Managing new vistas & challenging opportunities in Healthcare

Dr. Neeraj Mehta – Healthcare Startup Enthusiast, Advisor, Observer.

After completing his Bachelor’s from the prestigious Maulana Azad Medical College, Dr. Neeraj Mehta worked in Lok Nayak Hospital in New Delhi, joined a renowned group practice in Delhi and managed it for 7 years. Thereafter he decided to switch and did his MBA from Indian School of Business with a dual major in Strategic Marketing and Leadership & Strategy. He completed his PGP from ISB, Hyderabad in 2008.

His eagerness to learn and explore new things led him to gain exposure to different sectors after accomplishing his MBA. He joined Grail Research, a part of Monitor Group, as a Project Manager. He had higher offers from the core Healthcare sector but he took the road less travelled, and joined Grail as he wanted to experience something different and also wanted to take learnings from other sectors.

He has been always looking for new vistas and challenging opportunities in Healthcare which keeps him interested, motivated and offers him a chance to learn, grow and contribute effectively.

He has led Projects in the Life Sciences and Finance domains for top clients in US, Europe and the Middle East at Monitor. He got the first client into India’s first FTWZ; set up research wing for the integrated marketing team and also setup up Ops in Western region for International Oncology with its state of the art centre at Dr. L H Hiranandani Hospital, amongst others.

His interests include Integrated Marketing, Building and Leading teams, Strategy, Healthcare Planning, Logistics, Free Trade Zones, Logistical Infrastructure, Healthcare and Logistics IT.

Dr. Mehta shares his experience & insights from his professional journey with ABT here.

Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
A multitude of people influence you right from your childhood. So to name just one would be belittling yourself and those that have contributed in making you. In bits and parts you have to imbibe values and traits and become your own true unique self. I think I have reached that stage so currently there is no inspirational figure in my life.

What is your view on the changing landscape of healthcare in India?
Over the last 25 years or so particularly in the last decade, Healthcare truly has transformed itself in India in terms of availability of services and treatments with the private sector playing a huge role. The penetration of insurance which is the highest growing vertical in the insurance industry has seen the middle and higher classes getting the services many notches higher than they used to get in the purely government setting.

However, the poor have continued to suffer on two counts. Firstly, the government spending on Healthcare remains meagre and secondly, whatever is spent does not have the desired impact due to poor execution and pilferages/corruption etc. Some state government schemes have been quite noteworthy, particularly the Arogyashree and Rajiv Gandhi scheme. The government should come up with such community insurance schemes to widen and broad base the insurance coverage, right to the very bottom and PPP models have been explored with some success stories. While technology is paying a key role in terms of newer treatments, devices and bridging the availability gap, Healthcare for all remains an elusive goal.

Key trends that we have witnessed over the last decade include, Telemedicine, a rapidly growing diagnostics space, robotics in medicine, genetics and stem cell research, Healthcare data and wearable monitoring devices, Home healthcare etc.

An integrated approach adopting multifarious technological disciplines is driving the move from evidence based to a truly personalized medicine.

How are Healthcare Startups contributing in strengthening sector?
Firstly they are democratizing the space by giving people more choices by making available information and services at the click of a button. They are improving access and availability and at the same time providing and analysing data for better research and outcomes.

In your opinion, what does the industry need to ensure to enhance Medical Tourism in India?
I think the industry should participate actively in the government initiatives like Swachh Bharat, which will improve the image of the country as a whole. Our expertise is well recognized now, but we need to work on factors which tarnish our image like corruption, cleanliness etc. which swing the balance towards other countries. PR campaigns highlighting success stories should be taken up.

Marketing has revolutionized all sectors & industry today. What are your views on marketing Healthcare Services?
As Healthcare becomes complex it is important for Healthcare marketing campaigns to focus on highlighting services and making the user understand Healthcare space and services better. On the other hand, it cannot be as blatant as consumerist marketing. This in a way leads people to think about commercialization of healthcare and lack of confidence. Also frivolous claims about new services etc need to be monitored.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
I live by the day and doing my bit today and day by day. Results are a natural outcome of effort and intent so achievements should be well left to a higher karmic law. I like to keep my doors open to new knowledge and possibilities but having said that I would like to make some contribution to healthcare no matter how small, wherever I am.