There are moments we experience that truly define the course of our life — our motivations, our aspirations and our passions. Find My Doctor is a venture that was born from one such experience from Saad Siddiqui’s life.
In 2012, Saad had just started university at SZABIST and during this time lost his mother due to a doctor’s negligence. Upon graduating from SZABIST, he was on a mission to research and find out the condition of the health system in Pakistan. In his research Saad found that there was no platform to rate doctors’ services online. This is when the idea of Find My Doctor was born. Find My Doctor was initially a platform for rating doctors services so potential patients had an idea of what they were walking into. However, this idea proved to be not very viable and Saad decided to change his business model completely. In 2017, Find My Doctor was reintroduced as a platform that provided doctors services at home including the facility for lab testing from the comfort of one’s home. In this endeavour Saad collaborated with Essa Labs — the agreement meant that Saad’s team would conduct the tests at home and Essa Labs would process the results. In order to provide the service of doctor visits at home he was in touch with young doctors who would finish their shifts at hospitals and then pick up a shift at FMD via the app. Saad termed this as an “Uber for Doctors”.
Initially Saad had expected that residents of areas such as Defence, Clifton would be avid users of his service. However, to his surprise most of his initial customers hailed from areas other than his expected demographic. In the first round of funding FMD raised money — just enough to keep themselves afloat for some time. However, investment was still a concern for the business. Saad mentioned that there was a foreign investor interested in FMD but shortly after the dollar to PKR exchange rate shot up to 162 led them to backing out at the last minute. This proved to be a very stressful time for FMD and there were questions around whether it would be able to survive.
Then an opportunity came to FMD for a collaborative project with the Dubai Islamic Bank. The collaboration was in the form of a product named as a Sehat Card through which FMD was providing at-home medical services to DIB customers. While this proved to be a good opportunity, what completely changed FMD’s trajectory was the Covid 19 pandemic. In March, 2020 there was mass hysteria around Covid and people really started valuing home medical services so they didn’t have to step out of the comfort of their homes. This meant that FMD was functioning at maximum capacity and started generating money. The pandemic proved to be a great Segway for introducing people to the idea of medical services at home and would be an option for them to consider regardless of the pandemic. In order to cater to the massive demand that had sprung up there was a need to expand the FMD team as well. Saad hired people in key roles to not only cater to the present demand but also to ensure that FMD’s growth doesn’t halt.
FMD now has a fully functioning team and catering to people in 7 different cities across Pakistan. They have introduced a variety of new services including video consultation with doctors and the option of delivery of prescription medication through their application. They have 40,000 people who have used their services and this number is projected to grow a lot more in the coming year. While there are other health tech businesses in the market Saad feels what sets FMD apart is that they have seen extremely tough times — moments of such gross uncertainty where he didn’t know if FMD would survive. Saad shared that he constantly repeated to himself: ‘You started this business you shouldn’t let it go’. Indeed he didn’t, which is why FMD is where it is today!
When we asked Saad about what the future entails for FMD — he was quick to point out that they wanted to work on their technology and AI. They want to use their technology to keep track of their patients and potentially help the government in improving the health system. They also want to expand their operations across all of Pakistan and tap into the MENA region.
Looking forward to seeing FMD grow to new heights and cater to the needs of people of Pakistan!