Kanchan Naikawadi, Founder of Indus Health Plus (Private) Limited, speaks on what it takes to be a successful woman entrepreneur and shares her views on the need for quality healthcare in an exclusive interaction with Viral Vyas
Could you share a bit on your company along with your role in it?
I started Indus in 2000. An ISO 9001:2000 certified company, Indus Health Plus is a pioneer in preventive healthcare in India. Indus Health Plus facilitates highend preventive health check-ups at affordable prices across the nation through tie-ups with stateof– the-art hospitals. Indus is the first in the preventive healthcare category to popularise the use of CT scanning technology for clinical diagnosis. Indus Health Plus is determined to live up to its motto of making quality healthcare ‘Available, Accessible and Affordable’ every day. We are consistent in spreading the word of timely check-up which not only saves an individual from premature death or disability but effectively saves their families from mental and physical trauma and financial distress. Headquartered in Pune, we are present in major metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and in Tier II and Tier III cities. As on date, our operations are spread across 40 cities and 90 centres in 14 states with 385 allied partners.
What were the challenges you faced in the early years?
For us the challenge was to come up with an integrated model to combine the strengths of hospitals, diagnostic centres, laboratories and pathological services to deliver an affordable and comprehensive preventive health check-up model to the common people. Apart from the regular challenges of resource allocation faced by every new enterprise, the initial challenge for us was to sensitise people about the nature of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and make them aware of their errant lifestyle that could lead to cancer, diabetes or to a heart attack. So we started convincing our own extended family and friends by arranging interactive sessions with doctors. The major challenge for us even today is the sheer scepticism that the masses show towards the importance of preventive health check-ups. They believe that they are healthy. However, this is simply not true. We seek to promote awareness about preventive healthcare and how it can significantly reduce any pain or suffering that may arise from ignoring minor health issues that may turn fatal in the future.
In this domain, the biggest challenge is to spread awareness about what Indus Health Plus as a brand stands for and how our services can help the society. For the last decade, Indus Health Plus has been striving towards inculcating preventive health services as a lifestyle. Trying to introduce and market a new lifestyle is one of the single most challenging objectives to attain. Through our marketing efforts, we have been able to achieve reasonable penetration in the markets where we exist but this is an on-going process. The preventive healthcare industry on the whole relies strongly on word of mouth publicity. As a brand, we want to expose as much of the society to preventive health solutions as possible.
If you could share with us some of the achievements you are proud of?
Indus Health Plus recently received the ASSOCHAM CSR Award in SME and other category 2013–14. I, personally, was awarded the Silver Award in two categories – Female Entrepreneur of the Year: Consumer Products, 11 to 2500 Employees & Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand during Stevie Women in Business Awards held in 2013. I was also awarded the Women Initiative of the Year Award in the healthcare sector during Sustainable Development, Diversity, Inclusion, CSR and Leadership Awards 2013 held in Bangalore. I was conferred as Woman Personality of the Year during CMO – Asia – Women Leadership Awards 2013 held in Singapore. I have also received the Women in Leadership and Innovation Award and “Gaurav Stree Shakti Award” in 2013.
What would you advice for an upcoming woman entrepreneur?
Women entrepreneurs should have immense passion towards their work. They should not be afraid of taking risks. They possess very strong business ideas. A motivating factor behind women entrepreneurs is the desire for control. Many successful female business owners are provoked by the opportunity to be their own boss and run their own company, a prospect that would never occur if they had worked for someone else. Women should have the ability to multi-task as they need to manage things at office and home. It is also important in the business world to recognise the right people, the faster the better.
Do you feel that women face gender bias when it comes to their work?
If you ask me personally, I have never faced any bias due to the fact that I am a woman. The thought never occurred to me that I am a woman competing with men and will have to work extra. This may have happened because I was trying to create awareness about the need for quality healthcare for everyone.
What are the future plans for the organisation?
Indus aims to achieve pan-India presence by concentrating on multiple location availability of their services for their clientele. We are also looking at a mix of Tier-II and in some cases Tier-III cities as we aim to achieve a pan-India presence and make Indus Health Plus a name synonymous with preventive healthcare. With focus on high-end preventive health check-ups, we are always trying to adopt new technologies. Even international bodies have started recognising us and in times to come, we look forward to extend our services to the international market too.