DRIVING BESPOKE HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY SERVICES AND HOME HEALTHCARE
“If you believe in your idea and have the courage to do it, don’t let anyone tell you that you can fail. Of course, there is a chance of failing, but if you are able to create something of value, it will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, which is unmatched.”
Dr. Sujata Malik.
The growth of the home healthcare and healthcare consultancy industry in India in the last few years has been phenomenal. The evolution has been ludicrously rapid due to the butterfly effect of the amplified investments and expenditure in motion from the private and the public sector. However, this industry is still in its infancy and has immense potential to grow exponentially.
Due to the increased investments in the healthcare sector, global investors have played quite an important role in pacing up the growth and making the health sector more organised. There is a growing need to increase accessibility and affordability of reliable healthcare.
Dr. Sujata Malik, CEO and Managing Director, Sunburst Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. has managed to build an organisation that aims to address many such problems that healthcare organisations face on a regular basis and have very little dependable help available for the same. These include, but are not limited to, service design, business development, practice management, process engineering, cost containment, pharmacy management, Quality and Accreditation and International business development.
It also aims at providing advice to consumers of healthcare, handholding them to access healthcare, based on insider information on best doctors, with an excellent record of accomplishment of outcomes and compliance to best practices. It will also ensure obtaining fair prices for healthcare services to clients registered with it.
ABOUT THE VISIONARY
Dr. Sujata Malik is a healthcare professional with rich experience as a clinician and a hospital and healthcare management person. An alumnus of Jabalpur Medical College, she started her career with the Army Medical Corps, as a Short Service Commission Officer. She finished Post-graduation from Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences and spent 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 in November 2017. The company has two divisions, a Healthcare Management Consulting division and a Home Healthcare division. So far, they have rendered Hospital 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. The industry and more,
Startup City: Where does your interest in entrepreneurship come from – how did you start?
Dr. Sujata: Working in various hospitals, I often felt that despite delivering whole-hearted effort, it was not possible to get to the desired results, because the writ of the promoter is what mattered. I felt that at some point I would like to step out there and deliver something I believe in.
Smaller hospitals in India have very little concept of Quality in Healthcare, while catering to the health needs of a very large segment of society. So there is a need to hand hold them to bring them up-to-speed with the knowledge and best practices being adopted by larger hospitals.
Home Healthcare also has been something of interest, since I felt that this mode of healthcare delivery could bring down healthcare costs and reduce the strain on already stretched resources.
Startup City: Give us insights into the major offerings of the company and how does the company support people with its offerings?
Dr. Sujata: So we have two offerings- a B-to-B offering, which are the Healthcare Management Consulting division, and a B to C offering which is Home Healthcare.
Under our Healthcare 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 these requirements and make sincere changes to their systems to align with these requirements.
We have also provided valuable insight about healthcare practices, to healthcare technology companies who are working on applications to facilitate healthcare delivery.
As for Home Healthcare, we started this division in July 2018. We offer end-to-end services, ranging from Patient Care Attendants, medical devices, Nursing Attendants and procedures, Doctor’s visits, Nutritionist, Clinical Psychologist, Pain Management, Palliative Care, Laboratory, and Pharmacy. We have so far serviced about 500 patients with approximately 10000 individual services provided, with a high level of patient and family satisfaction.
Startup City: What makes your company stand out in the market?
Dr. Sujata: My Company is a boutique company with qualified personnel. We deliver high-quality service and evidence-based care to our customers.
Our customer centricity and accessibility have won us the trust of our clientele.
Startup City: What do you think is the toughest problem for businesswomen?
Dr. Sujata: Raising funds, I think is a challenge as far as businesswomen is concerned. Otherwise, I think any entrepreneur who is starting out, male or female has to work hard to establish credibility and garner market share from existing players in the market.
Startup City: What is a day in your life like as an entrepreneur?
Dr. Sujata: I start out early, say around 6 am when I spend time replying to emails or at times simply doing some writing work, ex. drafting policies and procedures. Those 90 minutes is for doing work, which needs thinking and reflecting. Work at the office starts at 9 am, and then it is about attending to tactical issues. I always make 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 some exercise.
Startup City: Who are your clients? How do you keep your clients happy and satisfied?
Dr. Sujata: My clients are smaller hospitals and health tech companies, for the healthcare management consulting business. The clientele for home healthcare division is patients with chronic illnesses. Most often, it is the caregivers and families of these patients, who approach us and are the key stakeholders in the process of deciding the scope of our care and services.
We ensure an ongoing relationship with our clients, and there is a lot of discussion and interaction. We ensure they are partners in the process of providing care. Our compassion and availability for resolving any issues make us preferred partners over time.
Startup City: However, the statistics of women entrepreneurs in India are rising, is it difficult for women to start a business in India?
Dr. Sujata: I agree, we are conditioned to think in a certain manner and most people doubt if a woman would pursue business over her family. However, I have seen many women, even younger ones, work with passion, and establish businesses with social impact, which are quite profitable as well.
Startup City: After all this success and failure, what do you struggle with now?
Dr. Sujata: As of now, I am working on raising funding for my enterprise, so that I can have a full-fledged organisation and scale up the business. I am looking for a good technology partner to enable easy access to our services.
Startup City: How do you achieve a balance between your personal and professional life?
Dr. Sujata: I do that with ease. I manage my time extremely well and ensure a good balance between professional and family life. I love travelling with my husband and spending time with my three grandchildren.
Startup City: What have you learned about entrepreneurship in your journey?
Dr. Sujata: Entrepreneurship has taught me a lot. I have learnt that a start-up is a lonely journey in the beginning. There will be naysayers and many will doubt you, but you have to have a firm conviction and belief in your idea, to make it successful. Of course, you have to think with agility, to be able to take quick decisions and grab opportunities when you see them. Keeping overheads under control and multi-tasking are other skills which have worked well for me.
Sunburst Healthcare is only 18 months old, and is already 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 clients and are able to retain them and this for them, is the biggest award.
In the coming years, they intend to consolidate the Pune market, over the next six months, acquire a technology platform, and then plan to expand to tier two and three cities, though possibly, a franchise network.
“All entrepreneurs face challenges in their journey. Women entrepreneurs at my age, experience this a little more, but once people realise you know what you are doing, and are serious about it, your credibility in the market grows.”
Dr. Sujata Malik.