Alum Ventures: Cloudnine Hospitals – Rohit M A, MPEFB 2010

Cloudnine Chain of Hospitals is a pioneer in the field of providing world-class amenities in maternity, child care, and fertility care. They are headquartered in Bangalore but have a presence in various other cities of the country. Rohit M A is the Cofounder and Managing Director of Cloudnine Hospitals and is an alumnus of IIMB. Rohit has seen the chain grow from its first establishment to what it is today.

L Square Team did an exclusive interview with Rohit, to understand how the health care industry is evolving and whats keeps the entrepreneurial lamp burning. Questions are ours, words are his. In his words –

Tell us something about yourself.

I have had an exciting childhood surrounded by entrepreneurs and doctors in the family and growing up  in an encouraging environment gave fruit to a lot of creative freedom in me to reach for goals and be passionate about them. My father is an entrepreneur, my mother an artist and my brother, an architect, all of them have inspired me in their own way in pursuance and objectivity. My first foray into business and its management was at the age of 18 where we got into a high end consumer retail service of electronics. Though I had no technical background about business, the real world experience prepared me for the future and I am thankful for the same. My journey as a business leader has been a rollercoaster with significantly high achievements and certain low points yielding tremendous learnings. From just a seed of a thought to a market leader today, together with the founding team the excitement of being able to do something new every day has kept me on my toes and brings in a sense of mature approach towards achieving key objectives of direction, structure, people, support and development.

What are the services offered by Cloudnine?

Cloudnine Group of Hospitals is India’s leading chain of maternity, childcare, and fertility care group of Hospitals. Our range of services includes maternity, pediatrics, fertility treatments, NICU’s, Neonatal Transport Service (NETS), stem cell banking and cosmetology.  Starting with one unit in Bangalore since 2006, we took about 4 years to strategize on all processes that have gone right and the learnings from the ones that have gone wrong. Since 2010, with a sheer focus on clinical outcomes, engagement of teams both clinical and non-clinical, investment on leadership roles and an ahead of the curve adoption and pioneering of technology and its use, we have been able to build a strong brand in the minds of consumers in all the markets that we serve today and look to set up in the near future. We have been conferred with many an accolade for the achievements and for bringing in a new luster for the forgotten cause of celebrating pregnancy and the journey. We have also been able to bring together the best in class clinicians in all our cities of presence and that has further bolstered our ability to bring in adoption and development of strong clinical practices. We have also been able to attract top talent to helm the leadership of the company from within India and also across the world to take our brand aspirations to newer heights. We started with a simple objective of achieving about 100 deliveries a month and today we are serving about 1800 deliveries every month with a growth target setup to achieve much more.

How did you get your idea or concept for Cloudnine?

Credit goes to the founders Dr.Kishore Kumar, Vidya Kumar and M.Ramachandra for dreaming this up, I was an incidental implant at the beginning to help in this realization which grew upon me and gave me the opportunity to create a large ambitious vision for the team. Market research, Consumer Discussions, Developed Country Experience, and Personal Experience led us to create the blueprint of our genesis. From the very initial thought, it was always an opportunity to work towards fulfilling the aspirational needs of the burgeoning middle-class population on a precious life milestone that is childbirth and the experience around it. For ages, split between cost-conscious and a value-seeking experience in healthcare, our country offered the unique opportunity to create this niche prospect. The entire genesis was based on the fact that “Pregnancy is about wellness and not about illness”. Every single initiative from infrastructure, experience design, customer engagement, clinician connect, every single employee outcome are all based on this philosophy for us. We have adopted this into many avatars and with the changing needs of the customers, we continue to innovate and keep getting better at our offering across the country.

How is the Cloudnine chain of hospitals different than others?

As pioneers in the space, everything we do is different and continues to be our driving force to maintain and excel at our service offering. Our guiding principles on keeping women wellness as the central point of focus allow us to create a unique experience which did not exist in this scale or purpose before us.  With  a deep focus on all aspects revolving around the precious moments of the pregnancy journey before, during and after are all carefully crafted in to a very personalized experience across engagement touch points. From enabling dedicated best in class clinicians to adopting the highest global accreditation norms and evaluation techniques for the highest quality of clinical outcomes, from the largest dedicated paramedical workforce to the brightest of parallel industry leadership talent, from unique first of its kind wellness workshops to the highest medical technology access, from the most engaged customer experience to the world class well-appointed facilities, our unique innovation allowed us to create a new healthcare sector in the country.

Role of technology in healthcare and in Cloudnine?

Healthcare is an industry that is currently being transformed using the latest technology, so it can meet the challenges it is facing in the 21st century. Technology can help healthcare organizations meet growing demand and efficiently operate to deliver better patient care. One of the biggest achievements rather revolution at Cloudnine has been our tech journey and how we have been able to bring systems together to serve our needs of engagement across employees, clinicians, and customers. With a combination of a large in-house team to a core set of well-qualified partner companies, we have been able to make leaps across transactions, engagement, information access, clinician connect, data insights, personalization amongst other key factors which would help us build up a good trust index with our growing customer base. While technology has been pivotal across industries, healthcare has been particularly lagging behind on consumer connect initiatives largely due to adoption and utilization within provider systems creating a trust deficit. We have not only been able to overcome but also become a flag bearer on all things tech in healthcare access and putting the power back in the hands of the consumer. Digitization here is crucial to making the transformation to a customer-centric industry coupled with the various initiatives and policies driven by the government themselves, slow to pick up pace but definitely exciting times ahead for those who are ready.

What are the attributes required to be successful in business? 

The willingness to do more, eagerness to learn and unlearn, always be a keen observer, never shy away from asking for help, staying positive and developing a competitive drive is extremely important to succeed in any business. I believe that solutions to business problems are not always obvious, straightforward, or easy to implement and sometimes one would have to think outside of the box and do some creative maneuvering. For me, resilience and Flexibility are my agile individualistic traits that have always come to my rescue. An often said, but hard to follow through and a key success factor is also to invest in a strong motivated, empowered team that will help achieve the shared vision.

How has your experience at IIMB helped you?

I owe a lot to the institution and its professors who guided me on the possibilities to explore and excel. While there was a sense of principle-based purpose in classroom learning, there was also a lot of validation and direction through peer learning and the professor led discussions. I was able to unlock the scalability of the business model whilst within the walls of the institution. While there is no guarantee to success on what one can achieve through the learning at IIMB, the guidance received can help in achieving singular focus on being able to unlock the full potential of any one of us set out to achieve. I truly believe the time invested here, tends to earn even after the sessions are through, as one can continue to harvest the goodwill of the institute, the alumni and the network.

Cloudnine is doing tremendous work in changing the way we look at maternity hospitals and child care. It takes the energy and efforts of young minds like Rohit to take society towards development and provide newer opportunities. We wish him luck for his future endeavors.