15th Anniversary musings: Grooming ‘Gen Next’

January 2015 marks 15 years since the launch of this publication, initially as Express Healthcare Management, a fortnightly and then rebranded as the monthly Express Healthcare in 2004

201501ehm02January 2015 marks 15 years since the launch of this publication, initially as Express Healthcare Management, a fortnightly and then rebranded as the monthly Express Healthcare in 2004.

These 15 years have been nothing short of transformational in the healthcare sector in India. But then evolution is a continuous process. Changes in technology, regulations, social-economic-demographic shifts in patient and disease profiles, are disrupting the healthcare delivery narrative in India and globally. Healthcare leaders will have to reinvent themselves to stay relevant a decade down the line and that is why many corporates are actively engaged in grooming the next generation of leaders who will take their vision further.

Nowhere is this trend more apparent than within the country’s leading corporate hospital chains. With many founder-promoters still at the helm, the transition to the ‘Gen Next’ is being planned down to the last detail, keeping in mind the projected demands of the role as well as individual aptitudes of the heirs-apparent. A good example is the Apollo Group, arguably the country’s oldest corporate hospital chain. Patriarch founder Dr Prathap Reddy, formalised the succession plan in July and as our cover story in the October issue analysed, this transition was years in the making. His daughters – Dr Preetha Reddy, Suneeta Reddy, Shobhana Kamineni and Sangita Reddy – had stincts in various functions almost since the start of the venture, and grew into their current roles after decades of hard work.

Our cover story in this Anniversary issue (Gen Next: Leaders in the making; pages 28-35) continues to spotlight this transition, this time choosing to focus on the grooming of two next gen leaders who are at a relatively early stage in their journey. They bring fresh ideas as well as diverse skill sets, adding to the medical expertise of their father’s legacy. As the eldest son of Dr Devi Shetty, founder of Narayana Healthcare (NH), Viren’s civil engineering degree followed by an MBA from Stanford more than qualify him to add heft to the strategy and planning function. Waiting in the wings are his three siblings, brothers Varun and Anish, both doctors in the making and sister Ameya, who is completing her graduation.

Alisha Moopen, eldest daughter of Aster DM Healthcare’s founder Dr Azad Moopen, is our second example of ‘Gen Next’ in this issue. She spent six years at EY, qualified as a chartered accountant, then turned enterpreneur by adding a boutique yoga studio, as well as a franchisee restaurant to her achievements before finally taking up a position on the strategy side at Aster. Her two younger sisters are currently not associated with the hospital chain and for now, she is the sole bearer of her father’s legacy. Living up to his standards and vision is her personal goal.

These are but two examples of this trend and we will be covering more ‘Gen Next’ leaders in forthcoming issues. The February issue will feature GNRC’s Dr NC Borah, a pioneer of speciality care in the North East, a much neglected region of the country. He too is grooming his children to manage various functions as GNRC expands operations.

Since Express Healthcare is Media Partner at the Health and Hospital Expo at Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 (January 8-13, 2015), we have a special story on the event theme: Accessible & Affordable Healthcare. The feature (The Gujarat Model: Is it the way forward?; pages 36-46) analyses how Gujarat is revving up to rectify its less than perfect progress on some key health indicators.

With news reports claiming that the government will be cutting instead of adding to the health budget for 2015-16, the role of private healthcare and insurance providers is set to assume even greater significance. The transition stories at NH, Aster DM Healthcare and other major players will be crucial not just for these corporates, but also for patients in India.

Viveka Roychowdhury


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