Emerging Entrepreneurs

A pet platform for veterinary clinics

N Ramakrishnan | Updated on September 03, 2018

Sagar Sheth

AnimApp helps in maintaining medical records of pets and booking appointments to the vet

Sagar Sheth loved playing the guitar and wanted to be into music full-time. He studied for a civil engineering degree as a back up because his father was in the construction and allied business. But an event while in college changed his life forever. He saw an injured animal near campus and wanted to rescue it. Thus was born AnimApp, a mobile app that was meant to help animals in distress. Anybody could download this app for free and when they saw an animal in distress, they could take a picture on their mobile phone and send it to AnimApp, which would in turn pass it on to Blue Cross.

A few months after he graduated, Sagar realised that there was a lot more he could do with AnimApp. He realised that the platform he had created could be actually used as a business for animal healthcare. The pivot happened and AnimApp was pre-incubated for six months before being admitted for incubation at the Rural Technology and Business Incubator at IIT-Madras.

According to Sagar, there are nearly 150 veterinary clinics in Chennai. Some of them see a huge number of pets being brought for treatment. Unlike in clinics and hospitals for humans, most of the veterinary clinics do not have a system of appointments, because of which the waiting room is crowded with people bringing pets of all types and sizes. Also, unlike in the case of humans, proper medical records are not maintained in the case of pets. With more and more people having pets and many adopting abandoned cats and dogs, there is a need for having proper systems at the veterinary clinics and also at the pet owners’ houses.

Pact with vets

AnimApp has roped in five veterinarians in Chennai, for whom it offers the Care software. This software, which can be downloaded on the phone or on a computer, helps vets in many ways. It helps them maintain records of the animals that are brought to their clinic, consolidate all the reports, automate the billing and provide personalised accounting services. Another app, Tail, for pet owners will shortly be launched. This will help owners maintain health records of their pets, locate a vet in the vicinity of where they live and, at a later date, be used for promoting more pet related businesses.

 

 

 

 

Sagar says AnimApp is still in the pilot, early revenue stage. “We are in a few clinics in Chennai. The business is developing. We are going and meeting vets. We are trying to penetrate the market,” he adds. The Care platform gives the vets enormous amount of data. The mobile app frees up the vet from having to sit at a table and either key in the animal's record or write it down in a diary. Even as the vet is treating the pet, he or she can dictate the observation and treatment to the pet’s owner, who can simply key them down in the Care app on the doctor's mobile. This can be integrated with the Tail app once it is launched.

According to Sagar, the company will first cover all the vets in Chennai and suburbs, bring as many of them on board as it can, and then scale rapidly to Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad. It will have people in these cities to go and meet veterinarians and bring them on board the platform. “If we are successful and this is very new to the Indian market, we can take it anywhere. The world is our playground,” says Sagar.

He says there is one American company trying to enter the Indian market, but their products and services are much more expensive than what AnimApp offers. “Our basic idea is to engage more veterinarians because they handle more patients compared to those in the US,” adds Sagar. Vets here also do not earn as much per patient as those in the US do, but what the vets here have going for them is the sheer number of animals that are brought for treatment and preventive care.

Looking for angels

Sagar says AnimApp will need to raise about ₹1.5 crore as it seeks to expand to other markets. “We are looking for angel investors who understand our domain,” says Sagar.

The larger vision for AnimApp, says Sagar, is to not confine itself only to pets, but to provide the same facility for all animals. It will also launch a helpline facility to rescue animals in distress, at a later date.

“We want to create a whole suite of products for animals of every kind,” says Sagar. He sees a huge growth opportunity for Tail, considering the growing population of pet owners.

Published on September 03, 2018

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