A once-over at Indian Diagnostic Industry's disruptor
"We want to be THE partner-of-choice for any Healthcare & Pharma company in conducting clinical trials." – ZoyaBrar, Founder & Managing Director, CORE Diagnostics
Enwrapped with genius minds, providing a taste of creating something wonderful that could change the lives of the millennials and fostering hyper growth learning opportunities, Google is a dream place to work at – an ecstasy to stretch one's capabilities and 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 breakthrough. She got hired by Google fresh out of college. Despite envisioning the picture of a polished future at Google, Zoya's dreams never felt home there and the pluck to give her passion the wings only grew stronger with time. The bedrock of her venture was nurtured by a long-term vision- to re-shape 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 center-stage in healthcare delivery. There was a dire need to address the underserved high-end diagnostics market in India.
The journey of her vision started from a casual conversation with her parents at the dinner table while trying to coach a family friend, and then, proverbially, one thing led to another. Zoya's withdrawal from Google was termed 'irrational' by her closed ones, but that didn't stop her. She smoothened her way, refined her vision and laid the foundation of CORE Diagnostics in 2012. Cherishing strong 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 providers in India. What has been the secret ingredient behind this diagnostic magnet's blooming endeavor? The answer lies in the mind and enthusiasm of ZoyaBrar. Since the first day, her entrepreneurial venture is reaping 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 ZoyaBrar, 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 lack of talent availability had led to the "white space" in high-end diagnostics.
CORE has been painstakingly building the foundation not only of a company but also of 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. Further, CORE is actively working with various Pharma partners to bring the Indian genotype on their radar, and in the clinical trials for the drugs, they are developing. This is a first – globally.
How did the company get to where it is today?
We have nourished CORE through Vision, Leadership, and Capital, and of course a large, skilled, committed work-force. CORE stands as the largest, and the fastest growing company in the space that 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 counseling 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 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 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. It carries forth in our approach to discussions – with full transparency of fact and full transparency of intent. Also, the community work desk, while symbolic, helps reinforces 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 THE partner-of-choice for any Healthcare&Pharma company in conducting clinical trials.
Our expansion is happening along many dimensions;
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 & Managing Director
Before succumbing to the entrepreneurship bug, Zoya has 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. A bachelor's degree holder in Sociology from Lady Sriram College, Delhi University, Zoya, in her own words learned about leadership through osmosis and honed her leadership skills in various roles while writing for the Youth Parliament, organizing street plays, helping people with disabilities and several such initiatives while in school. Zoya has spoken at a number of prestigious events including the Medtech Women conference in California, FICCI Heal at Delhi and VCCircle Conference at Bangalore. She has also been featured on a number of 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.