bengaluru. “We realised the importance of radiologists and the need to reduce the time in getting reports when Syed was hospitalised.”
The duo was exploring entrepreneurial opportunities in the health care sector around the same time. A few months later, in February 2016, they started 5C Network, a cloud-based platform that connects about 200 hospitals and diagnostic centres to 100 specialist radiologists for on-demand diagnosis of X-ray, CT and MRI scans.
“There are fewer than 10,000 radiologists in India,” Sivasailam says. “Even then, access to quality radiologists is a concern.” CSI (Church of South India) Hospital in Mysore was the company’s first client in October 2016. Since then, it has been handling over 1,000 scans a day which are uploaded on the 5C Network cloud. Radiologists are notified through an app. The average turnaround of a scan is 42 minutes and they are cross-checked by another radiologist.
As tech-enabler, 5C collects a fee from hospitals and radiologists. It earns over ₹3 crore annually and recently raised seed capital from Unitus Ventures, Axilor Ventures, and IIM-Ahmedabad.
“5C’s business is a powerful proposition and has managed to shift power,” says Ganapathy Venugopal, co-founder, and CEO of Axilor Ventures. “The business will help every small clinic, diagnostic centre and small hospital with access to the best of radiologists. In the process, it helps radiologists earn three times what they earn now.”
Sivasailam, meanwhile, has set himself ambitious targets. Over the next year, he wants to increase the number of hospitals and diagnostic centres to 500 and bring 250 radiologists on the platform.