Around the globe, 1/3rd of entrepreneurial ventures are run by women entrepreneurs. 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 women’s entrepreneurship in India. Gradually but steadily, the world over, women entrepreneurs have emerged as successful entrepreneurs.
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 a woman as entrepreneurs is bringing a lot of change in the business and economic growth of a country. We at Medicircle are conducting the 'Top Women Entrepreneurs of Healthcare’, Series to showcase such inspirational female role models on a revolutionary journey.
Dr. Vandana Jain is a Cornea, Cataract & Refractive surgeon. She is currently part of the management team of Dr. Agarwal’s group of Eye Hospitals and manages Maharashtra business and expansion. She is also part of the core team developing omnichannel eyewear business for the group.
She was the co-founder of multispecialty “Advanced Eye Hospital & Institute” in Navi Mumbai. She also co-founded medical device business Clear Ear Inc in California and a Health tech start-up VVP healthcare Pvt ltd which had developed a solution called “WonDRx” in India. She has received the incredible journey award, women achievers award among others, and is the co-owner of several international patents.
Contribution in Healthcare
Dr. Vandana says, “I started my journey in med tech space in California when I was in business school. I have started two med-tech businesses, one as a co-founder and one as a mentor and advisor. It was a very interesting experience. One of the companies that I was associated with was later acquired by a bigger company for $400 million.”
Dr. Vandana mentions, “I have been associated with Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute. I will be introducing AEI technology in eye care and having a well-trained team of ophthalmologists, AEI brings compassion, healing, and joy to those in need. In addition, I was the Director and co-founder of VVP, a health-tech domain, that developed the WonDRx product. WonDRx is India's first platform that enables instant digitization of prescriptions with timely access of the relevant information to patients and providers. I feel that I'm contributing more through my experiences by being an advisor and mentor to others. And now I actively invest in apps as well. According to me, this is indirect entrepreneurship and I feel my contributions will probably be even more than the entrepreneurship which was direct on my part.”
Women are born entrepreneur
Dr. Vandana expresses, “Women, in general, are very resilient and entrepreneurship is not for the weakest of the hearts. It has lots of ups and downs. It requires people with a strong heart to get on that path. And since I have been on this journey multiple times, I feel that women are naturally suited to be entrepreneurs, because they are stronger, their ability to emotionally connect and manage people are quite good. I just inherently feel that because we learn it right from our childhood, how to manage ourselves and people around us, be it as a mother or a sister or just as a friend. So, I think this inherent advantage of women’s own strength contributes to women becoming good entrepreneurs."
Disadvantages of being a women entrepreneur
Dr. Vandana adds, "1/3 of the businesses today are being run by women, which is a great trigger and this is slowly increasing. But sometimes it takes a lot for women to prove themselves. I think women have to work a little bit harder just to prove themselves. That is the only disadvantage that I see being a women entrepreneur. I always used to feel that I have to prove myself as an entrepreneur, more than anybody else.”
Challenges and motivations of women entrepreneur
Dr. Vandana speaks, “For me challenges and motivation, both are related to being a woman. My biggest motivation has been that I'm a woman. I come from a very conservative family. I was supposed to get married into some rich family and manage a house and children. But since my childhood, I was determined to make my own path. Being able to plan my journey, doing something that I wanted to do to make an impact in the world is my biggest motivation. And that was also the biggest challenge. Because since I was a small kid, I used to fight with everybody, my parents, society, everyone. It was a big challenge for me to prove to myself being a woman that I can do anything. While embarking on this new path, finding me time and striking the right balance between work and life was a bit challenging. So, this has been the most challenging thing for me."
(Edited by Renu Gupta)