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HomeWOMEN INTERVIEWSDr. Sayantani Bhattacharjee - Redefining Healthcare at the Last Mile

Dr. Sayantani Bhattacharjee – Redefining Healthcare at the Last Mile

Dr. Sayantani Bhattacharjee is a Founder and CEO at Better Life – Healthcare at the Last Mile. She holds a degree in Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Healthcare Management from Apollo Institute of Hospital Administration. Since the inception of the company in the year 2021, Dr. Sayantani has been pursuing her dream project, where she was working on improving the healthcare infrastructure with innovative solutions. 

Everyone deserves a better life. Improved healthcare facilities in the country will contribute mainly to prevention methods such as disease impact, nutrition deficiency, weaker immune systems, and viral infections. Dr. Sayantani is an experienced healthcare professional jointly working with top hospitals and healthcare institutes. She paved a path to create a sustainable healthcare system for a better future. 

Give us a bit of background about yourself and your company.

During the pandemic, the urban healthcare infrastructure received more attention from various organizations and NGOs, but rural counterparts suffered due to the unavailability of the necessary facilities. 

Covid scares were not the only crisis that led to jeopardizing in the rural area; the absence of professional doctors, paramedical personnel, and dispensaries let the delay in the treatments of the patients. Moreover, pregnant mothers and children were also suffering due to the lack of infrastructure in the rural area during the pandemic.

Also, the lockdown restricted travel to the cities for treatments. Due to this, many lost their lives. They could not arrange for the vehicle to reach the hospitals in time.

Dr. Sayantani Bhattacharjee, a gynecologist based in Guwahati, has been gone through such a painful condition which inspired her to give up her lucrative urban career and start a healthcare organization in rural Assam that would provide affordable, accessible, convenient, sustainable, and quality-driven primary healthcare services to all till the last mile. 

The idea behind establishing the urban concept of “Polyclinic – all services under one roof” in rural regions is to provide immediate treatment to the patients so they do not have to depend on logistics to get primary healthcare treatments. 

Dr. Sayantani Bhattacharjee is creating an ecosystem of healthcare matching the urban concept; hence everyone can access better healthcare.

It is where the Better Life – Healthcare at the Last Mile” was born – A non-profit, primary healthcare organization. We operate through our medical centers consisting of a multi-specialty family clinic, diagnostic center, daycare, and pharmacy. 

Founder’s Bio:-

Dr. Sayantani Bhattacharjee is a seasoned healthcare professional with over two decades of rich cross-functional experience across several organizations in the healthcare domain. She has worked in leadership roles in some of the elite hospitals in West Bengal and Assam. 

While working at the grass root level in the remote areas of Sundarbans to leading corporate hospitals and Pharma MNCs, she has experienced the big difference in healthcare facilities between Urban and Rural areas. 

Besides MBBS and a postgraduate degree in Obstetrics and gynecology from Calcutta University, Dr. Sayantani also possesses an MBA in Healthcare Management from AIHA, Hyderabad, and a fellowship in Adult & Child Psychology from NHCA, Singapore.

With her passion and a keen interest in developing last-mile health and technology-enabled healthcare solutions, she strives unconditionally to bring quality-driven, affordable, and accessible healthcare to people in the far-reaching areas of the North East. She nurtured the dream of having similar footprints of good healthcare across India.

Where does your interest in entrepreneurship come from – how did you start?

I always have been inclined toward a leadership role where I could shoulder the responsibility of running an organization rather than just being a doctor. My passion for leading the firm grew when I became an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship is about taking the road less traveled. It’s about carving a space for yourself by doing something you are passionate about, and Yes! On your own terms.

Entrepreneurship opened a window to the world that I always wanted to create. It has helped me challenge myself and bring out the best in me.

As a doctor, healthcare is my forte. But rural healthcare is where more support is needed. And every need creates an opportunity for an entrepreneur. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the rural region.

The Problem Statement that I wanted to address:

1) To provide affordable, accessible, convenient, sustainable, and quality-driven primary healthcare services to all at the last mile

2) To establish the urban concept of “Polyclinic – all services under one roof” in rural areas

3) Why does rural healthcare always have to be in the form of NGOs or charity foundations? It can be for-profit and self-sustainable too!

Vision: To provide affordable, accessible, convenient, sustainable, and quality-driven primary healthcare services to all at the last mile

Mission: Establish a chain of multi-facility, technology-enabled primary health care clinics committed to delivering affordable preventive and curative services to all in the last mile.

Goal: To establish quality standards in rural healthcare and replicate the urban concept of “Polyclinic – comprehensive OPD-based services under one roof” in rural areas.

Give us insights into the major offerings of the company. And, how does the company support people with its offerings? 

  • Facilities available :-

FREE DOCTOR CONSULTATION | SPECIALIST CARE | PATHOLOGY | ULTRASOUND | ECG | HEALTH CHECKS | PHARMACY | NEBULIZATION | INJECTION SERVICES | OXYGEN | TREATMENT ROOM | VACCINATION | DIETITIAN| EYE CLINIC |PHYSIOTHERAPY | IUD INSERTION | FAMILY PLANNNG & CONTRACEPTION SERVICES | DIABETES & HYPERTENSION MANAGEMENT | ANTENATAL CHECK UP | LABOR ROOM |AMBULANCE SERVICES | 24 X 7 EMERGENCY CARE| HOME HEALTH CARE| OPTICAL SHOP

Pioneers in:- At Better Life, we are driven by service par excellence, and we take pride in being able to establish many things that are first of their kind in this entire region. The inspiration remains the same – raising the standards of rural healthcare to correspond to its urban counterpart. 

