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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.

Jacob Reisch, CEO of Party Headphones

Jacob Reisch’s BIO

Jacob Reisch

Jacob Reisch is an undergraduate senior in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.  In 2012, he founded Energy Corps at Cornell University, a student organization promoting energy conservation through the implementation of cost effective energy saving technology.  He currently serves as an advisor to the group, which has grown to over 30 students, proposed projects to save over $216,000 and gained preliminary approval for a $1,000,000 revolving loan fund at Cornell University.  In January of 2013, Jacob founded Party Headphones, a company specializing in renting and selling radio frequency wireless headphone systems.  The company aims to be a leading provider of wireless headphones for tour guides, corporate conferences and silent discos across the country.

http://partyheadphones.com/

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

1. Please share with us what prompted your creation of Party Headphones?

Jacob: Party Headphones is the result of an entrepreneurship class business plan, too much caffeine and my love for music. After presenting the company for an Entrepreneurship and Private Equity class in Cornell’s Johnson School of Management, I decided to spend the first few weeks of the summer seeing if it would actually work. I started by pitching the idea to potential customers and cold calling for feedback. 2 weeks later, I had dozens of positive responses, 3 events booked and zero headphones.

2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.

Jacob: At least 80% of my days are spent providing our team with feedback, answering questions and sending emails.  It’s not very romantic.

 

3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?

Jacob: I can’t live without Asana. It’s the foundation to my personal life and my business’ organization. I also use the Way of Life app on my phone to help keep consistent with daily habits.

 

4. What are your tricks for time management?

Jacob: I recently started doing all core business work on Monday-Wednesday and all business development, client meetings and networking events on Thursday and Friday.  I’ve found this to be a big help with planning out a busy week.

 

5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?

Jacob: Read the eMyth by Michael Gerber. Cover to cover. Twice. It changed the way I look at my business entirely.

 

6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of Party Headphones? ( what you do for short term and long term growth)?

Jacob: In the short term, we do a lot of search engine optimization, search engine marketing and social media. These generate immediate traffic and sales. Our long-term strategies involve partnerships so we stay front and center for our niche.

 

7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished entrepreneur?

Jacob: My proudest moment was when we hired our first full time contractor for the team. This was mostly because it feels great being able to build a fun, positive work environment that emphasizes our company values. Hiring our first full time contractor marked the moment where we could really start spreading our businesses culture of positivity, simplicity and transparency.

 

8. How do you achieve balance in your life?

Jacob: I’ll take a pass at answering that question…

 

9. Your top 3 book recommendations?

Jacob:

1) Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky ;

2) eMyth by Michael Gerber ;

3) 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.

 

10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

Jacob: Entrepreneurship for me started with charities. I captained a Relay for Life team in honor of a friend and we raised over $8000 with over 80 team members. My second semester at Cornell, a team of students and I founded an organization called Energy Corps at Cornell University. That group now has 30+ students making a big impact on campus. You can find more info on them at rso.cornell.edu/energycorps .

 

11. Who has influenced your career the most?

Jacob: Willie Rago influenced my career the most and is largely what motivates me to this day. Simply put, I wouldn’t be as educated, driven and understanding had I not known Willie.

 

12. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?

Jacob: Buckle up for the ride, have a clear goal for where you are going, don’t be paranoid about someone stealing your ideas, add value to others wherever you can and choose your founders carefully.

Sanjay Shah, Managing Director of Visionary Digital Studios Pty Ltd

Sanjay Shah’s Bio

 

 

I’m an adventurer at heart. Both in my personal life and professional life. This has had me performing a diverse range of leadership roles in various capacities throughout my career, from managing technical teams at Top 4 corporate consultancies, to leading tours of 20-somethings all over Europe. At the peak of my IT career, at Deloitte, I was running a 24 x 7 Australia-wide technical delivery team servicing large government organizations and multi-national corporations.

In between, I’ve traveled all over the world, both in professional capacities as well as solo adventures, cultivating my interest in people and cultures – slowly developing the hunger to harness the digital era and work with people all over the world.

This experience has led me to my current passion, running Visionary Digital Studios.

We are an Australian company, with our team working in different cities across Australia’s East Coast. But we currently have a small network of partnerships and suppliers from India, London, Philippines and the US. We’re a young company, and have a long way to go – but I am loving every minute of it. The stress is so rewarding, and the triumphs are amazing.

Lots of hard work to come for me! But life is good ..

In the Spotlight Interview

1. You are the Managing Director at Visionary Digital Studios Ppy Limited in Brisbane Australia. Please share with us your path to this role.

Sanjay Shah : My career over the last 10 years has had me managing senior technical teams all over Australia, in both small IT companies and large household consulting companies like Deloitte and Capgemini.  In all honesty, I loved the corporate environment! But during the last few years I felt that I wanted to use my skills to build my own business – I wanted to implement a culture, and a brand, that represented more inspiring values. This is often very difficult to achieve in corporate environments which are driven by sales targets, outdated mindsets and status quo. I was able to use my sales, copywriting, project management and leadership experience to build the right team required to produce premium Animated Explainer Videos.

Of course – I’ve been lucky with some amazing mentors all the way – in person, online and formal education (I’m a graduate of timothymarc.com entrepreneurship training) – who’ve taught me how to build a business, how to lead and how to enjoy the process as it unfolds. We are now over a year into starting up, and really enjoying the roller coaster. Our core product is still custom Animated Explainer Videos. But we’ve also branched out into eLearning modules, and formed alliances with some exciting partners who share our vision. Looking forward to seeing where the path takes us!

