Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders

Archive for June, 2019

Dr. Ruchi Dass, Founder of HealthCursor Consulting Group |Serial Entrepreneur|Digital Health Expert

Dr. Ruchi Dass’s Biography 

(See BSO’s  Interview with Dr. Dass 👇👇👇)

Dr. Ruchi Dass

Dr. Ruchi Dass is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder of the HealthCursor Consulting Group.

She is regarded as one of the leading global innovators in the field of Digital Health. She has spearheaded development and rollout of Innovative healthcare programs across the world since 2005 using technology. Her work and recognition includes frugal innovation in healthcare, bringing innovations mainstream, maintain a continuum of care and facilitate coordinated care population health, build healthcare models that provide quality, cost-effectiveness, and timeliness of care.

Dr. Dass excels at conceptualizing innovative and relevant healthcare products and services, especially for emerging markets, and directing development through commercialization, roll‐out and on‐going product performance enhancement. Through her esteemed clients and partners, her efforts have also made to the PMNCH Forum of Healthworkers @ WHO, GSMA’s Best mHealth Awards jury in Barcelona, IPIHD Top innovators list with World Economic Forum and UN’s Millennium development goals expert committee volunteers as well.

In Addition to her work in Healthcare, Dr. Dass runs two charities named “ShantiKaustubh” and “Ananya” that are based on Girl Education and Preventive Healthcare. Her new venture Idealabslive incubates early stage companies working with technology, telemedicine and community health programs across the globe.

Dr. Dass was recognized by the Honorable President of India, Dr. Pranab Mukherjee and Noble Laureate Dr. Aaron Ciechanover as they unveiled her book on “Innovations in Healthcare” that talked about “Frugal Innovation” in Healthcare industry in India.

Dr. Dass got voted as one of the Most Influential Women in Health IT in the world by FierceHealth and Top 10 Impactful Tech Leaders 2013 by InformationWeek. Her many innovations have received international recognition most notably by the ASHOKA, INTEROP, IPIHD (World Economic Forum), Economic Times, GBCHealth Business Action on Health Awards and TED. She was also a member of the HIMMS Innovation community, Las Vegas (2012-2013)

Dr. Ruchi Dass holds a medical degree and has completed Postgraduate programs at Georgia Institute of Technology (Health Informatics), USA; Duke Fuqua School of Business (Healthcare Entrepreneurship), USA and is currenty pursuing her MBA from the London Business School.

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

 

BSO: Since our interview years ago, please share with us ways in which you’ve 1) challenged yourself and 2) grown, personally AND professionally.

RD:

First of all, Thank you Edith for giving me the opportunity to talk to you. There is so much we can do with our lives and there are so many possibilities. We know that we have the potential but we don’t do much as we have achieved quite a lot already. When we don’t do something for a long time that is challenging, requires discipline, commitment and serious efforts we develop inside us a memory of being complacent, weak and tired. And hence, even after having made a successful business when I would think of another start-ups, the same thought would occur to me.

I decided to challenge myself. 14 years in business, I decided to go for an MBA with London Business School. It wasn’t easy to be a student again (smiles). This year, I launched Digital IdeaLabs-live for incubating and mentoring exciting health technology start-ups and am also working on Prodentine a dental health technology aggregator. Constantly challenging myself brings out the best in me, it gives me a very strong “can-do” memory as well that helps in excruciating circumstances to sail through. If you don’t have a memory like that- you can’t do it.

In my personal life, in addition to putting on some healthy weight, I have started working on my book, joined GWI (Graduate Women International) as they are doing amazing work empowering women and girls with lifelong education and adopted two lovely baby elephants from the Sheldrick wildlife trust.

 

BSO: With what you’ve learned about yourself and all that you’ve achieved, what are 3 pieces of advice you’d give your younger self ?

RD:

Good question. I remember how making more money was important in the beginning and then growing and staying relevant. When I look back I realised that I neglected my long term goals for my short term wins. Like doing work that is not your core area of focus or interest or take up a lot on your plate etc. It is good to be disciplined and vocal about what you don’t want to take up as a project as it will not help you.

I always believed in my team and team work. Most of my team members are with me for over 10 years and I value them. However, in the pursuit of delivering best on quality I used to take up most of the work on my plate and didn’t do well on delivering through others.

And the third one is “me time”. Most of working women like me take “family time” as “me time”. Me time doesn’t mean holiday with family or friends. “Me time” is about you and your spiritual self. If you wish to stay happy which is pretty hard in a stressful work life like ours, you have to make more time for “me time”. It is important because when you live a life that you truly are, it gives you mindfulness, happiness and peace.

 

BSO: That never ending ‘balance’ question (wellness, career and family). What’s your typical day look like ? Or share with us a sample of 2 days. 

