ZS Associates launches innovation competition in healthcare

06 November 2020 Consultancy.in 3 min. read

Global tech-focused management consultancy ZS is seeking the next big innovative healthcare solution in India, through its latest initiative – ZS Prize. 

Open to students, graduates and professionals from any walk of life, ZS Prize is an innovation contest seeking scalable and feasible ideas to increase healthcare accessibility and affordability in India. “India is a country of over a billion people across rural, semi-urban, and urban landscapes. There are several gaps in how the population receives primary and secondary care across a gamut of diseases,” said the firm in a statement.

Healthcare consumption is rapidly on the rise in India, and ZS acknowledged the existing innovation landscape among incumbents in the healthcare system. At the same time, the firm believes that “there is still great potential in the untapped minds of the younger generation.” ZS Prize is an attempt to tap into this vast potential.

ZS Associates launches innovation competition in healthcare

The goal is to convert innovative ideas into real world solutions. Healthcare is among the core areas of expertise at ZS – a global 7,000-strong consulting firm with, deep industry expertise across sectors. As a result, the firm is well equipped to identify and develop promising ideas in healthcare innovation.

The ZS Prize contest

Contestants can register and submit their ideas from now until December 21st. ZS professionals – “ZSers” – will then shortlist the top 20 teams and mentor them. The eight best teams that emerge after more than a month of intensive mentoring will then present their ideas to an eight-member jury, which features leading healthcare experts and professionals.

On the panel are: Former Microsoft India Chairman Ravi Venkatesan; Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw; Joint Managing Director at Apollo Hospitals Sangita Reddy; Former Kellogg School of Management Dean Dipak Jain; Public Health Foundation of India President K.Srinath Reddy; Strand Life Sciences founder Vijay Chandru Reddy; Nexus Venture Partners co-founder & Managing Director Sandeep Singhal; and Chairman of Cytecare Hospitals Ferzaan Engineer.

The influential jury will have to hone in on the most scalable and promising tech-enabled healthcare innovation. The winning team will get to develop their solution at a national scale and expose their idea to this panel of far-reaching influence. Also on offer is prize money – Rs. 1 crore – to be split among the top eight teams.

“We want to reward innovations that are driven by advances in data and AI technologies as well as advances in life sciences technologies,” said Asia lead at ZS Sanjay Joshi. Last year, Big Four accounting and advisory firm EY presented its Life Sciences 4.0 concept, referring to the unprecedented range of healthcare solutions to be unlocked through the potential of tech.

ZS Prize is a step towards Life Sciences 4.0, and comes at a time when the market is primed for tech-based healthcare. The Covid-19 pandemic has strained India’s healthcare system, and the need for more capacity has bred all manner of tech innovation in the sector. All of a sudden, India’s eHealth market is playing out its best-case scenario, and ZS Prize solutions will likely form part of what should be a $16 billion market by 2025 according to RedSeer Consulting.