Gunjan Verma Rakhra | Head Of Rosewalk Healthcare
Gunjan Verma Rakhra (Head Of Rosewalk Healthcare at Rainbow Children's Hospitals) is reimagining the joy of birthing. And fast turning into an Idea Icon - not just for mothers, but all of us.
When the world is busy fighting COVID-19, it takes a very special blend of vision and courage to look beyond. That is exactly what Gunjan Verma Rakhra (DGM operations at Rosewalk hospital under Rainbow hospitals) and her team has been focused on for quite a while now. Convinced that non-Covid facilities are the ‘hidden’ need of the hour, Gunjan has been pioneering a new benchmark there - specifically, for the ‘motherhood experience’. If mothers lie at the centre of every individual’s universe, then Gunjan is on a mission to place every mother in the centre of hers.
Hailing from the Steel City of Bokaro, Gunjan completed her schooling from St Xaviers’ and did her graduation in Economics (Hons) from Delhi University before earning her stripes in healthcare management from IISWBM Kolkata. Her father’s health condition brought her closer to the hospital industry and she found herself wanting to be associated with Escorts Heart Institute (now Fortis Escorts). As luck would have it, her first job was at Escorts Heart institute in Delhi.
Today, after 18 years of hands-on experience in large, hospital chains (including Fortis Healthcare, Max healthcare and Rainbow hospitals) where she has led a diverse role portfolio comprising strategy, administration, operations, team-building and P&L, Gunjan is an active voice in the healthcare space.
She captures her success saga succinctly, “My vision is to be successful in whatever I do - be it as a full time mother or a housekeeper or a professional. Success was never weighed in terms of money : Rather, it was a function of how much I learnt, explored and grew. I wake up every morning, looking forward to a hot cup of tea and a day full of new hope and knowledge.”
THE U TURN
“Come to think of it, my fathers’ health was the big turning point in my life - one that actually got me involved with the hospital industry. I had never thought of becoming a doctor per se, because the subjects I had pursued in college were different. But gradually, the vision of playing a different role in the sector started to take shape in my mind. The realization deepened that I could make a difference to lives in my own, unique way.”
Today, by bringing back the luxurious, divine feeling that birthing can truly be for a mother, Gunjan and her army of dedicated soldiers at Rosewalk is doing precisely that. By dovetailing technology, innovation and a selfless spirit of service, they are converting the experience into a dream-walk on a bed of roses for every mother. Intervenes Gunjan, “The proof of the pudding is always in the eating. So when our patrons gush about the Rosewalk experience with their friends and networks, we take it as the highest form of compliment and endorsement. And validation of our conviction of designing a truly unique, mom-first experience, instead of pumping money into hardsell and marketing.”
Great ideas must rise above the challenges that inevitably emerge along the way. Gunjan’s team has faced resistance from multiple areas and spaces in the industry that have not warmed up to the concept for one reason or another. Not just that. Sharply rising costs and expenses remain an issue, and creating a world class motherhood experience affordable for all becomes highly challenging as a result. Led by Gunjan, however, the team stands by its belief like a rock, braving the odds. And their patience is paying off. “We are witnessing gradual growth which is heartening, and it is allowing us to scale up operations in carefully strategized stages”, says Gunjan with a smile.
Disrupting the status-quo and re-engineering market behavior, which is certainly one way of defining what Gunjan and her motherhood initiative at Rosewalk is trying to achieve, is never easy. She and her team has had to face their fair share of adversity as well. She elaborates, “You see, I am working for a start-up hospital whose brand is making its mark and creating its unique niche in Delhi, which is one of the most competitive markets in India. COVID-19 has further stacked the odds against us. But I want to take the opposite view. I believe that the COVID crisis has actually turned out to be a boon for us. Both from a business and brand perspective, where we are amongst the few to follow our vision and break the clutter by addressing non-COVID priorities. And also from the team character point of view, by really testing our resilience, patience and grit.”
As someone who relishes picking up new ideas along the way, Gunjan is thoroughly relishing the intellectual and emotional growth that each day is bringing. So what has been some of the biggest ‘takeaways’ from her experience? Gunjan shares her wisdom spontaneously, “Always keep finding solutions and solve the existing pain points. Our jobs demand our attachment, but when we become too emotionally attached to them, we do not remain professional. A true professional must be passionate about work ethics, but not emotional. Learn to support every decision with sound logic and reasoning. My learnings have been to gain knowledge and pass on the information gained to the team. I try to align my personal goals with the organisation’s objectives. Every new day, and every new person, will bring precious learnings - if you want to grow, accept them with open arms. My advice is to keep learning - and if need be, don’t shy away from taking professional help. One more thing. Always remember to be grateful to those who support you through thick and thin. In my case, it is my daughter and my husband who is the backbone of my work life balance and my mother who educates me at the home-front with her little, invaluable tips.”
Gunjan is bold crusader who is letting her idea - that of a whole new birthing experience for mothers - sparkle brighter everyday with sheer dedication. The mark she is leaving behind gets a little brighter with every passing day. When asked how she would like to be remembered by oncoming generations, Gunjan captures ‘posterity’ with characteristic clarity and brevity, “As someone who innovated relentlessly - not only to engineer better outcomes, but to make a humble contribution in elevating India’s healthcare standards at par with that of the world.”
MESSAGE FOR VOH READERS
Any message to readers through the Voice of Healthcare (VOH) platform? Gunjan signs off warmly, “As leaders we should never let go of our professional ethics and moorings of values. The need of the hour is to have a strong technological back up to assist the medical fraternity and safeguard medico legal. It is time we turned our collective focus on healthcare in rural India, and built a stronger and more accessible infrastructure ecosystem for it.”
Edited by VOH Team
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