ET Startup Awards 2020 | Role in Covid-19 fight got MyLab the prize


Bengaluru: How did Indian startups rise to the challenge as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged every aspect of daily life in 2020? To find out, the ET Startup Awards carved out a new segment—Covid-led Healthcare Innovation, in addition to the regular categories.

The coronavirus outbreak impacted sectors in various ways, but the biggest was perhaps on innovation in the healthcare space. The aim was to recognise a startup that was driving covid-related solutions in healthcare, diagnostics and research. The contenders ranged from companies developing new remote healthcare models, to better diagnostics and creating testing kits that could be scaled up rapidly.

The jury finally chose Mylab Discovery Solutions, a Pune-based firm that became the first Indian company to receive commercial approval to manufacture Covid-19 test kits. It wasn’t an easy decision, though, with the jury split on Mylab and, which uses AI to create imaging solutions. However, what swung the decision in favour of Mylab was its critical role in reducing the country’s dependence on importing expensive test kits as the pandemic was starting to peak in India and globally.

“The last few months have given us the opportunity of a lifetime, touching every corner of the globe,”

said Hasmukh Rawal, co-founder and managing director at Mylab.

Other contenders included Mfine, an AI-based telemedicine startup which was among the first to launch a Covid-19 selfassessment tool and a service to help people in home quarantine manage the condition at home.Genetic diagnostics firm MedGenome and 1mg, among the first to introduce mobile testing vans, were the other nominees.

“Categories like Social Enterprise and Covid Healthcare were eye-opening. It was exciting to see some really innovative firms,” said Bejul Somaia, partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners and a jury member.


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