Business Today

"Bet Big on Technology to Make Quality Healthcare More Accessible"

Meena Ganesh, MD and CEO, Portea Medical
twitter-logoPB Jayakumar | Print Edition: April 5, 2020
Meena Ganesh, MD and CEO, Portea Medical - Photograph by Reuben Singh

Q. What was the problem you were grappling with?

A. When faced with handling out-of-hospital care for my father, we came across a complete lack of institutional solutions for taking care of elderly chronic patients. While the potential opportunity was very clear, creating an entirely new category or sector was daunting. Some challenges that we were trying to find answers to revolved around creating a new segment of healthcare market from scratch, convincing customers to trust and adopt, and attracting employees to the nascent market. Other areas we needed clarity on included scaling up such a venture using technology and ensuring quality of services at scale.

Q. Who did you approach and why?

A. We approached Nandan Nilekani, whom I have known for over 25 years now. He is a very strategy-minded professional with an astounding ability to build from scratch, as seen from his experience with Infosys and UIDAI.

Q. What was the advice?

A. We spent time with him discussing various aspects, once a quarter. His inputs not only changed how we thought about the venture but also gave us insights into what we needed to ensure in terms of service quality and the relationship with stakeholders and the medical community. He advised on use of technology and we decided to bet big on it to make quality healthcare more accessible.

Q. How effective was it in resolving the problem?

A. The quality of the advice and the need for out-of-hospital healthcare is evident from the growth we have experienced. Since our inception in 2013, we have completed more than 3.5 million patient visits across 16 cities in India. We work with more than 70 leading hospital partners and 15 pharma majors, and leading insurers. We manage about 150,000+ patient visits each month.

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