Cricket: Practo has a new friend in Rahul Dravid


Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid ‘publicizes’ Practo Care Surgeries, company’s foray into secondary care market


What does a healthcare and diagnostics platform do when it needs to market its expanding portfolio of services? The answer in Practo’s case is to put Rahul Dravid on the ground.

Not too long ago, Dravid made headlines for his off-court batting skills, in a commercial for Cred, where the famous calm cricketer loses his temper and smashes his bat in the rearview mirror of a car. Dravid’s sudden change from gentleman to gunda got everyone talking. But Practo, it seems, does not seek that kind of attention.

As the 13-year-old telehealth company’s very first brand ambassador, Dravid appears in a high-decibel ad campaign on TV and OTT platforms. Through this campaign, the former Indian cricketer is “promoting” Practo Care Surgeries, the company’s foray into the secondary care market.

The brand is in good hands
In Practo’s campaign, Dravid is referred to as a “caring friend”. The choice was easy. “He’s always seen as a trusted person (both on and off the pitch),” says Srikanth Pinninti, executive vice president of marketing for the company. The new campaign created by Spring Marketing Capital aims to build brand awareness and confidence in the brand and its presence in the category, and to consolidate the idea that patients are in “good hands” when choosing surgery centers. secondary care from Practo.

Practo’s ambition is to be a “comprehensive healthcare brand,” says Pinninti, who recently joined the business from Amazon Fashion. “The digital health ecosystem in India will experience laser-focused disruption over the next two to three years,” and Practo’s entry into the $ 12 billion secondary care surgeries market in India is one step ahead. an indication. Currently, the company offers online doctor’s appointment bookings. , telemedicine, pharmacy and diagnostic services.

Increase marketing during the pandemic
In 2020, as the Covid-19 epidemic confined us to our homes, Practo launched “Hello Doctor,” a campaign to get people to seek professional medical advice via video calls. According to the company, Indians saw 10 times more doctors during the second wave of Covid-19 on Practo, compared to the pre-Covid era. While the distribution of telemedicine users in metropolitan and non-metropolitan cities was 90:10, respectively, in 2019, it has increased to 50:50 this year with the onset of the pandemic.

Earlier this year, Practo also partnered with the HUL-owned Lifebuoy brand to encourage people to opt for tele-consultation. Through a public service announcement, Lifebuoy invited consumers to make a missed call for a free consultation with a general practitioner on the Practo app.

Practo Care Surgeries (PCS) will offer 50 surgeries in three specialties. PCS centers are currently located in six cities: Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. Practo’s goal is to increase that number to 30 cities by the end of 2021. According to the Tracxn data platform, Practo is backed by investors such as Sequoia, CapitalG and Tencent, and is valued at around 904 million. dollars.

Doctor’s orders
Choosing Practo as a celebrity brand ambassador is quite different from choosing its competitors Pristyn Care. The latter recently published an advertising campaign featuring Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan. In the past, TV actors like Dilip Joshi and Anup Soni, and chef Ranveer Brar have also been seen promoting the brand on various media platforms.

Pinninti tells us, “There will be a lot of companies playing in the segment …” It seems crowded at the moment, but the “category needs that kind of push,” he notes. Ultimately, however, “brands with patient-centric and value-based solutions will stand out. “

The author is Associate Editor of Storyboard.

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