ParentCare’s [https://parentcare.family/] mission to simplify long-distance caregiving motivates us to bring together a range of India’s best medical, healthcare, and personal services under one platform. As a part of this journey, I (Bharat Vasandani) do meet and come upon extraordinary people and stories. This is my attempt, as the founder of ParentCare, to highlight the challenges in India’s healthcare industries and the solutions developed by industry professionals.
I speak to Mr. Jeetendra Lalwani, Co-founder, and Director at Dial4242; an ambulance aggregator that started 4 years back. The idea came from Jeetendra’s own experience of facing challenges while booking ambulances during his father’s treatment in Mumbai.
Bharat: What kind of challenges do we face while booking an ambulance service in India?
Jeetendra: The first thing I would say that the biggest problem in India right now is that people still don’t have an ambulance number saved on their phones in spite of this pandemic. I have a lot of people calling me and asking me how can we book an ambulance. The ambulance number is one of the most important numbers to be stored on your phone. It is not easy since there are multiple numbers to reach out to for an ambulance unlike in the USA where it one single number 911. We spend a lot of time searching for the ambulance number. We will ask our relative or a doctor or a political worker for ambulance support and not necessary we might get the support. Secondly, I believe the other challenge is that you do not know where the ambulance is. Also one can search for an ambulance service provider online but I do not know where the ambulance is. So, you need to call up multiple ambulance service provider to get an ambulance that is available for you. And that is an advantage that Dia4242 ambulances is providing, getting the nearest available ambulance to your location.
The third challenge is to figure out the nearest hospital and the availability of help in that hospital. In India, you can still call up your local friends who would take your call and come forward to help. But saving these numbers for emergencies is important.
Bharat: This is interesting. How does Dial4242 solve these challenges?
Jeetendra: The first thing, as I said, a lot of people don’t even know the number of ambulances and I don’t blame the people because in India there are multiple numbers- separate numbers for ambulance, police, fire brigade, etc. Compare that to the US where there is just one number (911) for any kind of emergency work. Multiple numbers is challenging for any individual. We solve this challenge with just one number
1800 266 4242 or one mobile app with the name Dial4242 to book an ambulance across India. One can even logon to www.dial4242.com to book an ambulance. With technology we support people access ambulance service quicker across India by telling them exactly where the ambulance is at any given point of time.
People also have no idea in terms of the kind of ambulance they would need. Dial4242 helps the patient’s family here. Trained and armed with a set of questions, our team understands the requirements such as oxygen level, etc to recommend the kind of ambulance that would be needed.
Also, because of our large network, we can immediately reach out to the nearest available ambulance based on a patient’s address.
What also counts is our attitude and culture of care and empathy for human life, which unfortunately you do not get from a lot of other players. This is one of our biggest strengths. In times of emergency, people look for support and we provide the end to end support.
Bharat: It is quite inspiring for me as a founder of an early-stage digital healthcare start-up. I would be keen to know how you managed to convince so many smaller ambulance operators to come together under one roof?
Jeetendra: It was a challenge initially. But over a period of time, the ambulance owners realized that we had their best interest in mind and the overall benefit of the society at heart.
Their fear of payment ease was also solved and kept transparent from the early days.
Now that we have been in the business for around 4 years, we have become a trusted brand name. A lot of institutions like the Mumbai Police also referred to our services. Secondly, a lot of corporates & NRI’s have also used our services and have been quite happy with our deliverables This has further helped us to create a strong relationship with the ambulance owners.
As a part of our culture, we ensure that empathy and care are shared with our ambulance partners as well. Dial4242 is coming up with a support mechanism for ambulance owners where we help them access better fuel at a better price thereby helping them maintain their vehicles and decrease their operating costs. They are all like a family for us. In fact, a lot of people know me personally. They know that we are in this together and they are not treated as pure vendors.
We have now reached a stage where ambulance owners treat us as a credible partner.
Bharat: In how many cities across India does Dial4242 offer services?
Jeetendra: We are present in almost 100 cities across India with 4000+ ambulances across different corners of these cities. But besides these cities, we support people from other cities as well. Since we do not own any ambulances and are an aggregation network, we are able to move faster and reach out to almost every little corner of the country.
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I speak to Mr. Jeetendra Lalwani, Co-founder, and Director at dial4242.com; an ambulance aggregator that started 4 years back. The idea came from Jeetendra’s own experience of facing challenges while booking ambulances during his father’s treatment in #Mumbai.
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