Women’s Day Special – Interview – Ms. Kanchan Naikawadi, Director and Founder, Indus Health

Tell us about journey as an entrepreneur. What got you to join your family business?

Ans: When I lost my father due to late detection of an advanced cancer, it struck us real hard that maybe we could have saved him if we got aware of it early. That huge blow in our personal lives impelled us to take a step further and create awareness in the society about this still less provoked concept of ‘Prevention’.

‘Prevention Is Better than Cure’ is something that we have all heard since our school days but seldom do we actually implement it. We lay the odds and we wait and watch – our health. It’s time to wake up to the concept of preventive healthcare. Keeping this in mind, Indus Health Plus was established in the year 2000 by me and a team of like-minded professionals to provide affordable, comprehensive and qualitative preventive health checkups and diagnostics for symptomatic Indians. We took help from a group of renowned doctors and medical practitioners to design such services that would emphasize on how prevention can definitely save lives.

This Woman’s day, whom would you like to thank for inspiring you?

Mr. Sadanand Bapat, an eminent entrepreneur, my uncle and friend, philosopher and mentor, has been an inspiration in my life and played an influential role in moulding my personality.

Have you been ever intimidated that you are a women boss

I was always brought up with a strong faith that the world doesn’t shrink, just because I am a woman. They always advised that you should initiate and work towards that with complete conviction, no matter what your gender is. When girls at the age of 14 used to be busy playing indoors, I have spent my childhood racing bikes and cars. That ‘You are a girl’ feeling was never inculcated. This came as a strong strength for me when I started Indus and had to meet my business peers and still continues to do so with most of them being men. There wasn’t a feeling of discomfort ever. I can walk and talk with full confidence and be myself in front of men. I work with the same conviction even today and give my best to bring operations at place and ensure smooth functioning across departments.

Your advice to aspiring woman entrepreneurs.

Woman entrepreneur should have immense passion towards their work. They should not be afraid of taking risks. Initially, it wasn’t easy for me, being a commerce graduate to move into healthcare industry, but because I was determined and was not afraid of venturing out, Indus was born and is successfully spreading the message of preventive healthcare to the masses.

Another factor that women entrepreneurs should possess is the desire for control. Women should have the ability to multitask as they need to manage office and home with their goal-oriented approach.

Many successful female business owners are provoked by the opportunity to be their own boss and run their own company, a prospect that would never occur if they had worked for someone else. So before establishing their own, they should have the hands-on experience of working and knowing all aspects of business.

How Pune has helped shaped you professionally and personally?

When we started our business, we thought that Pune suited our requirements completely. Being a diverse city like Mumbai, Pune has all the facilities that a metro or cosmopolitan city has to offer. Good infrastructure, hi-tech super-speciality hospitals, proximity to other tier II and III cities of Maharashtra, a good network of expert doctors, and a technological sound city. Keeping all these factors into consideration, we established Indus Health Plus in Model Colony, Pune. Right from here, our concept of prevention has reached out to almost 80 lakh people in almost 78 cities of India and UAE in a span of 16 years.

From the personal point of view, being from Mumbai, the charm of Pune’s easy-going life appealed to me the most. Here, you can live your life very relaxed unlike the fast-paced life that millions live in Mumbai. Pune also gives you that perfect work-life balance that you have longed for. You have world class education here, that means you can send your children in their teenage years to hostel or overseas for further education and not in boarding right after they are born! The recreational facilities such as malls, playgrounds, movie theatres, and plethora of travelling spots nearby Pune help you to unwind with your family. Moreover, Pune’s weather is also soothing and the green cover in few areas is very pleasing and a treat to the eyes.

Who is your inspiration?

Sadanand Bapat, an eminent entrepreneur, my friend, philosopher and mentor, has been an inspiration in my life and played an influential role in molding my personality

Tell us something about your personal life?

I was born in Mumbai in the year 1972. I did my schooling from Ooty and college from Mumbai University. Travelling and adventure sports are my passion. I am blessed with two lovely daughters. I my free time I help my daughters in studies, indulge myself in household activities and try to catch up with friends.

What would your suggestions be to ensure independent women in the country?

Though women today are very competitive and self-motivated, however there would be many faultfinders who will throw stones on your way. Learn to accept them and face them. Secondly, I always emphasize that women should also be financially independent. Money will keep you secured in the turbulent times and also will fund your dreams. Lastly, always believe in yourself, no matter what you do or what people say.

Love…

Riya

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