Getting customers excited: In conversation with Santosh & Gopal, founders Pluspin

CIE brings to our Deeptech community,
Fire Up Founder Insights series 2nd edition, hosted by our COO, Mr. Ramesh Loganathan. The series is brought to you as a part of Startup Gyan Blog series by CIE-IIITH  where we feature our founders and talk about their Startup status and the journey so far through conversation on specific topics useful for other Deeptech startups and the community at large.

In Conversation with Santosh and Gopal, founders Pluspin:


Two childhood friends, went to college together and  then took off to explore the world only to unite years later for a shared vision to build the largest independent network of, exclusively, retail pharmacy stores.

The discussion popped up with a question, , “Have you seen how the pharmacies are operating in the western countries?” The entire healthcare system act as one layer and the pharmacies unlike in India, provides drug adherence and patient care. This was followed by a few months of ground study and eventually led to the start of Pluspin in 2017 and now has partnered with over 500 pharmacies in Hyderabad.

The retail pharmacy stores are called Pluspin Healthcare points created with an aim to help customers to explore their options, saving their out-of-pocket expenditure while improving health awareness. The process starts from the Doctor’s prescription. The customer goes to Pluspin points and get the other healthcare options such as best nearby Diagnostic centres, health equipment that they can rent out with information of all the products/brands available in that locality, along with medicines.

“The pharmacist has been selling the medicines for ages; this is an opportunity for them to improve their earning by providing this up-sell services to their set of loyal customers and others”

The AI platform has access to both online and offline customer bases and works well for the pharmacists and at the same time provide value to customers. So, everyone is happy!

So, How to get the customers as excited about your product as you are?

For a founder, it is always challenging firstly, to get customers to try your product and secondly, to retain them for a longer and deeper engagement. Although every Startup journey is unique, there are a few takeaways that could be useful for others:

  • Early customer reviews are important to understand what do they value in the product
  • Define personas during development so that actual customers can relate well when the product is live. Focus on user stories revolving around the persona rather on feature
  • Have couple of long tail demand features which will help you win the underserved customers
  • Gamification of the product experience
  • Reward mechanism for users to explore and exhibit your product – link sharing rewards etc.

Biggest challenges in getting customers:

For B2B customers biggest challenges are:

  • Bringing in behavioural changes
  • Getting them to trust us
  • Well defined boundaries of your solution and the business
  • Tangible outcome in short term vs long term

For B2B2C:

  • Brand image
  • Ensuring Service reliability

One must quick hack for founders to do it faster and better.

“Understanding the DNA of the customer is the topmost thing” – Santosh

“Technology to deliver instant gratification and incentives to keep them engaged is the key to keep the customers excited”  – Gopal

  • Have an incremental and regular release cadence (every week if not every other day). Big Bang vs MVP
  • Get your product tested by a set of beta users in your platform to receive the early feedback.

Watch the complete interview for some cool anecdotes and fun facts!

Keep watching this space for more under Fire Up Series.
Stay safe and sound!

– Sunita Kumari, Team CIE