Aravindh Rajendran & aroundU: Accelerating the Delivery of Health Care in Chennai
Chennai, the gateway of South India, is located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. It is the biggest industrial and commercial center. Channi has developed in the 21st century, as a center for automobile factories and IT outsourcing. But due to the trash-filled drains and the building on lake beds in the rush to industrial boom and growth, the state has become susceptible to flooding.
On 1 December 2015, Chennai saw its worst rainfall in 100 years, the situation of the entire state was very pathetic. When the whole population of Chennai was facing the crisis, two buddies Arvindh and Arun, being victims their selves, were trying to arrange food and other essential necessities for people. That is when they observed that people were also in need of medicines as much as they were in need of food.
Even, when the floods eased off, they found it backbreaking to obtain prescribed medicines. People had to visit multiple pharmacies to make sure that they purchase the exact brand as said by a doctor and for people purchasing online took a minimum of 24 to 48 hours to get delivered.
The transformation of innovation begins with ideation, investment, and unique action. To resolve the unavailability of health products, Arvind inaugurated aroundU- a platform to source medicines from trusted and nearby pharmacies within 30 to 45 minutes in 2017. Its offerings include lab tests at home, paleo diet consultations and doctor consultations. aroundU also introduced a Mobile App and a Web Technology to buy medicines. Additionally, its express delivery service delivers your medicine within an hour.
The brain behind the brand Aravindh Rajendran always acts as if what he does makes a difference. He is an inventive thinker, adventurer, and go-getter. He has effective interpersonal and communication skills and power to take initiatives and finish it a time crunch.
Mr Arvind is from mechanical engineering and recently finished his MBA with marketing. He initiated his career in an IT Firm when he was 23 years old. Arvind is very passionate about diversifying the workplace and continuous growth to enhance efficiency. He believes that leadership quality is the key factor that determines the success or failure of an organization. As the head of a rapidly flourishing association, he is at the helm and performing well in making decision, day-to-day management, and execution of the company's forthcoming plans.
Recently Arvindh Rajendran was on the hot seat of The CEO Magazine, talks about his leadership journey and also scoops the insight of aroundU.
Here's the edited excerpt.
Kindly brief us about the chronicles of your challenges and major responsibilities in aroundU.
Before you become a leader, success is all about improvising yourself. After you become a leader, success is about boosting others.
It was strenuous to onboard pharmacy partners since most of them considered an online platform as a threat to their business. Things started changing exactly one year after we started off and from then on we have joined hands with multiple pharmacy partners who equally believe in our vision to be Human and care for others in this fast-paced digital era. We have touched the lives of more than 10,000 families in the past few months. Our primary concern lies in on-boarding trusted and authentic pharmacy partners into the platform and in ensuring enhancement in the service day after day. And, we make sure that every aspect of our business touches the lives of people positively in one or another way.
How efficient is your organization from the operational angle? Present an overview of entrenched connections in aroundU.
aroundU produces a result with the support of pharmacy partners across the city. Our team comprises proficient customer support that operates 24*7 to handle the customer queries. Right away, we have tied up with more than 120 pharmacies across the country to provide a timely solution and convenience to customers. We have gradually improved over time. We have established connections with a few diagnostic centers and Labs to collect blood samples at customers' doorstep and doctors to provide online consultation. Just a while ago we have also built the connection with a few diet experts to help customers in their diet and medication.
How do you motivate employees? Describe the factors that encourage creative thinking in your organization.
I strongly believe that if we win the hearts and minds of employees, then we are going to have better business success.
That's why we assure that every member takes equal responsibility in success and failures day in and day out, it is the most effective way to keep them motivated. One can be at his best when provided a boundary for the box, and that is how we encourage creative thinking in our organization.
How are you growing as a leader? And, how are you bringing leadership quality in your team?
According to me, leadership is all about creating a common platform for our sphere of influence and be something more than average. So, I ensure that I gain and also add value to every person within my region, which I believe will help me continue to grow as a leader. Leadership is not a position, but action that everyone is capable of maintaining given the right opportunity. As a part of our team's culture, we ensure that every member is given a fair chance to execute across verticals and can lead the team when it comes to their core zone.
One characteristic that you believe every leader should possess and one mistake you witness leaders make.
Leadership is creating a common ground for fellow mates to add value and grow together. But, it is possible only when leaders are open to ideas from their team. Leaders are equally talented to understand the importance of big data and data analytics but, I have witnessed that few leaders are missing them out.
Throughout your journey, who was your inspiration?
I am very inspired by Phill Knight after reading his book "The Shoe Dog". It kept my spirits on when I was going through a challenging phase of entrepreneurship.
When was the proudest moment of your career with aroundU?
I have one such instance, wherein one of our customers couldn't step out of his home, because he needed to take care of his grandmother back in the home but, he was not feeling well. We managed to source him medicines from one of our partner pharmacies, within 12 minutes of placing the order. We got a call in the 14th minute from the customer to express his gratitude, and he also sent a thanking message in WhatsApp. It was not just me but, my whole team was feeling proud to be a part of aroundU that moment.
Is every day the same in the life of a business leader?
In case of efforts yes every day in the same with 100% commitment, but when it comes challenges, every day starts with a different Enigma and hurdles.
Word to the Growing Business Leaders
Execution is more important than ideation. So dive in, and exert oneself to endure and improvise the offerings and then turn out well. Learning from failures is one of the best resources to gain insights into becoming a better leader. I would recommend referring books and articles with such insights from great leaders.