Having created an expansive Red Ambulance network across Hyderabad and Bangalore, patient logistics and emergency medical response company StanPlus is now operating its own fleet across major cities, including Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Pune. “The expansion is a part of the company’s immediate growth strategy to increase its service territory bandwidth,” says Prabhdeep Singh, Founder and CEO, StanPlus. Excerpts from an interview:
When was StanPlus founded? Who is the brain behind it? Tell us the whole story.
StanPlus was founded in September 2016, and our operations began in December of the same year. The idea developed after conscious realisation of gaps and challenges faced by customers in availing of quality emergency transport in the country. While pursuing my MBA at INSEAD, I realised the market size and opportunity for this business. Hence I returned to India with two of my batchmates and started this company.
When and why did you begin the Red Ambulance? And how come this name Red Ambulance?
When we started working with the operators, we realised that actual impact can be created only when we focus on solving the problem at the core. Here, it was infrastructure. There were no quality ambulances available in the country. Red was born to provide state-of-the-art and benchmark service to the patients. We chose ‘Red’ because it indicates emergency, action and is a good brand name for people to remember us by.
How many ambulances are there as of now? And what all areas do you serve?
At present, we have over 150 of our own fleet of Red ambulances across Hyderabad, Bangalore, Raipur, Bhubaneswar, and Coimbatore. We are soon expanding our fleet to Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata and other cities. We have over 1,000 ambulances in our aggregate and franchise network pan India.
Give us the details of a typical Red Ambulance?
A typical Red Ambulance has trained pilots and paramedics on board. We have installed world-class equipment in Red. It is clean and sterilised after every use. And of course, we ensure that our vehicles are branded as per emergency code standards so that people clear the way on-road and ambulances can reach as fast as possible.
We have trained healthcare professionals – paramedics on all of our vehicles. For critical cases, a doctor would accompany as well. We also ensure that our pilots understand the basics of emergency transport.
Suppose a person is in need. How does he/ she connect with you? And how fast does your system respond?
We are always just a call away. We have a toll-free number ( 1800-121–911-911) that can be used in any territory in India. A TFN is the most convenient option in an emergency situation. We also provide exclusive TFNs to our partner hospitals, corporates and other associated institutions. A person can also book an ambulance from our website, we revert in seven seconds! We are also working on launching an app that will provide people with more options to reach out to us.
What is the cost structure? Do you offer any free service?
The cost of a ride depends on the distance covered and territory. At present, we are a paid service, but we do aim to build a separate fund that would enable us to provide free or discounted rides to people in need.
Since the time you have been in business, from which area have you got maximum calls?
Hyderabad, it’s mainly because this is where we started from. We are partnered with almost all the best hospitals in the city. Also, Hyderabad is a centre of excellence for specific medical services, so patient transfers are frequent here.
Do you have tie-ups with hospitals, or your job ends with taking a patient to a hospital?
We have tie-ups with hospitals where we manage their emergency counter, and operate ambulance services for them. Our job doesn’t end at the hospital; we are also involved in the visits, transfers, and discharge of patients who need ambulances for logistics.