Advancements in technology are changing the face of healthcare and creating opportunities for entrepreneurship across the segment. At the forefront of this transformation are women-led companies that are embracing innovation and making important contributions to the healthcare segment. Medicircle presents a series on Top Women Entrepreneurs of the Healthcare Industry featuring the voice of some impactful changemakers.
Gauri Shingote is the Chief Executive Officer of Juvenate Wellbeing. She is an experienced Clinical Nutritionist, skilled in Dietetics, Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Management. She has been associated with many eminent organizations focussed on healthy living.
Juvenate Wellbeing is a conglomerate of experts in the fields of nutrition and health. It’s an organization of thinkers, enthusiasts and outcome changers and focusses on the very fundamental concept of Well Being – Health and Nutrition, through education.
Healthy Future Through Traditional Eating Methodologies
Gauri sheds light on her journey and explains, “With a dream to alleviate malnutrition, change the face of lifestyle diseases, and the future of our children, I have started the journey of clinical nutrition to community nutrition. Going through multiple focus studies and social norms, we realized it was not about just creating awareness, or education for children, parents, teachers, or the general citizen. It was also about returning to our traditional methodologies of eating. It’s also about understanding or going back to the basics of beliefs in the value systems that we had in the past, especially when it came down to the traditional foods that we eat. We realized that there is a big influence of the foods that we eat on our overall wellbeing. However, with so much going on, people lose track of their health or that becomes side-lined. That was one of the biggest focuses we had in terms of alleviating malnutrition and over-nutrition. Obesity in urban areas is a concern. Also, undernutrition is still a predominant problem in India and primarily in children,” says Gauri.
Informed Children Influence Nutrition-Rich Purchases in Households
Gauri explains, “Taking the basic premise of changing the outlook of child nutrition in India, we started and created a very simple activity-based education system focused on children from the age of three onwards. We ensured that they learn about the basics of nutrition, healthy habits, and benefits of making better food choices. With this program we discovered that children got so involved that they had started to influence the food choices in their homes and had built interest in household purchases when it came to nutritious and relevant food items. It could not just be a child-centric program, we realized. So, our initiatives are focussed on parent awareness also. The parents are aware of what is being taught to the children and are armed with additional information relevant to them so that the entire family is on the path of healthy living. Based on the new National Education Policy, we also have a teacher training program that focuses on the delivery of lessons related to nutrition in the classroom. So, it becomes a holistic solution. We are also in talks and trying to get inroads with the different state governments and national government to have this program in the school system so that we can guide every single child towards their healthier future,” says Gauri.
Good Eating Habits Should be Instilled Early
Gauri points out “When we talk about diabetes, cardiac diseases, hypertension; these are so predominant in our society that if we start teaching our children early, like we teach them two plus two and they know two plus two is 4, even when they turn 19, its going to be very impactful to the society as whole. It’s the same premise wherein we start teaching them early about the very basics of our food and we interrelate it to everything else that they are learning. Food is such a personal thing to everybody from a very young age and if we inculcate healthy food choices then there is nothing like it,” says Gauri.
Advantages of Predominantly Women’s Team
Gauri emphasizes, “Majority of the nutritionists and dietitians are women. I find that it is an advantage as an entrepreneur to have a team that predominantly comprises of women team members. The compassion we bring together really spearheads the passion we have towards child nutrition. Our bigger dream is alleviating malnutrition from every corner of India. When you have a collaborative team, coming from different backgrounds, it makes a big difference in the overall product that comes out,” says Gauri.
Slight Changes in Behavioural Patterns and Mindset Impacts Overall Wellbeing and Economy of the Country
Gauri mentions, “India is massive. There is diversity in culture, language and traditional foods that we eat in each region. So, taking all that into account, it has been one of the biggest challenges to scale through. To make sure that we reach every corner of our country and to make sure that no child is left behind in terms of gaining that basic knowledge that could help them to have a great future is not easy. Looking at our country’s magnitude, achieving that is a challenge. But we are working towards it and believe that we are going to combat that challenge and surpass our goals. The biggest motivation is knowing that we are bringing about the change. We want the community as a whole to come together and understand the significance of education in nutrition and healthy habits. Slight changes in behavioral patterns and your mindset, are going to have a huge impact, not just on the overall health of our country but also on the economy because once you reduce healthcare costs, you have a good impact on the economy. Every day we work with the mission that we are going to change the world and make it healthier,” beams Gauri.
(Edited by Amrita Priya)
Contributed By: Gauri Shingote, Chief Executive Officer, Juvenate Wellbeing