DRIVING BESPOKE HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY SERVICES AND HOME HEALTHCARE
"If you believe inyour idea and have the courage to do it, don't let anyone tell you that you canfail. Of course, there is a chance of failing, but if you are able to createsomething of value, it will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, whichis unmatched."
Dr. Sujata Malik.
The growth of the home healthcare and healthcareconsultancy industry in India in the last few years has been phenomenal. The evolutionhas been ludicrously rapid due to the butterfly effect of the amplifiedinvestments and expenditure in motion from the private and the public sector. However,this industry is still in its infancy and has immense potential to growexponentially.
Due to the increased investments in the healthcaresector, global investors have played quite an important role in pacing up thegrowth and making the health sector more organised. There is a growing need to increaseaccessibility and affordability of reliable healthcare.
Dr. Sujata Malik, CEO and Managing Director,Sunburst Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. has managed to build an organisation that aims toaddress many such problems that healthcare organisations face on a regularbasis and have very little dependable help available for the same. Theseinclude, but are not limited to, service design, business development, practicemanagement, process engineering, cost containment, pharmacy management, Qualityand Accreditation and International business development.
It also aims at providing advice to consumers ofhealthcare, handholding them to access healthcare, based on insider informationon best doctors, with an excellent record of accomplishment of outcomes andcompliance to best practices. It will also ensure obtaining fair prices forhealthcare services to clients registered with it.
ABOUT THE VISIONARY
Dr. Sujata Malikis a healthcare professional with rich experience as a clinician and a hospitaland healthcare management person. An alumnus of Jabalpur Medical College, shestarted her career with the Army Medical Corps, as a Short Service Commission Officer.She finished Post-graduation from Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences andspent the next 16 years as Medical Director of large, multi-speciality,tertiary care hospitals, like Ruby Hall Clinic Pune, Jehangir Hospital Pune,and Sakra World Hospital Bangalore.
Sunburst Healthcare Pvt Ltd came into being inNovember 2017. The company has two divisions, a Healthcare ManagementConsulting division and a Home Healthcare division. So far, they have renderedHospital Consulting services to six hospitals and some IT companies.
In a conversation with Startup City Magazine, Dr.Sujata talks about her venture, business plans, ethos, work culture. Theindustry and more,
Startup City: Where does your interest inentrepreneurship come from – how did you start?
Dr. Sujata: Working invarious hospitals, I often felt that despite delivering whole-hearted effort,it was not possible to get to the desired results, because the writ of thepromoter is what mattered. I felt that at some point I would like to step outthere and deliver something I believe in.
Smaller hospitalsin India have very little concept of Quality in Healthcare, while catering tothe health needs of a very large segment of society. So there is a need to handhold them to bring them up-to-speed with the knowledge and best practices beingadopted by larger hospitals.
Home Healthcare alsohas been something of interest, since I felt that this mode of healthcaredelivery could bring down healthcare costs and reduce the strain on alreadystretched resources.
Startup City: Give us insights into themajor offerings of the company and how does the company support people with itsofferings?
Dr. Sujata: So we have twoofferings- a B-to-B offering, which are the Healthcare Management Consultingdivision, and a B to C offering which is Home Healthcare.
Under ourHealthcare Management Consulting division, we have hand-held small hospitals,to adopt and internalise Quality Management Systems, and achieve accreditation.It is indeed satisfying to see 20-50 bedded hospitals being sensitised to theserequirements and make sincere changes to their systems to align with theserequirements.
We have alsoprovided valuable insight about healthcare practices, to healthcare technologycompanies who are working on applications to facilitate healthcare delivery.
As for HomeHealthcare, we started this division in July 2018. We offer end-to-endservices, ranging from Patient Care Attendants, medical devices, NursingAttendants and procedures, Doctor's visits, Nutritionist, ClinicalPsychologist, Pain Management, Palliative Care, Laboratory, and Pharmacy. Wehave so far serviced about 500 patients with approximately 10000 individualservices provided, with a high level of patient and family satisfaction.
Startup City: What makes your company standout in the market?
Dr. Sujata: My Company is aboutique company with qualified personnel. We deliver high-quality service andevidence-based care to our customers.
Our customercentricity and accessibility have won us the trust of our clientele.
Startup City: What do you think is thetoughest problem for businesswomen?
Dr. Sujata: Raising funds, Ithink is a challenge as far as businesswomen is concerned. Otherwise, I thinkany entrepreneur who is starting out, male or female has to work hard toestablish credibility and garner market share from existing players in themarket.
Startup City: What is a day in your lifelike as an entrepreneur?
Dr. Sujata: I start outearly, say around 6 am when I spend time replying to emails or at times simplydoing some writing work, ex. drafting policies and procedures. Those 90 minutesis for doing work, which needs thinking and reflecting. Work at the officestarts at 9 am, and then it is about attending to tactical issues. I alwaysmake it a point to spend time with my team and keep them motivated and focused.By 6:30 pm, I get home and ensure I spend time with my family and get someexercise.
Startup City: Who are your clients? How doyou keep your clients happy and satisfied?
Dr. Sujata: My clients aresmaller hospitals and health tech companies, for the healthcare managementconsulting business. The clientele for home healthcare division is patientswith chronic illnesses. Most often, it is the caregivers and families of thesepatients, who approach us and are the key stakeholders in the process ofdeciding the scope of our care and services.
We ensure anongoing relationship with our clients, and there is a lot of discussion andinteraction. We ensure they are partners in the process of providing care. Ourcompassion and availability for resolving any issues make us preferred partnersover time.
Startup City: However, the statistics ofwomen entrepreneurs in India are rising, is it difficult for women to start abusiness in India?
Dr. Sujata: I agree, we areconditioned to think in a certain manner and most people doubt if a woman wouldpursue business over her family. However, I have seen many women, even youngerones, work with passion, and establish businesses with social impact, which arequite profitable as well.
Startup City: After all this success andfailure, what do you struggle with now?
Dr. Sujata: As of now, I amworking on raising funding for my enterprise, so that I can have a full-fledgedorganisation and scale up the business. I am looking for a good technologypartner to enable easy access to our services.
Startup City: How do you achieve a balancebetween your personal and professional life?
Dr. Sujata: I do that withease. I manage my time extremely well and ensure a good balance betweenprofessional and family life. I love travelling with my husband and spendingtime with my three grandchildren.
Startup City: What have you learned about entrepreneurshipin your journey?
Dr. Sujata: Entrepreneurshiphas taught me a lot. I have learnt that a start-up is a lonely journey in thebeginning. There will be naysayers and many will doubt you, but you have tohave a firm conviction and belief in your idea, to make it successful. Ofcourse, you have to think with agility, to be able to take quick decisions andgrab opportunities when you see them. Keeping overheads under control andmulti-tasking are other skills which have worked well for me.
Sunburst Healthcare is only 18 months old, and isalready EBITDA-positive in a short span of time and is 100 percent debt-free.They also are able to ensure a high degree of satisfaction with their clientsand are able to retain them and this for them, is the biggest award.
In the coming years, they intend to consolidate thePune market, over the next six months, acquire a technology platform, and thenplan to expand to tier two and three cities, though possibly, a franchisenetwork.
"All entrepreneursface challenges in their journey. Women entrepreneurs at my age, experiencethis a little more, but once people realise you know what you are doing, andare serious about it, your credibility in the market grows."
Dr. Sujata Malik.