Women can do everything men can do and cannot do. Pakistani Women are going against all the odds fulfilling their domestic responsibilities and working as well. A few years back, women in business was an odd idea, but with time, women have stepped in entering the business arena. We see women starting small-scale businesses to the owners of big business companies. They are very keen to enter the business despite the limitations and constraints. Pakistan has seen independent and strong women in recent years. Defying the odds, Dr. Saira Siddique has become the first solo Female Startup Founder to raise $1.8 Million for the health tech venture, medIQ .
Women’s role is not only confined to the house or certain fields. They are playing a role not in educating the generations but also taking part in improving the economic situation of the country. Some of the powerful women in tech and business are Jehan Ara, Rabia Garib, Salina Haroon, Samina Fazil, Nida Farid, Roshaneh Zafar, Sheba Najmi, Salma Jaffri 4, Kalsoom Lakhani, Maria Umar, Saba Gul, Maheen Rahman, Nabila Maqsood, Muniba Mazari, Shaheena Waqar, Masrat Misbah, Sidra Qasim, and Arusha Imtiaz.
The pandemic has inspired a lot of people to venture and pursue their dreams. Pakistan saw a surge of investments from $65 million in 2020 to $350m across 83 deals in 2021.
Dr. Saira Siddique
Pakistani women-led startups have raised 3% over the last five years, which shows what women can achieve if they are determined. The market has immense potential, yet the health sector lags in it. Dr. Saira Siddique has the honor of becoming the first solo female founder of a Pakistani Startup. She has raised $1.8 million for the health tech venture, medIQ.
Holistic Healthcare Model
Dr. Saira Siddique, Founder & CEO of medIQ said, “We are thrilled to complete this strategic funding round, which is an endorsement of our holistic healthcare model by leading investors with robust healthcare and technology expertise. medIQ is playing a critical role in redefining digital healthcare services by improving quality and convenience for patients, reducing costs for patients, healthcare providers, and insurers, with a strong capacity to become a regional player. An integrated digital platform is a present-day must-have in a healthcare system to deliver an efficient model of care at scale. mediQ has shown a track record with over three hundred thousand patients served in eighteen months only.”
Health care System in Pakistan
She commented on the health care system and how it was not very efficient and effective, “Our health care system is fragmented and hospitals are overburdened as patients have to go to a hospital even for minor ailments. An inefficient, brick-and-mortar, hospital-centered approach makes timely, affordable, and holistic healthcare impossible. Hospitals have an average consultation waiting time of 90 minutes and only 2.5 minutes is spent on the actual consultation itself. 90% of patients can be easily treated at the point of need without a visit to a hospital. medIQ is reversing the current model of hospital-centered healthcare delivery by bringing healthcare to the patients at their point of need using a patient-centered approach.
A number of strategic investors like USA-based Amaana Capital and Middle East & Pakistan focused – Cordoba Ventures (CorVCF). The US-based early-stage investor Seraph Group, TAJDEED, a syndicate of prominent physicians from APPNA (All Pakistani Physicians of North American descent Association), House of Habib, and leading health tech angel investors from Silicon Valley took part in the round. It is the first direct investment of NRD Capital and Seraph Group in a Pakistani startup.
It is Pakistan’s first ‘integrated B2B virtual care platform’ which provides the company to deliver virtual to the members. It covers urban and rural customers by connecting to the service providers. It provides a customizable plug-and-play technology stack, a comprehensive network of online pharmacies, and online laboratory services backed by GPs and specialists from 32 specialties, nursing staff, and dedicated home care teams. It maintains a proprietary electronic medical record system to record patient data in a single profile, promoting data sharing and interoperability, thereby improving quality and reducing the cost of care.
medIQ plans to further invest in its tech infrastructure to provide holistic virtual care to companies and patients, based on the development of AI and Machine Learning tools using high-quality patient data. The company plans to build out its services across 20 cities in Pakistan and expand regionally.