 

2. Take us through a typical day, start to finish.

Sanjay Shah : I like to keep my schedule as fresh as possible. I’ve found that having a rigid, set routine makes me feel bored and gradually erodes inspiration from my thinking. So I switch it up often – but currently my typical Monday involves:

Morning (6am – 8:30am): Early start with a meditation session, and then a Spirulana green shake on the balcony (which overlooks the Pacific Ocean!). From there, I’ll either go to the gym or have a quick swim at the beach. Before I work, I read through a “manifesto” I’ve written for myself called a “Life Gyroscope”– this details a set of objectives and mindsets I have for both my personal vision and my vision for our company. It helps me to keep perspective on the bigger picture while going through the chaos of the day.

Business Day (9am – 5:30pm): Focus on project production activities, sales and team management tasks during the day, when I’m more likely to be able to easily communicate with our team/customers/potential customers. I’ll either work from my balcony at home, or at my co-working space, which has a super-inspiring group of people all working towards inspiring things.

Evening (5:30pm – 9:30pm): Focus on marketing and business improvement tasks after hours as this is often work I can complete on my own. I make sure I play at least 30 mins of Guitar a day (keeping my dream of playing lead guitar
in world-touring band alive!). During the week, I have dinner in front of a laptop, following content from my favourite online mentors (currently Timothy Marc, Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek).

Night: Half an hour or so of “Pleasure reading” which I’ve found gets me nicely tired. These days I’m loving Eastern Philosophy, but always have time for some intense fiction!

 

3. What was the best advice you received when you created Visionary Digital Studios?

Sanjay Shah : I was taught about the concept of “Resistance” – the emotion of fear that stops you from taking on massive endeavors, and blocks your productivity when you need it. Business is SO CHALLENGING – being able to recognize the resistance, that comes every step of the way helps me to embrace it and move through it, rather than succumbing.

 

4. What are your strategies for building awareness of your company, short and long term?

Sanjay Shah : We are building a brand of “helping innovative people get exciting ideas into the world” around EVERYTHING we do. This means that we want to work with customers who have innovative ideas and see themselves as unique beyond their industry-norm. But we want to take this mindset a step further and ensure that the staff, suppliers and business partners we choose also have a vision beyond the mundane. Designing our marketing, processes and communications around this concept ensures that our company resonates with the exact type of people we’d like to have in our network, allowing us to work with people we love – both internally and externally. We’re still a young company, so infusing this mindset into everything we do is a continuing challenge, but one that guides our decision making processes every step of the way.

 

5. What is your proudest achievement?

Sanjay Shah : 5 years ago now I had a job as a Tour Manager, taking groups of 50 people all over Europe. That first tour, as I was pulling away from home-base in London, was probably the scariest experience I’ve ever been through! I was in charge of this group of people I’d just met, taking them through countries where I didn’t speak the language, and had barely even been to! Every day of that first tour around Europe was an absolute ordeal. But I miraculously got through it, and everything was fine. From that moment, I was addicted to the euphoria of leaning into my fear and living intense experiences (like running a business!).

 

6. What are your top 3 book recommendations?

Sanjay Shah : As I learn and grow, my favourite books change often. At the moment, my current list, in no particular order:

“Start With Why”, Simon Sinek – So many entrepreneurs are building businesses just to “get rich”, or even worse, to be “financially free”. Unfortunately, this generally means their current decisions are made through the lenses of “I don’t have enough” or “I’m financially-tied”. I’d like to see more business owners have a clear vision of WHY they do what they do – this book (and all of Sinek’s talks) showed me the value of this.

The War of Art, Steven Pressfield – not the easiest one to get through. But a great book to show you how to get through the difficult, boring and stressful times in business.

Anything written by Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss, Osho – 3 very different authors, who write about very different things. But I find that whenever I’m reading their works I get amazing insights and tangible breakthroughs in
running Visionary Digital Studios.

 

7. What other charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?

Sanjay Shah : Currently I have a mandatory monthly “giving” fund – an amount of money I have to give away to charitable causes each month. To be honest, it’s no massive amount, but will continue to grow with the company. This allows me to keep my mindset on always looking for ways I can give money away (to use up the fund), rather than my old perspective of “how can I give the least and still get away with it!”

Longer term, I’m looking to connect to my heritage (Indian) and work my way into some humanitarian causes over there. I’ve grown up very Australian (like my accent!), but over the last few years have felt an increasing yearning to understand India and be involved in its evolution.

 

8. Who has been most influential toward your accomplishments, professional & personal?

Sanjay Shah : I have been so lucky to have a handful of AMAZING mentors – both in life, and from books/content. None that I’ve ever formally asked for – but people who have been in my life and provided me with IMMENSE value, just because that’s the type of people they are. I’m a firm believer that “when the student is ready, the master appears” – and this has happened consistently for me over the last 10 years.

 

9. What is your advice for entrepreneurs who are 1-3 months away from launching a digital marketing business?

Sanjay Shah : For me, the business journey so far has been simply AWESOME, while consistently pushing my limitations.  I have found the cost of all glory in life is a balancing amount of sweat and tears. So be mentally prepared for INTENSE challenges and remember to love every second of it, regardless of where you’re at.

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