Satish Kini’s continuing quest to find his purpose in life

Satish Kini
Founder Director & Chief Mentor
21st Century Health Management Solutions Pvt Ltd

Reading books on or by great spiritual and business leaders and writers, inspirational books and books on humour

Favourite food
Home cooked Mangalorean meals and snacks, Malvani/Goan style sea food and Chinese cuisine

Favourite holiday destination 
Panjim Goa

Favourite pass time
Spending time with family and old friends at home or at our clubs

I realised I was wired differently, when in my 4th year at IIT Bombay, like most  IITians, I got my forms for GRE exams – the shortest route to the US. After a night of introspection, I auctioned off the forms the next day. I realised my heart was more in social engineering rather than the forms of engineering taught at IITs. I completed PGDBA from JBIMS in 1981.

In the early 80s, with an MBA under my belt, I looked for a job where being young and idealistic was not a liability. I also looked for a SME so that I could be close to the top. I needed an inside view of their vision, mission and approach. Especially their approach towards business in particular and society in general. I wanted to learn the ropes of running a company properly. I  also wanted an opportunity to test out my ideas and approach. My search led me to IDM in the fledgling IT industry. IDM was a small but hi profile IT solutions company founded by 170 ex-IBM employees. After IBM had to hastily exit Indian shores in 1978 due to restrictions imposed on MNCs.

Commitment to customer and respect for individual were two of IBM’s core beliefs that IDM genuinely practiced. For this, I am grateful to Dr OP Mehra, the founder MD of IDM. IDM ethos resonated well with my beliefs. IDM was like a real life business school for me to test my ideas and my holistic approach to serve customer needs and build relationships based on trust and competence. From Management Trainee to Head of Corp Strategy took me less than 7 years in IDM. But this was too good to last. After the IPO, there were rifts at IDM board level; more due to personal egos rather than business directions. Like many good things end in India, petty  politics resulted in IDM being sold in 1989.  It was time for me to move on.

The choice was to continue going up the corporate spiral or break out. I founded Trust-House Management Consultants Pvt Ltd in 1990. We defined our management expertise. Guiding big and small companies on Business Transformation Strategies, Business Process Re-engineering, Productivity and Cost management, Customer Relationship Management, to facilitating ERP adoption through Change Management and Employee empowerment. We practiced what we preached.

The 90s was a very exciting decade for me and for 7-8 young consultants/trainees at Trust House. It was very interesting to see that many of our ideas on organisation structures, business processes, roles and accountability and empowerment were incorporated in some way or other in world class ERPs.

In the 90s, Indian Healthcare providers were not organised and structured enough to undertake HIS implementation in  the way corporates adopted ERPs. So there was no money to be made in Healthcare IT solutions in India.

Most Indian companies in IT services saw it as a hopeless business case to try and   build  HIS solutions for Indian Hospitals. Having seen how world class ERPs  have been adapted for  Indian use, I saw it as an opportunity to build world class HIS in India, incorporating best practices not only for India but for other English speaking parts of the world. At the same time, I felt this is the chance I was looking for to make a difference.  This is the reason  destiny had held me back in India.

In 2002-03, we  implemented the old version of HIS in 10 Hospitals. By 2004-05 we had a list of 35 Hospitals who were using Novella HMS. All of them were going gaga about our approach which included BPR, our methodology and our HMS

Not being a software specialist, I turned to my old colleague from IDM, Ravi Mani who was running a 20 man software shop. He had a deep understanding of Hospitals management issues and good experience of developing Hospital Systems. After doing 2-3 Hospitals over 5 years, he had  concluded  that it is not economically viable to do HIS  as business.

I explained to Ravi my vision of transforming Indian Healthcare through People Processes and Technology. We will create a world class HIS product  out of India. Not only for India but for rest of the world. We could cross-subsidise charitable Indian Hospitals with money we get from Hospitals in Middle East.  He thought I was crazy. But we had to stop all local software projects. He was panicking.  I explained how we can get part funding through some small IT projects from friends  in US and UK. And if it did not work out we can always go back to what we were doing earlier. He was just 38 and I was 48. I must have been talking excitedly like that mad guy on Dadar bridge. Surprisingly, he agreed and we merged our two companies in 2001 to form Novella HMS.

At my first meeting with his team software specialists, I presented them with our vision and the fact that we are planning to focus only on Hospitals. I told them that we aim to sign up complete 10 Hospitals in first year with our existing HIS product. There was pin drop silence. Their eyes told me that they too thought I was crazy.

In 2002-03, we  implemented the old version of HIS in 10 Hospitals. By 2004-5 we had a list of 35 Hospitals who were using Novella HMS. And all of them were going gaga about our approach which included BPR, our methodology and our HMS.  And above all our people – who they said were very committed, very competent and very empowered.

On Republic Day in 2005, we had an excited gathering, where I presented the idea of  unified 21st Century Health Solutions co which can convert our dream to reality. Everybody thought we were all crazy but everybody also agreed that we have to be a bit crazy to attempt such huge challenges.

21st Century Health Management Solutions Pvt Ltd was formed in May 2005 adopting Dr APJ Kalam’s Vision of ” Healthcare for All by 2020″ and also the following inspiring thoughts – “Find Cause, Means Follow” by Mahatma Gandhi and “There is nothing impossible that a small group of people cannot achieve. In fact, that is the only way to achieve the impossible”  by Margaret Mead.

Today 5 years later, 21CHMS and its 150+ Centurions are most respected for our  Healthcare Consulting and Healthcare Informatics solutions. Our  services and solutions are helping  the biggest and the best  of Hospitals, Diagnostics Centres, Pathlogy Labs and Clinics to make Healthcare Services Patient Sensitive, Accessible, Accountable and Affordable. We currently support over 350-400 sites in  India, Middle East, Africa. By end of this year we expect a big breakthrough in Europe.

But we have miles to go before we can achieve our goal of “Healthcare for All by 2020”.

Be a part of Elets Collaborative Initiatives. Join Us for Upcoming Events and explore business opportunities. Like us on Facebook , connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter , Instagram.

Related October 2010