Yeshasvini Ramaswamy: the flagbearer of women entrepreneurs
Adopting a health program in the workplace is not only beneficial for employees, but also for the employer as it creates a more dynamic, effective and efficient working culture and environment. Individuals spend more than 50% of their time at the workplace and therefore delivering a health program in the workplace is crucial. Poor health habits create unhealthy individuals, which in turn impacts negatively on the workplace.
A workplace health program integrating nutrition, physical activity and mental wellness yields effective results in reducing stress levels, combating back pain, limiting sedentary behaviour, preventing overweight/obesity, reducing chronic diseases, increasing productivity, enhancing satisfaction and employee morale, improving corporate image, reducing absenteeism levels and workplace health costs. Benefits of implementing a health program in the workplace are huge and pivotal.
Some of the benefits of implementing a health program are:
- Stronger employee-employee and employee-employer relationships
- Lower levels of absenteeism, better cognitive performance, and reduced stress
- Creates a dynamic corporate image and greater staff retention
- Improves quality of life and sense of well-being
- Reduces risk factors for diseases and illnesses
- Reducing insurance costs
Implementing a workplace health program creates a strategic advantage for a business and has enormous benefits for both the employer and employee. A fun, interactive and healthy work environment promotes long-lasting positive attitudes and behaviours that enhance their commitment to their work output and work environment. A healthier workforce creates happier, satisfied and more efficient employees.
Started in the year 2011, WhiteCross Clinic is a 100% subsidiary of K-Arogia Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd, an integrated smart health-care network platform to enhance health-care benefits powered by artificial intelligence. It works with a network of hospitals, insurance companies and large employer groups. WhiteCross Clinic delivers quality health-care and wellness for corporates and are passionate about creating better health with latest innovations using AI tech enabled employee health management system. Within a span of 8 years WhiteCross boasts of being India’s largest health-care supply chain with an excellent service record spanning 170 clinics in 16 cities with 450 staff members committed 24/7. It handles more than 40,000 consultations per month touching more than 20,00,000 lives. WhiteCross has saved more than 200 due to pro-active emergency management services.
WhiteCross offers core services such as medical room management set up, wellness management, empowering employees with apps to interact with physicians, emergency response management, identification of at-risk employees and real-time management of their disease conditions, specialty consultations, real time tracking and monitoring of employees’ health, hospital network management and post discharge management. Some of the add-on services that the healthcare giant offers are ambulance management, supply of medicines and equipment to medical room management, diagnostic services to employees and customized health check-up.
Our editorial team spoke to Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, a serial entrepreneur on her latest venture as co-founder & business strategist of WhiteCross clinic about entrepreneurship, her professional journey and life in general. Here are the edited excerpts.
- How did you come to be an entrepreneur?
The thought of monetising ideas to generate employment has always been a big motivation for me. Especially in a country like India where the population is so young, the youth needs opportunities to perform and become economically stable. Entrepreneurship fits in beautifully as it has a great multiplier effect, especially from the MSME communities. Also, I peeked out the corporate life pretty early and entrepreneurship sounded a more engaging adventure to me at the age of 29 and taking the road less travelled is more the person I am.
- How challenging is it for a woman to start/ or associate with any company? /Have you faced any unusual situations doing business in India as a female entrepreneur?
It is quite challenging. We face issues of bias both consciously and unconsciously. The heart of the matter still remains of the fighting stereotypes of women not being able to manage issues of money and taxes. So, if it is applying for loans or calling up investors, the feeling is there that we might not be shrewd enough to build something of sustainable value to our stakeholders over a respectable amount of time. Age of the women and associated life events also plays a huge role in creating these stereotypes. There are sectors like tech, AI, creative design, healthcare, BPOs, and a few others where these barriers are breaking. However, I am yet a see a woman entrepreneur becoming a unicorn as most of them convert themselves into a lifestyle business.
- How do you achieve work-life balance?
I am a big proponent of living life to its fullest potential. I keep challenging myself almost every day. I constantly try and push boundaries every single day. I am very hungry to learn and understand the change that is happening around us. So, I really don’t think about work-life balance. It is life and economic stability is a crucial part of it.
- If you could describe yourself in a few words what would they be?
Passionate, easy going and always willing to collaborate on the next big idea.
- If you could change anything in the Indian market, what it would be?
