-Chief Excecutive Officer
Please describe your business and your role as a CEO?
Fortis Healthcare Limited is a leading integrated healthcare delivery service provider in India. The healthcare verticals of the company primarily comprise hospitals, diagnostics and day care specialty facilities. Our mission is to be a globally respected healthcare organization known for “Clinical Excellence and Distinctive Patient Care”. As a leader in a dynamic arena such as health care, one has the formidable and immediate challenge to create and continuously evolve both short- and long-term strategies. I have to constantly develop strategies around growth, conflict resolution, operational analysis, employee management, and quality management techniques.
What is the big idea behind your business; What are the inherent challenges in your sectors?
While focusing on clinical excellence and patient-centricity, the critical need for us is to partner with good doctors, allied staff and caregivers – especially when we look at specialties such as oncology, organ transplant, cardiac surgery, orthopaedics, neurology, paediatrics, robotic surgery and mental health, where there is disproportionate shortage of clinicians. We are always looking for people who are not only highly qualified but are also caring, compassionate and courageous. Any successful company needs industry-leading expertise as well as youth with an energy that attracts workers whose energy matches their own.
It’s often said that leaders these days must operate in an environment of extreme volatility. Do you agree? How does that affect the way you lead?
I agree – very strongly. We are all aware that It is essential to adapt quickly, thrive and emerge stronger. The core idea behind adapting and innovating as per changing dynamics is to bring about advanced and more efficient ways of accomplishing a task or solving problems. Volatility or innovation is never restricted to one department, function, hospital, region but the entire network. It is also driven by new ways of thinking and thus cannot be restricted to technological advancements alone. Innovation is always at work within Fortis, be it in the areas of surgical interventions, Medical Technology, Research, Information Technology, Patient Care, Learning and Development or areas that touch upon aspects such as Social Responsibility, among others.
A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. What is your prime focus for retaining customers and acquiring new ones?
Ten years ago, when you thought about hospitals, healthcare and doctors, statistics show that if a patient had to select a hospital, he had to look predominantly for one, which had a particular doctor! It wasn’t like I am going to Fortis. Today data tells us that there is a shift in that, half of our patients come to Fortis because of the credibility Fortis as a brand enjoys. They have an expectation that here is a brand which will take good care of the patient, the nurses will be good and I will be in safe hands; so, it is a huge shift. We are also fortunate that we have some of the best doctors in the world working at Fortis.
Do you have a formal mechanism for making sure you stay in touch with employees and customers on the organization’s front line?
We have our monthly in-house magazine, The Fortisian, which captures the spirit of the organisation including new happenings in the clinical, non- clinical, administrative and support area. I share my personal message with the employees through this medium. The Fortisian, features glimpses of the innovation and achievements at work within Fortis, be it in the areas of surgical interventions, medical technology, research, IT, patient care and Social Responsibility, among others.
Please describe your corporate experience and the journey . What was your first paying job?
For me moving to India after 20 plus years of experience in the US retail sector was a significant move. My long stint with large customer facing businesses taught me many valuable lessons on what people need, understanding the consumer’s mind and how to be customer-centric in every small way that we can. Coming back to Fortis in 2015 was a very important decision for me. Over time, I have realized that my learnings from my past experiences have served me well in healthcare.
What is the best business advice you’ve ever heard?
I say this often and this time is no different. As a child, my mother gave me this tip and I would pass this on to the youth of today – “Stop chasing success. Work hard and success will chase you.” You do not achieve success just by dreaming of it or hoping for it. There are no short cuts. It is a combination of hard work, belief in your abilities and instinctive strategy, which needs to be developed and nurtured.
What are the values you espouse in, as a Leader?
Today, any company is a key player in cultivating leaders for local as well as global markets. We need to be universal and global in our thinking and mindset. Globalization is providing a great amount of opportunity for Indian leaders in improving and establishing themselves. However, it is important that organizations develop global leadership capabilities. Mere experience is not sufficient for the development of an accurate global mind-set. Leaders in India also need to understand the factors that shape the larger interactions in their businesses, by undertaking a measured examination of cross-cultural differences and their effects.
What strategies do you use in terms of planning your personal career progression?
I talk to young people very often about there careers and the single biggest message talks of working hard, always learning and focusing on an outcome based approach to leadership. Over my career, I have always tried to put learning and growing ahead of compensation and titles. I am sometimes confused when people talk of salary before learning and understanding their roles. So, my ground rules around my career are simple – work hard, stay humble (always learning), work well with the people around you and you will have no choice but to be successful!