Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Managing a big bet: Dr. Ashwin Naik of Vaatsalya shares his experience

In the innovation leadership workshop I facilitated last month, we had a panel discussion on “Managing big bets”. During this discussion we got an opportunity to listen to Dr. Ashwin Naik, CEO, Vaatsalya, Dr. Ishwar Parulkar, Chief Systems Architect, Cisco and Jayesh Badani, CEO, Ideaken. Here is a summary of our discussion with Ashwin. I will summarize the other two discussions over the next few weeks.

Dr. Ashwin Naik (second from the left in the photo) is the Co-Founder and CEO of Vaatsalya, India’s largest hospital network catering to tier-II and tier-III towns. Started in 2005, Vaatsalya hospitals today are in 17 towns in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He shared his experience from starting of the itch to scaling the business and his guiding philosophy in working through the challenges.

You can find the interview here.

The questions that got discussed were:

1. Where did the itch begin?

2. Did you see it as a big bet right from the beginning?

3. Did you visualize that you will be in 50 towns?

4. What happened in the early phase – say in the first six months or a year?

5. Did the image of who your customer is undergo any change? If so, what change?

6. What kinds of attributes do you use today to define your customer?

7. Why do you need to segment market in healthcare? Like you said, why can’t anybody be your customer?

8. What would be a couple of turning points in this journey?

9. How did you get local practitioners to join you in a place like Hubli?

10. What are your fears?

11. Vaatsalya has innovated on the business model. But once the business model is established, does Vaatsalya have to innovate?

12. How about innovation from the customer experience dimension – from the time customer enters to when he leaves after treatment?

13. Do you ever feel like quitting? How do you handle it?

14. What are your insights on building champions in the organization?

15. Suppose an idea comes from a housekeeper. How do you ensure it is not getting killed?

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