RD:

I wake up at 6.30 am in the morning and then exercise for an hour. I take light breakfast usually healthy smoothies and leave home to reach office by 8.30 am. I start my work by reading notes that I made before leaving work the previous evening and refer my calendar for the meetings scheduled.

I have lunch at 1.30 pm and I go for a stroll after that for 30 minutes. When that is not possible, I climb stairs. In Dubai, during prayer breaks, I get a chance to meditate as well which is perfect.

I leave work by 5pm and head home to cook. My husband and myself love to cook together. I spend family time by chatting, talking a bit about our extended family, my parents, his family and work. We play scrabble when there is not much to talk about.

Around 7pm, we pray and then go for a stroll. Dinner is served around 8.30pm. On weekends, dinner is 9.30pm as we welcome friends for get together or go outside to eat. I go to sleep around 10.30pm and usually read a book to bed.

 

BSO: To function at our highest level and to continue tapping into our creativity, Weekends should be restorative, physically and mentally. What does yours look like ?

RD:

I love to engage in some fun activities on the weekend and laying around on the beach reading a book always seems a possibility. I go for a swim in the morning and breakfast is always heavy on the weekend. We generally skip lunch for salads and small snacks and finish some household chores.

My husband and myself are not much into television except when Cricket is telecasted so we have mastered the art of doing nothing- no calls, no TV and no shopping. Whenever any of us has come back from a work related travel, we do indulge in spa or foot reflexology to relax. It may sound boring but going through old photo albums and smugmug is our favourite pastime.

 

BSO: Please share with us what we can look forward to in terms of projects you are working on or your next exciting venture. 

RD:

My current engagements are inter-related.

With IdeaLabs Live, I wish to engage with women business owners and provide them with the mentorship and guidance that is required to succeed. IdeaLabs as a platform is open for all to apply.

However, as a member of women in business club @ LBS, I promised to work for budding women entrepreneurs and connect them to impressive women business leaders. I am working with several development and finance organisations to identify best technology innovations in the industry and provide them with opportunities to pilot and gain commercial success across the globe. I am blessed with a very intelligent and supportive class at London business school. I am learning a lot and getting to network with the best. I have some ambitious plans for 2020 but for now, I am happy to be yet again in a transformative stage.

Penelope Tiam-Fook, Founder of Tiam Wellness (formerly Embrace Organica)

(BSO’s Interview with Penelope is 👇👇👇 her bio)

Penelope Tiam-Fook’s Biography

Penelope Tiam-Fook

 

Hello, I’m Penelope Tiam-Fook. I am a Holistic Wellness Coach and Functional Lifestyle Practitioner, and the founder of Tiam Wellness, formerly known as Embrace Organica.

What led me to become a wellness coach was my struggle to get my hormones back into balance after my pregnancy, dealing with adrenal fatigue and burnout from lack of sleep, and managing a demanding career while being a new mom that required a lot of travel.

I was exhausted and stressed-out with no recovery in site. My symptoms such as blinding headaches, surviving on coffee, and being unable to lose weight to feel like myself again really took a toll on the quality of my life.

I remember feeling underappreciated for the work I accomplished at the office, guilty that someone else was raising my child while I traveled for work, and exhausted to really enjoy motherhood as I envisioned.

Then, I discovered wellness coaching, a 360 perspective of living a better life, and studied functional nutrition from the viewpoint that what you put into your body affects how your body functions.  It was during my journey of awakening to these two approaches to health and wellness that I decided to try a holistic approach to turn my symptoms around. To my surprise, it worked!

My symptoms disappeared, and I started losing that stubborn weight around my midsection and thighs. I began to feel like myself again.

I realized then that lifestyle wellness coaching was my life’s calling, and now I specialize in helping women go from being stressed out, exhausted, and unhappy with their weight to feeling like themselves again. If you’re interested in learning how I work with women to help them love their body and lives again, I would love to schedule a time to speak with you about how I can help you achieve your own wellness goals.

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

BSO: Tell us about the inception of your business.

PF:

I have always been interested health and wellness.

Growing up, I wanted to be a doctor. I remember my mom taking me, when I was a little girl, to visit a friend or family member who was in hospital. I remembered thinking how rewarding it would be to help someone get better to regain their independence. That dream got diverted in college when physics became my roadblock. I worked my way through undergraduate and graduate school, got married, then divorced while working in administrative healthcare-related jobs. Later, I worked for a national non-profit as an advocate and program director for moms and babies.

It wasn’t until a couple years after my daughter was born, that I found myself struggling with major burnout, traveling a lot for work, and dealing with postpartum recovery that wasn’t going so well. Thanks to following my intuition, I left the nonprofit world to become a stay at home mom for a while. It was during that time at home, caring for my daughter who had some health challenges at the time, that I became determined to find non-medicated ways to heal my body and rebalance my hormones. That one decision began  my journey as a holistic wellness coach and functional lifestyle practitioner.

