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  • Kanchan Naikawadi of Indus Health Plus wins IWEC Award

Kanchan Naikawadi of Indus Health Plus wins IWEC Award

Kanchan Naikawadi of Indus Health Plus wins IWEC Award
IWEC Award 2012

Pune based Co-Founder & Director of Indus Health Plus Pvt Ltd, Mrs. Kanchan Naikawadi has won the prestigious IWEC Award 2012 (International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge), jointly organized by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, FICCI-FLO and Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. The IWEC awards to be presented in a ceremony in Barcelona, Spain later this week recognizes women entrepreneurship from the world over. The organization will give the awards to entrepreneurs from different countries.

This year there are 23 awardees that will be presented with these prestigious awards. From India, there are three awardees Ms Kanchan Naikawadi, Ms. Sujata Sarawgi and Ms. Kiran Sharma. Mrs. Kanchan Naikawadi is the only women awardee from Maharashtra.The mission of IWEC is to develop a global business network for successful women business owners, helping them gain and expand access to international markets. IWEC also presents a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience and connectivity among women business owners worldwide setting the stage for new business opportunities and joint ventures, and promoting social dialog among women entrepreneurs and business leaders.

About IWEC

The International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) is an initiative of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Manhattan (New York) and FICCI/FLO (the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ladies Organization) supported by the US Department of State. IWEC was established in 2006 with the first IWEC Conference held in Barcelona in 2007 featuring three awardees from India. Subsequently, in 2008 & 2009 IWEC Conferences were held in New York City and New Delhi. Three new awardees were invited from chambers in Africa in 2008 and three awardees from Central Asia in 2009, bringing the number of awardees up to 15. Each year IWEC will continue to expand by inviting other chambers in other countries to participate and by moving the Annual Conferences to new cities.

It is often said that circumstances shape individuals and we are each one of us is the outcome of what we have faced in life. Mrs. Kanchan Naikawadi’s story is also no different. At a young age she was witness to her father, then aged only 50 succumbing to cancer. Had her family recognized the need for timely diagnosis, prevention and cure then perhaps her father would have been alive today. This personal experience and the fate of millions of Indians around her, even to this date who do not have access to affordable diagnosis facilities and thereby early prevention instilled the seeds of Indus Health Plus Pvt. Ltd. Along with her husband and with the help of her entrepreneur uncle, Sadanand Bapat she laid the foundations of her company in the year 2000. She is also thankful to Dr. Apte, Director of Sahayadri Hospitals who was a fitting guide for this unique venture.

The mission of her business venture is to make quality healthcare available, accessible and affordable for all. Till date, more than 310,000 families have been benefitted from timely health check-ups facilitated by her company, which has branched in 22 cities and are present in 48 test-centres throughout India. Little wonder in a span of just over a decade, this housewife and mother of two lovely daughters is not only heading this Rs 100crores (turnover) endeavour but successfully leading it too into newer & greener pastures. She serves as an inspiration for all women who want to better their lot but don’t know if they are capable of doing so.

Entrepreneurship was never on her mind initially. Born on August 6, 1972 and schooled at Blue Mountains in Ooty, Naikawadi graduated in Commerce from the Mumbai University. She began her career in 1993 as a counselor with Trade Wings. But as she says, “when I look back at my life, and I’m sure most of you would agree with this, the biggest lessons I learned always coincided with a crisis. It is as though life held up a mirror and I refused to look at it until I was forced to do so. My father’s untimely death was one such incident that forced me to look at things differently.”

This coupled with the fact that many in our country, whether rich or poor, man or woman, die in similar circumstances due to lack of a proper infrastructure where prevention is given more importance than curing, made Naikawadi wonder if she could do something about it. Once the thought captured her heart and mind, she poured all her energies in building a system that would help and encourage people to learn the importance of taking care of health before its too late. When Indus was launched in 2000, it was a pioneering effort in the country, especially during that time.

The Philosophy behind Indus Health Plus

The principal focus of the company is still the same. That is affordable, comprehensive and qualitative preventive health check-ups and diagnostics.

The disparity of the Indian situation is a universally acknowledged fact. In a country where there are billionaires on the one side competing with the richest people in the world, the poverty line has been fixed by the Indian Government at Rs. 28.65 per capita daily consumption for urban areas and Rs.22.42 for the rural. Therefore, an individual with a monthly consumption of Rs.859.6 in a city or Rs. 672.8 in a village is not considered poor! And that, by the way includes not only the calorie intake but also education and health. With that kind of an estimate, about 30% people among a total of 1.2 billion people are still below the poverty line.

On the other hand statistics provided by the World Health Organization says 32 million people go below the poverty line by
making out-of-pocket expenditure on healthcare, in a single year. Again more than 70% of the total expenditure on
healthcare goes out of the patient’s pocket which includes OPD and hospitalization expenses. The rest is supposedly
covered by Government and insurance companies. And if this was not enough there has been a significant rise in the
incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases, over the years, courtesy the poor health habits prevalent in the Indian population and some aggressive campaigning for products that cause severe health issues (which includes food with high fat content, tobacco products, alcohol, etc.) As a result WHO projects that 60 million Indians will die of NCDs, viz., heart attack, cancers and diabetes, by 2015.

A large percentage of deaths (more than 50%) caused by a heart attack, stroke, diabetes or cancers can be prevented by controlling four major risk factors, viz., tobacco, alcohol abuse, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet. Also early detection of most NCDs, especially heart disease which counts for the majority of deaths can be prevented. In terms of sheer numbers, millions of people can be saved if the culture of preventive healthcare becomes a permanent feature of our lives. The above fairly puts into perspective the raison d’tre of the company which was setup in spite of all odds. “Our mission and focus has remained the same throughout all these years - to make quality healthcare available, accessible and affordable for all. The economics behind this process is very simple. We drive business in volumes to the hospitals and diagnostic centres, which bring down the mean expenditure for the healthcare providers when it comes to sophisticated investigations which involve the installation of expensive technology,” says Naikawadi.

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