Youth is the most important and dynamic segment of the population in any country. Youth is the backbone of a society and hence they determine the future of any country. Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 percent of the global population. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) endorsed the recommendation that August 12 be declared as International Youth Day. Since then it is celebrated to raise awareness about the cultural and legal issues faced by youth throughout the world. The theme of International Youth Day 2021, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health. We at Medicircle are conducting International Youth Day Awareness Series to promote and cherish our youth entrepreneurs that are responsible for the tremendous growth of the country through their hard-working and innovative skills.
Dr. Vishwal Padole is a Physiotherapist by profession and an engineer at heart. Dr. Vishwal graduated from Maharashtra University in 2018 and ever since she has worked with various speed skating academies, Football club Barcelona academy, badminton academies, and also at hospitals and at a company called Health Care at Home. She has founded We Rehab Tech recently with a mission to meet the need for affordable physiotherapy and foot health from the comfort of home by leveraging the power of technology.
How she started her journey
She starts, “After my graduation, I started working in the healthcare sector. As a physiotherapist, I help people get back on their feet and improve their quality of life. While I was working there, I vividly remember one of my patients. She had undergone knee surgery. She was the sweetest Gujarati lady I has ever met. As I went to her place to treat her, I was super nervous as I had never treated older clients. I prepared myself by reading 20 research papers on this topic. Finally, I met her and the session went well. A month later, her morale and outcome measures were boosted. Never in my career had I seen such. Usually, old people are negative towards living life. But this lady had a strong determination. She would say ‘One day I’ll ride the cycle.’ This experience has been very rewarding for me. These are the movements that make you feel purposeful in life. As an entrepreneur, I want to continue these experiences.”
She adds, “Osteoarthritis is like the pandemic in India. When you wear faulty footwear, your foot will stay at an angle which is not comfortable. This can happen for instance with high heels. If you continue this, it will not only be uncomfortable but also not corrective. We are bringing in a change by making customized orthopedic slippers. This is designed by keeping the patient’s feet in mind. Apart from this, we have made a smart insole that will help us in gait tracking. Gait is the pattern of our walking. The way we walk can tell us a lot about our bodies. Things like knee pain, back pain, and even neck pain. It is because in pain we walk differently than the way we walk normally. Our device will tell us about this.”
Being an entrepreneur
Speaking on it, “My entrepreneur journey so far has been adventurous. I had never thought, that my work life will ever be this adventurous. Every day living in the moment and doing multiple things. In a job usually, you are assigned a task that you have domain expertise in. But as an entrepreneur, I’m starting to enjoy my work more. You get to learn so much. Right from digital marketing to sales to interacting with patients. The journey so far has been full of learnings. It has given me financial and creative freedom. It has helped me discover a lot about myself. I realized I’m good at graphics in the social media part.”
Challenges as an entrepreneur
She tells, “Patient adherence is the major challenge in this field. Patients come to us to take our consultations and sessions. But after 2 or 3 of these, they go home and start getting back to their old lifestyle. Another thing is, I had not come from a technology background. This became my biggest challenge. So, thanks to some of my friends who taught me coding. Even my co-founder, who is my best friend, keeps motivating me to do different things to come out of my comfort zone. Without these people, I would be unable to manage tech, finance, pitching, and other things.”
Advice for the future entrepreneur
She suggests, “Before starting my own journey, I used to watch a lot of motivational videos. One should be original and should do something that you are passionate about. Don’t chase things that are in trend. It is pretty simple if we don’t do things we like, then we will tend to give up on it sooner. I have made it a purpose of my life to do things I am passionate about.”
(Edited by Renu Gupta)