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AmarLab CEO Tazin Shadid on strategies that worked for the digital healthcare startup in the early days 

Tazin Shadid is the co-founder and CEO of Amarlab, a Dhaka-based digital healthcare startup that provides at-home diagnostic test services. Along with its excellent consumer services, the company has launched several B2B solutions targeting both companies and hospitals. In partnership with other healthcare services companies, AmarLab also helps customers access other relevant healthcare facilities such as medicine delivery, doctor appointment, and so on. We have seen an influx of new healthtech startups scale their operation in the past two years. Amarlab is easily one of the most prominent players in the vertical. 

Founded in 2017, AmarLab has experienced excellent growth within a short period. In a fascinating interview published in 2021, AmarLab CEO Tazin Shadid shared some of the strategies that have worked for AmarLab in the early days helping the company find early growth and build a strong foundation. This is an excerpt from the interview, you can read the full interview here

Top-notch customer experience 

One thing we have always focused on is providing a top-notch customer experience. We, me and Dr. Zahid have not only worked in Spreeha and Amarlab, but also with other clinics and healthcare providers. From our experience, we have seen that in many cases the quality of healthcare is mostly about the compassion and empathy of the healthcare providers, which can affect the overall experience of healthcare.

From day one, we have focused on our customer experience. We have seen that once someone takes our service, they do not go back to diagnostic centers. Prioritizing user experience has paid off for us. 

Our customer acquisition so far is completely based on word of mouth. We have not spent a single penny on marketing till now. We hired our first marketing person just last month.

We have focused on gaining the trust of our users. Lack of trust in healthcare providers is a major challenge in Bangladesh.

A safe working environment for people

We have also focused on ensuring a safe working environment for our people. Our Chief Clinical Operation Officer is an epidemiologist. During the pandemic, our medical technologists had to visit COVID patients for testing — a high-risk job. They couldn't maintain social distance like everyone else. Having an epidemiologist on our team has helped us to manage and run our operation amid the pandemic. We have even trained our partners to deal with the current situation.

Passionate people, enabling culture 

We are a passionate value-driven organization. Making money was never our driving motivation. Dr. Zahid and I have always wanted to solve healthcare problems in Bangladesh. We want to bring a change to the entire healthcare sector of Bangladesh through our work. We always welcome people who want to work and improve the healthcare sector of Bangladesh.

We have always focused on onboarding the right people. Even in terms of investors, we are looking for people who are not driven by business interest alone and also have experience working in the healthcare sectors in Bangladesh and abroad.

We have built a learning culture, where we approach everything with a learning mindset. Similar to Microsoft where the tech giant has shifted from a know-it-all company to a learn it all company. We have tried to create a culture where we are continuously striving to be better than yesterday. We concentrate on learning to grow as an organization, team, and individual. We are always working hard to improve our service.

For example, the sample kit we are using currently is version 4 of the kit. We will soon introduce version 5 which we are developing in collaboration with PUM, a Netherlands-based organization that works with SMEs across the world. We are following the WHO standard in developing the kits. We are constantly taking feedback from the experts to make our sample kits better.

These are some major areas we have focused on which helped us to grow and come this far.

This is an excerpt from our interview with AmarLab CEO Tazin Shadid, you can read the full interview here. 

Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based writer, researcher, and entrepreneur. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and the author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about entrepreneurship, business, strategy, technology, and culture. He can be reached at [email protected]

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