Mukesh Bansal, Ankit Nagori to launch healthcare start-up

Mukesh Bansal quit Flipkart this month. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Mukesh Bansal quit Flipkart this month. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, who left Flipkart this month, are teaming up and pooling $5 million to launch a start-up in the area of healthcare and sports and fitness.

The two will register the company over the next month and have started the process of hiring engineers for their start-up. Bansal and Nagori said they will launch an app over the next year that will help people with their healthcare needs as well as provide sports and fitness services.

“India will be a $3 trillion economy over the next few years, and 7-8% of spends will be on healthcare, sport and fitness, which make them very large categories,” said Nagori, who was chief business officer at Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce firm.

“The idea behind starting this business is to use technology to scale the business in industries which are waiting for disruption. In future, we may be open to other businesses also. We’ll look at financial services, education, skill-building. The overall charter is to find a way to scale businesses and to touch a billion lives.”

Bansal and Nagori had earlier planned to launch separate start-ups on their own but they decided to team up after several conversations over the past one month, said Bansal, who was the third most powerful executive at Flipkart after the firm’s founders, Sachin and Binny Bansal.

“We had a good relationship at Flipkart and over the past one month or so we had a lot of conversations about what we want to do. There is a clear linkage between healthcare, and sport & fitness. The size of the healthcare problem, in particular, is massive. We are looking at a 10-year horizon in these businesses,” Bansal said.

Bansal and Nagori resigned from Flipkart in February. Their departures followed a restructuring at Flipkart in January when the firm named Binny as its new chief executive, replacing Sachin.

Now, Bansal and Nagori aim to build a large start-up of their own. Initially, the two will put in $5 million of their own cash to fund the new venture.

“In sports and fitness there is an aggregating opportunity. The players, their coaches, their referees, their communities— there’s a need to connect all of them and help form communities. This is one opportunity but we have to figure out if the underlying infrastructure is good enough or not. If not, we might have to start building out infrastructure also,” Nagori said.

There are few start-ups in sports and fitness alone; increasingly, healthcare start-ups such as Practo and 1mg are adding sport and fitness categories to boost user engagement.

“Healthcare is a very diverse industry right from the value chain of pharmaceuticals to doctors and hospitals. The idea is to get into something which will impact a very large chunk of people. The key data point is only 25% of the country has health insurance. Records, even lesser. We have to figure out what kinds of problems to crack and given that we have given ourselves a very long runway. Self-funding it initially also helps,” Nagori said.