Business Today

A Promoter First

Meena Ganesh has many business interests but being promoter is the one she cares about most
twitter-logo Goutam Das   New Delhi     Print Edition: October 6, 2019
A Promoter First
Meena Ganesh, MD and CEO, Portea Medical \ Photograph by Reuben Singh

Meena Ganesh wears many hats. She is the CEO and Managing Director of Portea Medical, a company that provides non-hospital healthcare services. At least, that's the most visible of her roles. However, she also holds a number of board positions - at Pfizer, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care, ManipalCigna Health Insurance, and at the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta.

She is also a promoter, a role that cements her position as one of the most powerful women in business today. She has co-promoted well known start-ups such as Big Basket (a unicorn now), Bluestone, HomeLane, and FreshMenu, among others.

Although Meena is a serial investor, she would rather be called a promoter. "The reason why we say we are not investors but promoters is that we have come up with the idea. In some cases, I am also the operating person. In all other cases, we have got a team of people who are co-promoters or co-founders," she says.

Portea, meanwhile, has scaled to 4,000 employees and is present in 16 cities. The firm, which started in 2013, is re-defining home healthcare with services such as chronic disease management, post-operative care, and elderly care. The company, Meena says, is growing at over 50 per cent a year.

She is now busy convincing insurers to design insurance products for outside of hospital care - a challenge she wants to crack. While most insurers agree in theory, they are reluctant to draft a product just yet.

"A patient's needs don't end with the hospital. In many cases, if you do the outside of hospital care better, the hospital spend is much lesser. Post-operative care, if managed well, reduces re-admission rates significantly. If you manage chronic diseases well, the need for surgery and hospitalisation goes down," Meena says.

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