A mother, a doctor, a dreamer, an educator and a class apart entrepreneur; Dr Sunita Maheshwari is one of the very few ladies who dared to take up entrepreneurship in the medical sector. Although she calls herself an accidental entrepreneur her story is absolutely fascinating.
Sunita, like her husband Arjun, is a doctor. She did her MBBS from Hyderabad’s Osmania University then she did her post-graduation from AIIMS. She moved to US and studied Pediatric Cardiology from Yale University in Connecticut. Her husband has equally great qualification but the shocker came to the couple when they moved back to India and husband Arjun couldn’t find a job.
Sunita managed to find work as a cardiologist with Narayana Hrudayalaya but her husband was refused by almost every Bengaluru hospital and was told that he was overqualified for any role. For two years, his husband remain unemployed and it was a tremendous traumatic time for him. People told him he was simply wasting his time and that he should go back to US. All he did for those two years was look after their two children. He was a full-time father for his kids.
A ray of hope came in when he was briefly employed by Yale. He noticed that their hospital struggled to find radiologists which caused delay of reports for the patients. He offered Yale to be their night-shift radiologist but he would work from Bengaluru. This arrangement lasted for a year and Arjun was again unemployed. However, by this time the couple had understood many parts of the world had a very few radiologists and they can actually build a company to solve this problem.
So in 2002, the two physicians embarked on this unusual journey of becoming entrepreneurs and setting up a medical company from guest room in their home. They asked their nephew to set up a website for them and got a surprise contract soon enough. It was a service many hospitals needed and gradually their business grew and they started hiring people to their team.
Their efforts has resulted in reducing time of hospitals from three days to one hour which is a major relief for thousands of patients from all over the world. Hospitals are saving upto 20% of in-housing cost by outsourcing the facility.
It was very challenging and risky to put all our savings into something we had never tried before. In the worst case scenario we would have to go back to being doctors or else we will create something worldclass that India could be proud of – Sunita
Pediatric cardiologist Sunita’s passion to work for welfare of children is unmatched and extends even outside her office. Worried about the lack of open spaces and play areas for underprivileged children. Dr Sunita personally funds 50 playgrounds every year and get monkey bars, swings and slides installed in them. This motivates the children to go outside, play and stay active.
The couple were two people not made for entrepreneurship but eventually made it a huge success. In the initial days they were approached by one of India’s biggest IT companies which offered them a grand amount of one million dollars for acquisition which they refused. To say no to such a huge sum and hold on to their dreams of creating something worthwhile is highly motivational.
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