Neil Patel

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In the vast landscape of healthcare innovation; some stories stand out not only for their transformative impact but also for the unique journey and cultural shifts they bring about.

One such narrative is the inspiring journey of Pristyn Care, a unicorn in the healthcare sector, founded by the dynamic trio of Dr. Garima Sawhney, Mr. Harsimarbir (Harsh) Singh, and Dr. Vaibhav Kapoor.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating tale of how Pristyn Care emerged as a pioneer in elective surgeries, challenging stereotypes, fostering a patient-centric culture, and navigating the complex world of fundraising.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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Building the Foundation: Dr. Garima Sawhney’s Journey

The narrative begins with the humble roots of Dr. Garima Sawhney in Hissar, a small town in Haryana, India. Her upbringing in a family that valued sacrifices, hard work, and resilience laid the foundation for her aspirations.

Garima remembers her father bootstrapping a small agricultural manufacturing business in Bihar. He traveled a lot, leaving her mother to run the house and manage two small kids. At the time, parents typically wanted their kids to be either a doctor or an engineer.

Driven by a desire to become a doctor and inspired by her father’s advice, Garima embarked on a challenging journey through medical school, specializing in gynecology. She was well aware of the low doctor-patient ratio in India and that it would be hard having to sit for entrance exams and stuff.

Garima completed her Master’s in 2013 and went on to work in various hospitals, institutes, and both government and private hospitals. After working for a time in a corporate hospital, she opted to start her practice in a small clinic.

Garima remembers being clueless about marketing because most patients in India find doctors through word of mouth. Witnessing the struggles of both doctors and patients during her early career, she identified gaps in the healthcare system, particularly in the field of elective surgeries.

Garima also noted that patients wanted more than the personal touch and the doctor’s sympathy. They also wanted the right diagnosis and treatment plan.

The Genesis of Pristyn Care

The co-founding team, consisting of childhood friends Dr. Vaibhav Kapoor and Mr. Harsimarbir (Harsh) Singh, joined forces with Dr. Garima Sawhney to establish Pristyn Care in 2018. Right away, the trio identified 20 areas where they could solve the patient’s journey through the surgical sector.

Garima has an interesting story to tell about bringing together her cofounders. She talks about how Harsh and Vaibhav were childhood friends growing up together in Ludhiana, India. They went to kindergarten and high school together, but Harsh opted for the non-medical field and became an engineer.

Vaibhav and Garima were not only batchmates doing their MBBS together but they were also married and shared similar struggles. The trio would spend time together every day discussing the challenges patients face in getting the right information to insurance.

They also identified the issues elderly people faced when needing treatment but not having a family to support them. Driven by a shared passion for making a difference, the trio embarked on a mission to provide end-to-end, hassle-free solutions for elective surgeries.

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Pristyn Care’s Business Model

Garima and her co-founders were aware that the probability of success for the concept they were proposing was too low. However, she credits their unique approach and execution with building a successful organization.

As Garima explains, elective surgeries are non-emergency surgeries like gall bladder stone removal, treating piles, uterus removal, or aesthetic surgery. Pristyn Care performs these surgeries across India and Bangladesh and is currently doing 50 diseases in this segment.

Pristyn Care has an asset-light business model and doesn’t build or own hospitals. However, it has clinics and doctors that are exclusively working for Pristyn out of clinics assigned to them. Pristyn has a central team marketing team that connects with patients.

They also have a care coordinator who speaks with the patient to understand the issues they’re facing. Since the coordinator is not a doctor, they are better equipped to talk to the patient empathetically and create a level of comfort.

Next, the coordinator books an appointment with a nearby doctor. Pristyn Care takes care of working out insurance approvals and the backend hassles. Patients need only to submit the documents, and the care coordinator helps clear the insurance and connect them to the hospital partnering with Pristyn Care.

Patients can rely on end-to-end services, starting with booking a cab to reach the hospital to web check-ins to the hospital, including admission procedures, the actual operation, post-op care, and discharge.

Pristyn also takes care of post-surgery follow-ups, which are free of cost since, in India, OPD appointments are not covered by insurance.

Raising Capital for Pristyn Care and Being a Unicorn

Garima reveals that they have raised $177M for Pristyn, but initially started by bootstrapping the company. She recalls how they raised Series C funding from Peak XV Partners (then Sequoia Capital India) in 2019.

Storytelling is everything which is something that Dr. Garima Sawhney was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted.

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Garima and her co-founders started the company out of Gurgaon and then moved to Delhi and other places in India. The trio was confident of their problem statement and business model and were ready to expand to more cities.

Around six to seven months later, COVID happened, and at the time, they were doing approximately 1400 surgeries a month.

Although their total number of surgeries per month went down to almost the same as their pre-funding round, Garima was not concerned. She was confident that after the pause, patients would need the final treatment and surgery.

Post-COVID, Pristyn’s growth curve started again and raised the next funding round. Before the funding, they were into two specialties: gynecology and general surgery. However, after raising funding, they included additional specialties. Pristyn also became a unicorn.

Garima’s Vision for Pristyn

Garima foresees a Pristyn as becoming the first choice for any patient for any kind of elective surgery. Every patient should trust the company and come to them for any kind of treatment. In five years’ time, Garima would like to see Pristyn going public and getting listed.

Currently, Pristyn is available in 30 cities and has a central team of approximately 1400 workers working out of their headquarters in Gurugram.

Garima estimates that there are 10 team members in every city and around four to five doctors working with them, which works out to 400 doctors in 400 hospitals across the country.

Pristyn is a primarily customer-centric organization, which is why it was essential to have a patient-focused team. That’s a culture that is inculcated in every person who joins the company.

They are required to interact with the patients and visit hospitals and clinics to understand every aspect of customer risk and their pain points.

Empowering Female Entrepreneurs

As a female founder and mother, Dr. Garima Sawhney offers insights into overcoming gender stereotypes. She emphasizes the importance of self-confidence, viewing challenges as strengths, and prioritizing work-life balance.

Her story serves as an inspiration for aspiring female entrepreneurs to break barriers and excel in their chosen fields.


The Pristyn Care success story exemplifies the power of innovation, determination, and a patient-centric mindset in transforming healthcare.

Dr. Garima Sawhney and her co-founders have not only built a unicorn but also paved the way for a new era in elective surgeries, challenging stereotypes and fostering a culture of empathy and excellence.

As Pristyn Care continues to thrive, its journey stands as a beacon for healthcare startups worldwide.

Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

  • Pristyn Care, a healthcare unicorn, emerged from the vision of Dr. Garima Sawhney and her co-founders, focusing on transforming elective surgeries with a patient-centric approach.
  • The journey reflects the trio’s commitment to addressing gaps in the surgical sector, leveraging their diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Pristyn Care’s success lies in cultivating a culture that values empathy, understands patient pain points, and prioritizes customer needs throughout the organization.
  • Fundraising milestones, from initial bootstrapping to unicorn status, highlight the team’s resilience and ability to navigate challenges, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The innovative asset-light model of Pristyn Care emphasizes end-to-end, hassle-free patient experiences, streamlining everything from initial consultation to post-surgery follow-ups.
  • Dr. Garima Sawhney’s insights into overcoming gender stereotypes encourage aspiring female entrepreneurs to prioritize self-confidence, view challenges as strengths, and maintain work-life balance.
  • With a clear vision for the future, Pristyn Care aims to expand into new cities, diversify specializations, and eventually become a public company, symbolizing the next wave of innovation in healthcare startups.


For a winning deck, see the commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here). 

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Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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