Redcliffe Labs, a division of Redcliffe Lifetech Inc situated in the United States, was founded in 2018 by Dheeraj Jain with the goal of providing cheap diagnostic tests with faster answers.
On May 19, 2022, a drone with a patient’s blood sample in a 5 kilogram temperature-controlled payload flew from Gyansu near Uttarkashi—a tiny, mountainous village in Uttarakhand—to Vivek Vihar in Dehradun, the state’s capital. The first commercial drone flight took 88 minutes to accomplish the route, which would have taken nearly six hours by car, with one battery switch for an aerial distance of 60 kilometers.
The sample was analyzed at Redcliffe Lab’s diagnostics center in Dehradun, and the business forwarded the results to the customer the same day.
The project was part of Redcliffe Labs’ collaboration with Skye Air Mobility, a drone delivery technology business. It will operate two flights each day from Uttarkashi to Dehradun as part of the project.
The collaboration is in accordance with the aims Dheeraj Jain, Founder of Redcliffe Labs, has set for the organization, which is to provide access to diagnostic healthcare services.
Dheeraj, a serial entrepreneur, launched Redcliffe Capital, Peesafe, a personal hygiene company, and Crysta, an end-to-end prenatal diagnostic services platform.
In 2018, he established Redcliffe Labs, a subsidiary of Redcliffe Lifetech, situated in the United States. Redcliffe Labs has its headquarters in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
Dheeraj’s life was turned upside down when he lost two relatives to cancer. This prompted him consider India’s healthcare system and why a big portion of the population lacks access to diagnostic centers.
Despite the presence of over one lakh labs, the Indian diagnostic business is highly fragmented and under-penetrated, according to an Edelweiss analysis.
The sector is still relatively unorganized, with hospitals, freestanding centers, and bigger chains all contributing to the ecosystem. According to the survey, organized diagnostic chains such as SRL Diagnostics, Metropolis Labs, and Dr Lal Path Labs have only a 16 percent market share.
Referrals from physicians and hospitals determine a big portion of income (approximately 55 percent), which drives up pricing. The market is also untapped because few individuals take examinations.
Dheeraj’s original solution to the problem was to offer highly specialized testing at its facilities. Genetic testing was the first of these.
“These tests are research-based; they are quite creative and will be very useful (to clinics),” adds Redcliffe Labs’ founder.
In 2018, the business established a facility in Delhi, a clinical team, and a test suite that included genetic testing and maternal health diagnostics.
By the end of the year, the firm had gone to market, with a focus on Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, and Pune.
It collaborated with scientists and doctors, who began testing for their patients by sending samples to these laboratories, providing faster response time and lower price. He says, “Redcliffe Labs invested in specialists, scientific platforms, and clinical quality, which many companies still do not do.”
Gradually, the firm began to provide semi-regular testing, such as thyroid and vitamin tests, in addition to normal tests such as blood, urine, liver, and kidney tests.
The watershed moment
Until today, the business has not conducted large-scale experiments.
Dheeraj recalls, “Because we were more focused on sequencing. We were still a tiny crew.”
Everything changed, however, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020.
The new virus’s genome needed to be sequenced, and Redcliffe was ready to rely on its two-and-a-half-year experience..
“That was the beginning of a new era,” he jokes.
The epidemic also influenced consumer behavior.
“Consumers were now being tested at home for the first time,” Dheeraj explains.
This prompted the company to consider its expanded testing portfolio and how the market was changing to home collection services, which were previously only available to a small number of clients.
The team chose to adapt its operations to this business line after recognizing a tremendous possibility.
“By 2020, the business had committed time and effort in developing home collecting equipment, as well as infrastructure for delivering samples from house to lab and reporting the same day.” he continues. Redcliffe Lifetech provides five services: direct to consumer, direct to clinics and hospitals, specialized collection centers, radiological exams, and in vitro fertilization.
Its home sample collection service is available in over 120 locations throughout India, with 30+ laboratories and 700+ walk-in wellness and collection centers.
Online test reservations account for over 40% of Redcliffe Lifetech’s income.
The company’s current annual sales rate is around $55-60 million, with a goal of reaching $100 million by September 2022.