 

BSO: There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Share with us your a.m. to p.m.

PF:

I believe that it’s important to live what you preach at a foundational level.

In the mornings, I like to start my day with morning prayer. Some days, I may have 5 minutes to do so, but I average 15 minutes as this centers my thoughts for the day. I do either yoga or active and restorative stretching. This helps with pain management to minimize muscles spasms, particularly in my neck and shoulders. I drink a glass of warm lemon water or celery juice. If school is in session, I make my daughter breakfast, then prepare and pack her meals for school. Once she is off to school, I will eat breakfast. If I have time to workout in the morning, I’ll do that first then eat breakfast within 45 minutes of that workout. The rest of my day starts from there.

My evening routine varies depending on what’s on the schedule. I prefer to have dinner between 5 and 6 pm, but that is often not realistic in my home due to our schedules. So, we strive for 7 pm. If the weather is nice, my family and I will take a walk with our dog. Sometimes, we may watch a movie together if time permits. Often, however, we relax for at least 30 minutes before prepping for the next day.

 

BSO: What are your ‘can’t live without’ software applications?

PF:

Microsoft Word, Keep and Memo for notes, Google calendar and Gmail, Practice Better

 

BSO: What was the best advice you received when you started your business?

PF:

Be true to your story; find your voice, and genuinely be of service to your tribe while maintaining boundaries around the rest of your life.

 

BSO: What has been your strategy for building awareness of your business?

PF:

I’ve learned that getting to know your audience and who they are is key to how you run your business.

I’ve began with local networking, then I began testing out my market using a FB page when that was a new thing to do. When live video came on the scene on FB, I began doing live video to build the know, like and trust factor with my followers. I’m a behind-the-scenes type of person, so that was a major challenge for me. Early on, I also had practice clients so that I could build confidence in my coaching and practitioner skills. In the past year or two, as I refine my niche and who I want to serve, I’ve been testing my audience on Instagram. When school starts back for my daughter, I will visit some local business groups get to know more women locally, make connections as I’d like to do some workshops, and build a word-of-mouth referral network locally. I think this will also help with my online presence as I would like to have a virtual practice as well.

 

BSO: What are your proudest achievements, professional & personal?

PF:

In my personal life, that would be becoming a mom. Bringing another human being into this world…what an amazing thing to do! There is no manual. I am in awe of God’s work and the fact that He blessed me to be a parent. It’s not an easy job, but one that is very worth it.

Professionally, that may be a tough question as my career has mainly been working as part of teams. From a big picture perspective, I would say its having had the opportunity to work with a variety of moms and dads, community organizations, NICUs, and business owners who care about the health of moms and babies, to protect programs and implement awareness campaigns to help parents-to-be have healthier babies, and moms to safely make it through their pregnancies. I, myself, went into preterm labor in my third trimester and had to be on bedrest for the duration of my pregnancy. At the time, I went from what felt like 100 to 0 miles per hour, so to speak, and that sort of change has a major affect on how you live your life every day, your social life, how you contribute to your family and society.

 

BSO: What are you currently reading?

PF:

I can’t seem to read one book at a time. Haha! I am currently reading, I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott, and The Greenprint: Plant-based Diet, Best Body, Better World by Marco Borges

 

BSO: What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

PF:

I’ve volunteered for a few different nonprofits and worked for a national nonprofit.

It was during my nonprofit career that I started a program called the NICU Holiday Donation Drive. This program was created for a few different reasons, one of them being that the staff at my office wanted a way to show that we cared about our community and were not just about raising money for the cause. We had a very good relationship with the NICU nurses and director and so I reached out to them to present my idea. Once they approved, I began working internally with staff, and board members to launch the program. We even had grandmothers making santa stockings to put the items collected into the stockings. Then on Christmas day, each family who had a baby in the NICU would be presented with a stocking, or if discharged in the month of December during the Christmas holiday. Every stocking presented was presented a surprise gift. It was our way of saying, “We see you. We empathized with what you’re going through, and we want you to know we care”. It was a small way of giving a family hope.

 

BSO: Who has influenced your career the most?

PF:

My parents always encouraged and reminded my siblings and I to choose a field of work that we are truly interested in, where we could mature and excel. They encouraged us to make a difference and to ignore the naysayers.

 

BSO: What is your advice for starting a business?

PF:

Taking the leap is not for the light-hearted person.

On your journey, you will encounter failure and mistakes.

Let that be your norm, not the exception.

Let go of comparison as it is the thief of joy. When you focus on your competition or what someone else is doing, you slow yourself down and can lose the energy and passion you brought to your business.

Mind your words and what you say about yourself to yourself, as well as what you to say and how you treat others and your customers. And remember, your business will change because of the lessons learned along the way. Change can be good if you let it so don’t sweat the small stuff.

 

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