We want to be the Partner-of-Choice for any Healthcare and Pharma Company in Conducting Clinical Trials

– Zoya Brar, Founder & Managing Director, CORE Diagnostics
ZoyaBrar, Founder & Managing Director, CORE Diagnostics
ZoyaBrar, Founder & Managing Director, CORE Diagnostics

A once-over at Indian Diagnostic Industry's disruptor

Surrounded by brilliant minds, Google offers a tantalizing opportunity to embark on the journey of creating something extraordinary that has the potential to transform the lives of millennials. It provides an environment conducive to hyper-growth learning, making it a dream workplace where individuals can push their limits and expand their knowledge.

But Zoya wanted more than her "safe" job at the prestigious company! Drawing a handsome perk and living it up, Zoya's professional voyage's square one was a breakthrough.

Immediately after graduating from college, Zoya secured a position at Google. However, despite initially envisioning a promising future within the company, she soon realized that her true passion lay elsewhere. Over time, her determination to pursue her passion only intensified.

The bedrock of her venture was nurtured by a long-term vision- to reshape the diagnostic industry while delivering constant betterment. She closely observed the pressing issues of the industry.

While diagnostics made up only 3% of total healthcare expenditure in India, it controlled 70% of the expense downstream and 100% of the outcome. This meant putting diagnostics centre-stage in healthcare delivery. There was a dire need to address the underserved high-end diagnostics market in India.

The inception of her vision can be traced back to a casual dinner table conversation with her parents. During this discussion, Zoya found herself coaching a family friend, and from there, events unfolded naturally. Although Zoya's decision to leave Google was deemed "unconventional" by those close to her, her determination remained unshaken.

She smoothened her way, refined her vision, and laid the foundation of CORE Diagnostics in 2012. Cherishing intense penetration across the Indian geography, it looks like the pioneer has been there for centuries.

The organization has established itself as the largest high-end pathology service provider in India. What has been the secret ingredient behind this diagnostic magnet's blooming endeavour?

The answer lies in the mind and enthusiasm of Zoya Brar. Since the first day, her entrepreneurial venture is reaping the rewards and has never faltered.

The unfailing growth and her bold move to revolutionize the diagnostic industry have enabled CORE Diagnostics to reach much greater pinnacles within the initial years of its operations.

We interviewed Zoya Brar, an inspirational entrepreneur and the founder of CORE Diagnostics to gain more insights over the journey of CORE Diagnostics.

What problem CORE Diagnostics is addressing by being a distinctive leader in the industry?

The central hypothesis of CORE Diagnostics is that high–end diagnostics is a "white space" in Self-Pay Healthcare markets. In other words, while the "delivery" of healthcare had caught up with the Western standards, diagnostics has lagged behind the developed markets by 10+ years.

Local, small labs (50,000 of them) could not afford to offer high-end diagnostics while the big leaders are focusing on volume. This, along with the lack of talent availability, had led to the "white space" in high-end diagnostics.

CORE has been painstakingly building the foundation not only for a company but also for an entirely new industry within healthcare. CORE offers a comprehensive menu of over 1,000 tests developed in-house and in collaboration with international partners.

Moreover, CORE is actively collaborating with multiple pharmaceutical partners to introduce the Indian genotype into their scope and incorporate it into the clinical trials of the drugs they are currently developing. This pioneering effort represents a global first in this field.

ZoyaBrar, Founder & Managing Director, CORE Diagnostics
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How did the company get to where it is today?

We have nourished CORE through Vision, Leadership, Capital, and of course a large, skilled, committed workforce. CORE stands as the largest and fastest growing company in the space. It offers the broadest test menu with over 1000 tests in oncology, infectious disease, and gynecology.

We are quickly entering urology, nephrology, and neurology diagnostics. We run a very extensive genetic counselling program for both patients and clinicians to benefit from.

We also do CMEs for clinicians to make them aware of the newest tech/diagnostics tests available in preventative medicine. We host cancer awareness talks in corporate offices and colleges as a part of CORE Social.

How do you describe your culture?

At CORE, our culture is anchored on transparency and a lack of hierarchy. We have built processes and structures that are the foundations for such a culture. First, let me start with the workspace design. All the walls in our building are made of glass.

And there are no individual offices. Instead, there are labs, conference rooms, brainstorming areas, training areas, and open workspaces at which everyone sits – CEO included.

As simple as it sounds, workplace design has a tremendous impact on work culture. In our case, it reinforces our commitment to transparency. The concept doesn't stop at mere symbolism.

This principle extends to our approach in discussions, where we prioritize both transparency of facts and transparency of intent. Also, the community work desk, while symbolic, helps reinforce a flat hierarchy. Anyone can reach out to anyone for any conversation – irrespective of his or her title and the role in the company.

Where do you want to company to be in 3 years?

CORE has established its brand as the clear innovation leader in Diagnostics. In three years, we want the same brand identity for CORE in 25 additional countries. Finally, we want to be a partner for any Healthcare & Pharma company in conducting clinical trials.

Our expansion is happening along many dimensions;

  • New territories – countries in South-East Asia, Middle East & Africa.

  • Partnerships – with Pharma companies, Govt. projects, etc.

  • Direct to Consumer – promoting preventative tests that consumers can order without prescription.

  • Adding additional tests to our menu by bringing up them in-house or through international partnerships.

What drives you to have this vision? Why are you passionate about this?

"My real driver is to build a work culture like no other in healthcare. Five years ago it seemed impossible. Today, large hospitals and labs visit CORE to benchmark culture and processes.

The destination of choice for high-end diagnostics is a natural corollary."

Founder's Periscope

Zoya Brar

Founder & Managing Director

Before succumbing to the entrepreneurship bug, Zoya worked at Google for two years, playing various roles in business development and customer outreach.

This was preceded by a stint in the education sector, where Zoya worked at WLC College in business development and HR roles. She also has considerable experience in the Not-for-Profit sector, working both as a hands-on individual contributor as well as in management and governance.

With a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, Zoya describes her learning of leadership as an osmotic process. She fine-tuned her leadership abilities through her involvement in diverse roles, including writing for the Youth Parliament, organizing street plays, assisting individuals with disabilities, and engaging in various initiatives during her school years.

Zoya has spoken at several prestigious events, including the Medtech Women conference in California, FICCI Heal in Delhi, and the VCCircle Conference in Bangalore. She has also been featured on several television shows, including Awaaz Entrepreneur on CNBC and The Big Idea on Zee News.

Zoya is an avid reader and likes prose and poetry. She writes an occasional blog and is currently authoring her first book – 'A work of fiction'.

ZoyaBrar, Founder & Managing Director, CORE Diagnostics
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