Redcliffe Labs, an omnichannel diagnostic chain, plans to expand its network into tier three, four, and five cities by adding 250 new labs by FY24. While metros and tier one cities are well covered by the traditional players, it leaves the company with the opportunity to go deeper into other cities.
“We plan to go to tier three, four, and five cities and, by using multiple artificial intelligence and machine learning tools,” said Dheeraj Jain, founder, of Redcliffe Labs, to BusinessLine. The diagnostic chain plans to cover 400 cities by setting up 250 new labs in two years.
The company is working on a three-phase expansion plan, “right now, we are running the first and second phases parallelly and our expansion in tier four and five cities are already happening,” said Jain. Under the first phase, the target is to cover north and east with a special focus on Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar, he added. The second phase is targeted to cover the tier four and five cities in the southern region. The third phase is focused on expanding in the west and central region.
Training pathologists and phlebotomists
According to Jain, finding good pathologists and phlebotomists in smaller cities is challenging. He said, “To address this we are working with various medical universities to train pathologists.” Additionally, for the last one and a half years, the company has been running internal pathology and phlebotomy training programs, which sees an enrolment of at least ten pathologists and 50 phlebotomists every quarter.
“We are a research and development (R&D) driven company, and to improve the infrastructure and research we will double the initial investment of $10 million in R&D next year,” he said. The diagnostic lab conducts 20 million tests in a month, of which 60 per cent are from their home collection service and 40 per cent are from clinics and collection centres.
Presently, Redcliffe has a headcount of 2,300, which they expect to increase to 5,000 in 18 months. It has 35 labs in four cities and a home collection service in 110 cities. The company offers tests spanning nine departments and services, including pathology, hormone, genomic and routine investigations.