Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Orange Cross

Prajakt    Melvin                   The promoters Prajakt Raut and Melvin Barreto had no background in healthcare when they decided on this unique venture called Orange Cross, which will advise health care consumers about options available to them. In fact, Prajakt Raut was the director of TiE Asia, a global not-for-profit organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship before he and Melvin Barreto, seasoned marketing professional who had worked with leading companies like Madison, O&M, Capital and Redifussion started Orange Cross in the year 2007. But the lack of background did not deter him them either from finding angel investors or from pushing the platform non-stop. So much so Business Today has listed the company as one of the hottest ten startup companies.

Orange Cross is a platform that helps consumers better manage their health and wellness requirements. “When deciding on our entrepreneurial venture, we identified healthcare as one area where significant efficiencies could be built into the healthcare environment by a company like Orange Cross by working with existing healthcare providers as our partners. In the process, Orange Cross also helps create a more efficient platform for healthcare providers to engage with large patient groups, “says Prajakt Raut, co-founder of Orange Cross.

Melvin and Prajakt knew each other for 18 years, before they started Orange Cross. Entrepreneurs at heart their paths converged while they worked for Madison DMB&B, a leading advertising agency.

The most difficult task for a startup is to get an angel investor. Melvin replies, “Since we had a clear value proposition to offer and a concept which helped improve the health and wellness environment, we were able to get as our angel investors, four stalwarts from the Indian industry – Sriday Iyengar (past chairman of KPMG India and current board member of Infosys, ICICI Bank, On-Mobile and, Shantanu Prakash (Founder Educomp Solutions), Pravin Gandhi (Co-founder Seed Fund and Infinity Ventures and Ashutosh Garg (Chairman Guardian Lifecare). Subsequently, Lumis Partners, a private equity fund made additional investments into the company.”

Why this unusual name? “Through the name, we wanted to communicate the ‘service’ aspect around healthcare. Orange is a warm colour and signifies service and care while Cross signifies health to most people, explains Prajakt.

Ten years from now

In 10 years time, Orange Cross has the potential to become the world’s largest healthcare services company. “Think about it, there is no other company that does what we do and hence we have a head start in a domain where the need is universal,” affirm the duo together.

As of now they are a team of 21 people, additionally supported by inputs and guidance from senior resources and supplemented with the wisdom and experience of the investors. Melvin and Prajakt, entrepreneurs at heart make time to assist aspiring entreprenurs, especially students with entrepreneurial aspirations, in fine tuning their business concepts. In spare time Melvin loves to run marathons and is an avid marathoner and books of contemporary history interest Prajakt. My favourite authors are Shashi Tharoor and Ramchandra Guha. Prajakt is married and has a six-year-old daughter called Vanya.

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Category: Healthier India
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