Through change one can make a difference on ground and touch people's lives.
In conversation with Seemant Jauhari - CEO, Apollo Research and Innovations (ARI), Apollo Hospitals
Q. Seemant's vision
My conversation with Seemant centred around how to implement innovations best for the greater benefit of society. He shared that he was constantly witnessing innovations in progress at the hospital, which could immensely contribute to business and society as a whole. As he witnessed this, he also felt pangs of impatience because even though opportunities were staring at him in the face, he could make no further progress till he could convince others as well. He felt convincing others was the toughest. For that one needs to remain committed. What Seemant did was different. Along with his team, he ran a couple of pilot tests, rigorously documented them thereby collecting evidence that the innovations worked and then showcased these results. This strategy worked. The senior leadership at Apollo Hospitals, declared 2015 as the year of innovation which resulted in a lot of support towards Seemant's team. Seemant also shared that it was important to keep the buzz going. They would record and publish results repeatedly and slowly the innovation would start gaining acceptance and people would join in. He felt that if an innovation projected a promising future, finances too would flow in automatically. However, it was critical to translate that kind of innovation into a creatively feasible business model to attract corporate financing and funding for it to become a reality.
Q. Innovation out of a pressure cooker
A.Seemant shared that he experienced a lot of resistance. At times enough to pull him down. But he had already decided that he would not quit till he made a difference to society. In his words 'I have to make a story for myself. I can't afford to be slow. I want to make a difference by enabling Apollo to have its own fund and invest that amount in innovations/start-ups.' He again came up with an out-of-the-box idea. His team placed a bunch of engineers for 48 hours in a hospital to generate ideas and come up with solutions that would benefit the hospital. It's like a pressure cooker that cooks really fast. This resulted in generation of many ideas, most of which could be immediately implemented. They now practice this method often with doctors, place them together, discuss, test, and challenge the innovations. As the results get published, they start implementing the innovations. It is fun and effective.
Q. Apollo's business model for innovation
A.Apollo's ARI has experimented with a cash and kind investment model. They invest a little in start-ups or innovations within the hospital, assist and support the innovator in seeking funds and acquire a certain amount of shares. Once the innovation is a success and the innovator or company makes a lot of money, Apollo's contribution is being rewarded through the higher value of shares. That's how Apollo ARI grows its fund by itself, supporting innovations and at some point of time they'll be able to invest a lot more by themselves in innovations. Trends within the healthcare which are of interest for Apollo ARI are retail healthcare (we need to be near the patient, specialty chains and clinics instead of multi-specialty as it's too expensive for the patient) and technology convergence (home health, and telemedicine).
Q. What he stands for
A.Seemant perceives change as adding value. He believes to create something out of nothing and contribute through horizontal leadership. He wants to stimulate innovation in healthcare. Once the commercials, technicalities and a roadmap are in place, the change will happen. 'I have the ambition of gratification. Create change and benefit people. Through change one can make a difference on ground and touch people's lives, which is gratification to me. Innovations discovered by Indian doctors and implemented in an Indian hospital. That's what I have in mind!'
May 2015