Look, if women are serious about entrepreneurship, we have to start young and give time to experiment different models of value creation. So, I strongly feel that the government should come forward with supportive policies for women entrepreneurs. For. e.g. If a women employee wants to avail maternity leave, she can under law, but if a woman entrepreneur wants to take a break, the customers won’t wait. So, there is a need for innovative thinking if we are serious about more women becoming entrepreneurs and being a catalyst to create jobs on a scale that matters. Tax relief for women led MSMEs can also be a huge benefit for this sector. India is changing and the voice of women entrepreneurs should be at our strongest now.
- How are entrepreneurship and working women important for India?
Extremely crucial as the next generation will see working mothers and a whole generation will be changed forever.
- Define a perfect business leader. What are the qualities you think a great leader possess?
The concept of a perfect business leader is a myth. As long as the leader isn’t too full of himself / herself, we should be fine. The attributes that I think are most crucial is to always remain relevant to our customers and other stake holders. The ability to listen and gauge the mood is absolutely vital.
- What advice would you give to other businesswomen who want to thrive in a male-dominated industry?
Be more of a woman, be truer to yourself, it’s a huge advantage, trust me!
- Are you a risk taker?
Yes, most definitively.
- What do you like to do the most when you are not executing your business operation?
Traveling. I love the mountains and the beaches.
- Describe the most memorable incident of your professional life.
The most memorable moment was when I was scouting for a new office space and didn’t know that we could negotiate a 10-month rental advance! I was so naïve in the ways of the world. Taught me first hand that we need to be worldly smart and having a successful corporate stint doesn’
- One word that describes you the best.
- If you had one piece of advice to rising entrepreneurs just starting out, what would it be?
Build your models around who pays for the value you create, not for the value itself. Don’t get too attached to your idea, business is always changing. Be a problem solver and a relationship builder.
- What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Engaging with people, I am always amazed at the potential of an inspired work force, they can create magic.
- If you could never work again, would you and why?
We always have to create a purposeful life, and be supportive of other’s struggles. Success cannot happen in isolation. So I see myself always active
- What are your plans on retiring?
No plans, will want to pass on while working
- How would you like people to remember you and your company?
Made lives healthier and careers more purposeful
- What is your favourite metaphor for describing entrepreneurship?
- Is there anything you enjoy more than being an entrepreneur?
Yes, my life
- If you had to choose one thing, what do you think you’re the best in the world at?
Profile of Yeshasvini Ramaswamy
Yeshasvini Ramaswamy is a Culture Transformation & Analytics expert with extensive exposure in Fortune 100 across UK, US, Australia, Dubai and China. Her AI platform, MnA Genome, based out of London has won her rave reviews in the investor community. She started her entrepreneur journey in 2009 by founding e2e People Practices, a respected boutique consulting firm that undertakes large business transformation projects and is involved very deeply in building purposeful leadership across sectors.
With rich fund management experience, she has been instrumental in the setup of India’s first entrepreneurship PG program for Jain University incubating 46 start-ups creating >2000 direct jobs. A known figure in the start-up world, she is a visiting faculty at leading B-schools and was a Key Note Speaker on Women Empowerment at 99th Indian Science Congress. She represented India among emerging 25 women leaders in the Fortune Most Powerful Women Partnership Program hosted by the US State Dept.
Mentioned in the best seller book “UNDETERRED: The Six Success Habits of Women in Emerging Economies” by Rania H.A. as a leading Indian Women Entrepreneur, she was awarded The Super Achiever Award by the World Women Leadership Congress Awards in 2017. She has also been featured in Biz Inked a case study publication of IIM Bangalore and CII’s Bold & Brilliant coffee table book on women achievers in 2018.
Co-founder of K-Arogia, a healthcare analytics company that prides in its mission of redefining healthcare practices. It has received awards from FICCI and AHM, Philippines for Innovation in Patient care. It acquired White Cross Clinics in 2017 making it the largest employee wellness and health management provider in India with more than 165 clinics. The ecosystem managed by her consist of 30k doctors, 10k hospitals and more than 2mn lives.
She is actively involved in community work, fund raising and participating on global advisory boards of promising NGOs in areas of rural entrepreneurship, education and health. She is a popular voice in the press on women empowerment with active industry community contribution in NASSCOM and CII. She is a Fellow from Vital Voices supported by Harvard.