A women entrepreneur is a woman or a group of women who initiate, organise or run a business concern. Despite women overpowering in sheer numbers, we still have very few women entrepreneurs in our country. There are only 7 women entrepreneurs in every 100 Indian entrepreneurs. The one sector where women leadership in business is imminent is in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector. Of all the 63 million MSMEs, around 8 million are women-led. But things are changing for the better.
Due to economic progress, better access to education, urbanization, the spread of liberal and democratic culture and recognition by society, there has been a spurt in woman entrepreneurship in India. Women-owned businesses enterprises are playing a prominent role in society inspiring others and generating more employment opportunities in the country. The increasing presence of women as entrepreneurs is bringing a lot of change in the business and economic growth of the country. Gradually but steadily, the world over, women entrepreneurs have emerged as successful entrepreneurs. We at Medicircle are conducting the 'Top Women Entrepreneurs of Healthcare’, Series to showcase such inspirational female role models on a revolutionary journey.
Graduated from King’s College London, Anjali Mittal is the founder and CEO of KRM Healthcare, Mumbai. Home Healthcare is a budding industry worldwide amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With a strong passion for Healthcare infrastructure development in India, she decided to build a platform that serviced a patient with end-to-end medical needs.
With a full panel of specialized doctors, nutritionists, trained nurses and attendants and a pharmacy on call at all times, KRM Healthcare wishes to revolutionize the Home Healthcare sector and provide all services at a patient’s doorstep. KRM Healthcare provides specialized senior care and COVID packages and has incorporated pathology and radiology home investigations.
Contributions as an entrepreneur to the industry
Mittal begins, “The first thing I noticed when I started in the industry was that the paramedic staff, nurses and attendees, were not given the right training. The rings true especially for the home healthcare industry. A common myth was that only nurses that got no job elsewhere were getting into home healthcare.”
“I decided that the people I’ll send to do the job will do so importantly. Home healthcare is serious as you don’t have the guidance of a doctor on call. I made sure training was essential for home healthcare workers. This is the small endeavour that I contributed towards the home healthcare industry of India.”
Advantages of being a women entrepreneur
Her take on this is, “In the sector I’m part of, home healthcare, the majority of my workforce are females. That is female nurses and female attendants. This is because a female nurse can do an ECG on a male patient but a male nurse wouldn’t be able to do that on a female patient. Seeing that the majority of my workforce is female, it helps me as a woman communicate with them and understand their issues better.”
“For instance, sometimes a nurse needs to go to a patient’s place at 11 in the night or when the patient is alone. In such instances, security becomes a concern. From what I have observed, this isn’t a priority for other home healthcare ventures. This understanding and trust that my workforce and I have, has helped us in this sector. So this is the biggest advantage of being a woman entrepreneur in this sector.”
Anjali says, “The biggest challenge for me was to train the staff. When I started I saw that the staff was untrained and I couldn’t send them to the field. Training them is something I’ll continue to work on as KRM Healthcare grows. The medical sector and the healthcare sector of India pour a lot of resources to train our doctors, but we need to train our paramedical staff as well. If an untrained person comes to take your blood test, he/she could rupture a vein or be unable to find the vein in the first place.”
“In an Indian ambulance, none of the people there are trained. Since I have lived in the UK, I know the training of the paramedic staff is very important there. In every job, one gets trained before they start working. Even a nurse will undergo 1-2 months of training when they join a hospital. But the training process is largely missing in India’s home healthcare sector. So we make sure that our Head Nurses hold training camps. We are also in talks with UGC to get some certified courses with our organisation.”
“Along with medical training, they need to be given social training. I experienced this once, with my staff. She was a capable attendant, but the patient’s family rejected her since she couldn’t speak English and the way she was dressed in a saree. To tackle this we started making all our nurses and attendees wear lab coats. Social etiquettes and how they present themselves, are some of the challenges I faced in this industry apart from maintaining my staff’s and patient’s safety.”
She says, “My motivation came from my own life. In Covid times, many of my loved ones fell victim to fracture, dengue, chikungunya and other diseases. They refused to go to the hospital. This is when I felt this issue needs to be addressed. Covid is going to be present in our life for a while and it is we who need to adapt to Covid.”
“Home healthcare is so important nowadays. And we aren’t run of the mill home healthcare who just sends you staff. KRM Healthcare ensures all your investigations are done, doctor consultations are happening and we even send needed medical and surgical equipment. For instance, multivitamin shots or an injectable, which is not easily available from pharmacies, are taken care of by us. So we are addressing end-to-end patient needs right at the patient’s doorstep.”
“So my journey began with personal motivation. We currently are only in Maharashtra but I aim to spread to every nook and corner of India. Healthcare is so important that I want it to be accessible to all. Everyone deserves private healthcare and that is something KRM Healthcare focuses on.”
(Edited by Rabia Mistry Mulla)