[Guest article by Satish Kini, committed health-care entrepreneur, Founder Director & Chief Mentor of 21st Century Health Management Solutions, a healthcare firm that provides low cost healthcare solutions. The author was honored with Indira Gandhi Priyadaeshini Award in Nov 2010 for his commitment and perseverance in making healthcare Patient Sensitive, Accessible, Available and Affordable through a holistic improvement in People, Processes & Technologies. In a 3 part series, Satish shares his journey of starting like any other IITian and dreaming to move up the corporate ladder, till the calling came.]
Most Indian companies in the IT services saw it as a hopeless business case to try and build HIS solutions for Indian Hospitals. I looked at things differently. Having seen how world class ERPs had been adapted for Indian use, I saw it as an opportunity. An Indian HIS incorporating best practices not only for India but for other English speaking parts of the world was a great India according to me. I also felt that that was the chance I was looking for – an opportunity to make a difference. I felt that perhaps that was the reason destiny had held me back in India.
Not being a software specialist, I turned to my old colleague from IDM, Mr. Ravi Mani who was running a 20 person software enterprise. He had a deep understanding of Hospitals management issues and
good experience of developing Hospital Systems. After working for 2-3 Hospitals over 5 years, he had concluded that it is not economically viable to do HIS as business.
I explained to Ravi my vision of transforming Indian Healthcare through a solution that encompassed People, Processes and Technology. I aimed for a world class HIS product – made in India, targeted at
not only India but also at rest of the world. We could cross-subsidize charitable Indian Hospitals with earnings from the Middle Eastern Hospitals. He that thought I was crazy. To do this effectively, we had to stop all local software projects. He panicked! I proposed that we get capital by working on small overseas IT projects. We could get them through references of our friends in US and UK. I assuaged his fears by adding that if things did not work out, we could always go back to what we were doing earlier. He was 38 and I was 48, yet I was more eager. I must have been talking excitedly like that mad guy on Dadar Bridge and he agreed. We merged our two companies in 2001 to form Novella HMS.
During my first meeting with his team software specialists, I presented them with our vision and the fact that we are planning to focus only on Hospitals. I told them that we aimed to sign up and complete 10 Hospitals projects in the first year with our current HIS product. This caused a pin drop silence. Their eyes told me that they thought that I was crazy. However, in 2002-03, we did implement our product in 10 Hospitals. By 2004-5 we had 35 Hospitals using Novella HMS. All of them were going gaga about our approach which included BPR, our methodology and our HMS. The clients especially praised the commitment, competence and empowerment of our employees. Between 2002 and 2004, I met others who were also very passionate about Healthcare transformation and were running their own small software shops. Some of them specialized in LIS and Imaging /PACS – some of the pieces I was looking for in order to solve my jigsaw puzzle.
On the Republic Day in 2005, we had an excited gathering of promoters and key personnel of the three companies. I presented to them the idea of a unified Health Solutions company which would empower us to fulfill our dreams to a greater extent. Everybody thought it was all crazy but passion won. They agreed that we have to be a bit crazy to attempt overcoming the huge healthcare challenges. We created, 21st Century Health Management Solutions Pvt. Ltd. in May 2005, and adopted Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s Vision of “ Healthcare for All by 2020”. We drew inspiration from following thoughts: “Find Cause, Means Follow “- Mahatma Gandhi
“There is nothing impossible that a small group of people cannot achieve, In fact, that is the only way to achieve the impossible “- Margaret Mead
Today, after 5 years, 21CHMS and its 150+ Centurions are among the most respected for Healthcare Consulting and Healthcare Informatics solutions. Our services and solutions are helping the biggest and the best of Hospitals, Diagnostics Centers, Pathology Labs and Clinics. We make Healthcare Services Patient Sensitive, Accessible, Accountable and Affordable. We currently support over 400 sites in India,
Middle East and Africa. By the end of year we expect a big breakthrough in Europe.
However, we have miles to go before we can achieve our goal of “Healthcare for All by 2020”!
What’s your journey?