India Healthcare Crisis and the Competition (Piramal Prize)

First, the crisis:

Despite rapid economic growth and progressive interventions by government agencies, widening socio-economic divides present an alarming health crisis for the majority of India’s people. In the shadow of India’s urban upper classes (who have access to health conditions that rival the best of any developed country), the vast majority of India is subject to a grossly inadequate public health system. Consequently, India’s masses unnecessarily suffer from easily treatable and avoidable illnesses such as malaria, typhoid, jaundice, asthma, tuberculosis, and diarrhea. Here are some statistics to illustrate:

  • Most villagers in rural India have not seen a doctor in 10 years
  • 41% of practicing “doctors” do not have any kind of medical degree
  • On routine doctor visits, less than 3% of patients are sufficiently tested
  • 68% of patients receive unnecessary injections, most often containing vitamins, or saline.
  • Every year, 100 million people suffer from treatable gastrointestinal conditions such as diarrhea, amoebosis, typhoid, infectious hepatitis, cholera, etc. More than 80% of these illnesses are water-borne.
  • Malnutrition affects 85% of Indian children and kills more than 150,000 every year.
  • Some studies suggest that 70% of families spend more than 50% of their annual income on health; 93% of this amount is spent on treatment of avoidable ailments and emergency care

Second, the competition:

What:The Piramal Prize a $25K Social Entrepreneurship Competition  focused on democratizing health care in India

Goal: The competition seeks to encourage and support bold entrepreneurial ideas which can profoundly impact access to higher standards of health for India’s rural and marginalized urban communities. The award recognizes high-impact, scalable business models that innovative solutions directly or indirectly addressing India’s healthcare crisis.

Entries may include (but are not limited to):

·          innovations in service delivery

·          technology applications

·          health-related products

·          mechanisms to address public health necessities (i.e. potable water)

Why enter the competition?

·          Contestants will have access to mentorship by prominent business and health leaders and the support of an online community to fully develop their ideas.

·          Finalists will spend a weekend in Ahmedabad presenting to a panel of distinguished judges and showcasing their ideas to leading finance firms.

·          Winners will receive over $25,000 in seed funding and access to further venture capital support to launch their ideas.

·          Winners will be given incubation support at the internationally recognized Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Deadline:  Initial entries are due April 1st, 2008.

Contact:  The competition is sponsored by Piramal Foundation, a NGO pursuing social enterprise development in India.  If you have any questions or need any more information, please contact Naman Shah ([email protected])  or visit ( ).