Some of the “First Ever” are as follows:-

  • 1ST Woman’s Health Camp held
  • Fetal Anomaly Scan – a special scan to identify any congenital defects in a baby inside the mother’s womb – the first ever in Udalguri
  • Women’s Health Package – inaugurated on International Women’s Day – first ever in Udalguri
  • Introduced INJECTABLE CONTRACEPTIVE – the first ever in Udalguri

 

  • Collaborated with FITBHIM – for children’s nutrition – first ever in Udalguri
  • Collaborated with NGO “Sadichsa” – empowering women to make masks
  • Inauguration of our OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR MACHINE—- the first ever in Udalguri

 

  • Introducing COVID IMMUNE CARE PACK to fight Corona
  • TROP I TEST – For heart attack patients – the first ever in Udalguri
  • PAP SMEAR TEST FOR CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING – the first ever in Udalguri
  • Typhoid Vaccination drive – the first ever in Udalguri

 

  • Introduced BL PRO +  –  our own brand of protein supplement powders, that aims to provide nutritional supplements to cater to nutritional disorders among people of all ages here, at an affordable cost.
  • Health packages for Men, Women, Kids and Diabetics – the first ever in Udalguri

 

  • Started FREE DIET CHARTS provided for chronic illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, kidney patients, etc
  • Recognized as DOTS CARE CENTRE for TUBERCULOSIS patients by the Govt of Assam – the first private healthcare organization to receive this ever in Udalguri

 

What makes your company stand out in the market?

Technological inclusion sets us apart and ahead of the rest. We have acquired the latest equipment to ensure faster and more accurate results for correct treatment. Technology also saves time and makes human resources more efficient and effective.

Money is often the decision-making factor for a rural customer when accessing healthcare services. We often saw that an ill patient would choose to suffer because he/she didn’t have money to pay the doctor’s fees. 

Understanding the ground reality inspired us to start free-of-cost doctor consultation facilities at Better Life. Here a patient can get unlimited free consultations for a year at an annual subscription cost of 100/- only. 

No healthcare institutes are offering free consultations except us. Introducing innovative solutions for the rural region has given us an edge over our competitors. Also, free consultation is the first of its kind in rural areas, making it our USP.

How do women feel in the male-dominated industry? 

In a male-dominated society, which is often the most prominent factor in rural areas, women often struggle to prove their worth. It’s a humongous battle against the societal mindset and patriarchal norms. 

I faced a lot of resistance in my initial days at Better Life. People could not relate to the fact that a woman founded this company. People would often come searching for ‘Sir’ to speak to and were quite taken aback when it was ‘Ma’am’ with whom they would have to communicate. 

There have also been a lot of male acquaintances who have been highly cooperative and encouraging, and it’s been a great learning experience with them so far.

What do you think is the toughest problem for businesswomen?

Women in business often have to fight multiple battles compared to their male companions. It’s a peculiar norm that women are almost always underestimated, given lower perks and benefits regarding financial inclusion, and sometimes undervalued for many things. A woman boss faces much more struggle than her male counterpart regarding subordination and teamwork. 

What’s a day in your life like as an entrepreneur? 

As an entrepreneur, I juggle between family, work, challenges, and achievements. Each day is different from the other. The mornings are usually dedicated to creative work at the office that involves brainstorming with the team, delegating work, planning for the month, and meeting new clients and acquaintances. The second half of the day is usually kept for administrative work. Amidst all this, there is also room to be squeezed in for clinical practice and travel.

Who are your clients? How do you keep your clients happy and satisfied? 

Every individual is my client because healthcare is a fundamental need and essential for all. Fortunately, suffering and pain don’t discriminate.

The most important part of having a happy client is paying undivided attention, being a patient listener, and providing required solutions through quality services.

How do you achieve a balance between your personal and professional life? 

Though work encompasses most of my time and life, there’s always room for pursuing things I love. I am an avid traveler & I love reading books. I often listen to music and cook to unwind. 

What have you learned about entrepreneurship in your journey?

To be an entrepreneur, you must be a good nurturer. Patience, knowledge, and strategy are your most potent weapons. Yes! The road is full of challenges and is often a roller coaster ride. The top view will be worth it if you enjoy the turbulent bumpy journey daily! 

Most of the answers to your questions lie within your customer. Read their mind carefully, understand their likes and dislikes, what they want and do not want – if carefully read, these things could become milestones of your business. So listen carefully!

List the awards and milestones won by the company.

  • ‘Champion of Cause’ at the MSME Honors (East) 2023
  • ‘Best Woman Entrepreneur’ at the Bengal Leadership Awards 2023
  • ‘Outstanding achievement in Health & Wellness’ at the North East Women’s Conclave 2023
  • 40 Under 40 Passionate Women leaders in Healthcare 2023
  • India Social Impact awards 2022
  • Influential Women Leaders in Business 2022
  • India’s 100 under 40 by Fox story India
  • The Real Superwoman Award 2022 by Forever Star India
  • Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 (Healthcare)

Dr.-Sayantani-Bhattacharjee---Redefining-Healthcare-at-the-Last-Mile

As a source of inspiration for many, what would your advice be for female entrepreneurs, who are planning to enter the business world?

Never underestimate yourself. It doesn’t matter what anyone else in the universe says. If you believe you are worthy, you can achieve everything you want. Just keep moving ahead!

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