Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala: Changing the Healthcare Industry in a Healthy Way

A healthcare industry needs to believe in “we” always more than “me”, which could be accomplished with an energetic work environment and a goal oriented culture, which cannot be carried out individually but done with a united team. And, in all this act, leadership has always been described as the way an individual direct the activities for a group towards a shared goal. And Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala, with all the key aspects of the leadership has been an influential role model for the Wadia Hospital.

In an interview with Insights Success, Dr. Minnie, CEO at Wadia Hospital gave some insightful answers highlighting the philanthropic tradition being forwarded by the hospital and her contributions towards it.

  • What are your responsibilities as a dynamic entrepreneur? How would you describe yourself? Who is the most inspirational leader in your life? Why?

Primarily, my responsibilities are focused towards strategizing and achieving the objectives and strive harder towards the vision and mission of the organizations, I also dedicate a lot of time for positive change management and team building across all the departments. I would describe myself as an individual who is striving for impact and focused on results. I always believe in a realistic approach for the everyday challenges I face and that has helped me achieve the most difficult tasks with precision.

I am a strong supporter and promoter of women empowerment and draw inspiration from one such great leader after which our Childrens hospital is named, she is Bai Jerbai Wadia, what inspires me the most about her is her simplicity and her great vision for the society especially the women and children during a time when they were ignored the most, in the early 19th Century. It is simply because of timely vision of women like her we are here today. I draw great inspiration from her and strive hard for long sustained meaningful and impactful work.

  • How did you get the opportunity to work for Wadia Hospitals? What was your mission at the outset?

I got the opportunity to work with Wadia Hospitals in November 2012 when the Hospital was undergoing a major crisis situation, I took this as a challenge and slowly started working towards streamlining the transformation of both the Hospitals. Other than the operational challenges, the infrastructure of the Hospital being a heritage structure that has been a challenge in terms of stability and expansion of services. Infact, when I took up the challenge, both the Hospitals were operational under one building, as other building of Children Hospital had undergone structural damages in 2007-2008 and was not safe for patients. My initial mission was to get the Childrens Hospital functional and increase the scope of services with improved quality of patient care and ensure safety for all patients. Proudly, I have achieved the same and today we have a fully functional Paediatric hospital with 450 Beds.

  • What are the hurdles you had to face in the starting phase? Who has been the most influential in your life?

Streamlining the hospital operations in weakened infrastructure with a financial crisis was the biggest hurdle. It took a great deal of strategic planning and hard work with patience in order to reach the point where we are at today and we are very positive that we will go much ahead in this journey with these Hospitals, not only being amongst the best Hospitals in India but also in the World. Our Chairman Mr. Nusli Wadia and Board member Mr. Ness Wadia have been a great influence in my life. The strong insight of our Chairman’s vision towards the goal and driving us by mentoring new systems and techniques to be adopted in spite of challenges and standing with the team as one during crisis situation has definitely inspired me a lot. With support and strategic guidance I have been able to achieve major transformations for the organizations.

  • Tell us about your Hospitals? What kind of Healthcare services/solutions or products that are offered by your hospitals at par with the current industry standards, also tell us something about your upcoming products or services?

Our Children’s hospital is the first dedicated Paediatric hospital established in the country and the largest as well. Today, the hospital provides more than 30 super specialty services under one roof, we have 3 OTS where complex surgeries like cardiac surgery, neurosurgery etc. are performed. We proudly host the largest NICU in the world with 150 beds. We also have a nodal center for clubfoot disease in Maharashtra and soon will start with our own Cath Lab, MRI centre and a Bone Marrow Transplant unit. We are also looking forward to establish an advanced Cancer treatment unit and Organ Transplant Centre.

Our Maternity Hospital specializes in offering affordable Obstetrics and Gynaecology services to women across all the sections of the society; the hospital also specializes in providing IVF care at a much-subsidized cost and also has a human milk bank to help the children who are not fortunate enough to get it. The maternity hospital would undergo a major transformation soon starting with structural stability being a nine decade old structure.

What sets us apart is the social impact that we create.

  • What were some of the biggest lessons you learned that have impacted the way that you work? To what do you attribute your success?

Well, as we all know there are no shortcuts to success, I have always believed in building systems and implementing them to achieve the desired results. Understanding problems and being creative in solving them is something that has impacted the way I work and helped me achieve success in whatever I do. I could only attribute my success to the team I work with and offcourse my family without whose support of the prior and understanding of the latter I won’t be as successful as I am today.

  • What are your views on the current trends in the industry? How do you encourage creative thinking and innovation in your organization?

The industry is growing as always, but with increased innovation and improvements in technology in the last few years, I see the industry to be growing faster in the coming years. Also, there has been an increase in perception of health and wellness with mobile and other health gadgets, I do see a lot of scope in the preventive healthcare industry as well. Being supportive to new ideas definitely encourages creative thinking in the organization and this is the only reason we have an open door policy across all the departments where anyone can approach with their problems or ideas.

  • What are some of the qualities which make a person an entrepreneur? Is entrepreneurship something that is in your blood or is it something you can learn?

Ability to accept challenges and take risks, team building and having a realistic approach to things are some of the qualities one needs to have. It is never in the blood, you learn from your experiences and mistakes and master your skill set accordingly to achieve  your goals.

  • What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others? What is the behavior or trait that derails most leaders’ careers?

I believe too much aggression especially in young leaders could derail careers. Understanding each team members strength and motivating them to overcome their weaknesses makes a good leader and helps you sustain.

  • What can be expected from Wadia Hospital in the upcoming years? What gives you a sense of hope? What makes you concerned or worried? 

Only the best can be expected from Wadia Hospitals, we are going to excel in every front and achieve the maximum for our stakeholders and community at large. Our hope comes from the smile of so many children who are born and treated in our hospitals everyday and we strive for the same smile for the generations to come.