We are seeing rapid growth in entrepreneurship in the past decades and in the last few years; many women have entered the club. Women entrepreneurs are the women or a group of women who initiate, organize and operate a business enterprise. Till now women had restricted themselves to petty household business & cottage industries but things are changing remarkably. A favorable socio-economic environment is helping to unbox the hidden entrepreneurial talents among women.
There is a well-known saying “If we educate a boy, we educate an individual but if we educate a girl, we are educating a whole generation. Same way increasing number of women entrepreneurs will not only provide economic opportunities for other women but also improve the social, educational, and health status of women, their families, communities thereby providing economic growth in the country. We have lot many examples of women who are the proud owners of giant business chains which they are managing extremely well moving abreast with their male counterparts and, undoubtedly outshining them.
Avantika Patil is the Founder of Ishtara Healthcare & Wellness LLP, a Medical Value Travel start-up. Her experience spans various domains of healthcare, ranging from scientific research & humanitarian work to entrepreneurship. She has also contributed to scientific publications and books. She is passionate about making India a top destination for medical care and wellness interventions.
Bearing this in mind, she founded her start-up Ishtara to bring the world to India through the concept of Medical Value Travel. Her interest lies in the fields of medical value travel, genetic epidemiology, and bioethics. As a young entrepreneur, she strives not only to improve India's credibility in the International medical community but also to reduce existing medical disparities
Challenges for Ishtara Healthcare & Wellness
Avantika Patil informs, “ Challenges are part and parcel of entrepreneurship. There are many taboos and struggles a woman has to face. It's an enriching experience where you find out a lot about yourself such as skills to handle situations. Our main aim is to bring the world to India in terms of medical added value. India is still not considered a healthcare destination as it is stated as an underdeveloped country. But rather, India is the perfect blend of ancient Ayurveda and modern medicines. Indian senior doctors are well experienced and studied from the best government colleges and the same doctors also go on to do medical research.
Along with Ayurved, yoga also has its roots in India, and in terms of modern medicine, India has reached a moon now. Our main aim is to make India - Atop Healthcare destination. Healthcare in India is cheap and good. So, this is how this entire value of the medical world arises. The keyword is “value.” The medical condition is the experience you go through physically, mentally, and economically. The foreign patients visiting India gets to experience the Indian medical world. So, the patients get the best hospital in India. That's one contribution we make as a medical tourism company.
Our next goal is patient empowerment where we focus on power for the patient to take his own decision for his health. We empower them with knowledge when patients don't have a medical background. Patient empowerment is the key aspect of healthcare overall.
Our third goal is a holistic approach. Medical care is not just going to the doctor and taking medicines, it is way beyond that. Even if you look at WHO, the definition of health, it will encompass everything. We prefer a holistic approach with other interventions. Our main aim is to get wellness, alternative medicines, and modern medicine to work together for the betterment of patients. That’s how we are trying to change the mindset. “
Challenges to stand apart in the healthcare
Avantika Patil says, “We have a holistic approach. Not everyone may focus on wellness. Wellness is quite a broad sector where you need to focus on the experience. Many people wish to travel to a foreign country. Technically speaking, I am from a genetic background and as a third person, you have to be a guide for a patient through his medical journey. The asset here is my own background in the field of healthcare. I have worked with special children as well. We get a lot of queries that are very sensitive to patients. The key thing in any business would be how people are handling that business. We all could do the same business but it is the people which matter the most in the company to take it forward. It is a huge market where everybody has their own expertise. Everyone has a piece of the pie. To stand out, it is important how you take it forward and approach patients. The best seller for your service is the experience which is your product for the patient or consumer.”
Challenges behind being a healthcare women entrepreneur
Avantika Patil states, “Women have many challenges when it comes to entrepreneurship because there are so many taboos attached to it especially for working women. I am very lucky because of a supportive family-like being an only female single child. As an entrepreneur, you have to do many things on your own as the schedule is erratic. Safety is also the main criterion and to handle situations with focus. There are many women entrepreneurs emerging now. Many people have a patriarchal mentality and this makes it very difficult.”
The motivation behind Ishtara Healthcare & Wellness
Avantika Patil states, “ Being in healthcare, the biggest motivation is to help people no matter what you are dealing with. You have to be motivated as an entrepreneur as the journey is very rough and not easy. So, motivation comes from feedback from patients who thank you and motivate you. Our main motive is to connect people with healthcare services which were difficult during covid times where people could not find hospital beds and the right treatment. I took the opportunity to volunteer. The positive feedback of patients thanking me motivated me. Same goes with the business as well in healthcare. That’s the biggest motivation for all of us.”
Future plans for Ishtara Healthcare & Wellness
Avantika Patil says, “ Right now, we are facing a challenge because of the covid since the numbers are at peak again. But, this will go on in the medical field. My first goal is to make Mumbai a prime goal in healthcare. It is easier to operate from your city and then slowly start with other cities and get them on board as well. So let's start with Mumbai as a stepping stone and reach out to other cities like Delhi for medical tourism. I want to integrate mental wellness and health more especially with covid and make it more robust to experience the whole gamut of healthcare. India is a beautiful country with a vast landscape and it is important to promote tourism as well.”
Message from Expert on Women Entrepreneurs
Avantika Patil says, “If you have an idea in mind, go ahead with it. Women are one of the best entrepreneurs as they are good at multitasking. If you look at our mom, they work effortlessly to their best in managing everything. Be self-confident and develop it with the first step which helps in building personality. Take the challenge and have passion in your mind and make a start.”
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)