02/08/2020

Sujay Santra

Founder & CEO 

iKure Techsoft Pvt. Ltd.

We at VictoryTales, with the long & arduous search for bringing more and more meaningful and inspiring stories from around the world, this time, brings the story of a Kolkata based Healthcare Startup, ‘iKure Techsoft Pvt. Ltd.’, led by Sujay Santra, Founder & CEO, who is known for his inspiring entrepreneurship, an eminent speaker, and an impactful healthcare leader conferred by the ‘World Health & Wellness Congress’, 2019.

Sujay has led a fascinating journey, but he thinks the best is yet to come. While he has led the transformation of India’s primary healthcare system using technology and scalable models since 2010, his startup incepted with the mission of ‘creating zero mortality in primary healthcare’ with cloud and artificial intelligence technologies is set for the new road ahead.

His venture iKure, has not only readdressed primary healthcare system for the marginalized community, but it has also created multiple layered impacts across the community enabling access to affordable and accessible health services, technology-enabled integrated care, empowering community health workers, and implementing behavior change programs to create holistic and sustainable impact in human lives.

Our exclusive interview with Mr. Sujay Santra

On inquiring from where did the idea to start something like iKure Techsoft Pvt. Ltd., came from and requesting him to tell us about his background and his journey as an entrepreneur, Mr. Sujay apprised that;

It all began, when I visited my father for his ill health in my hometown, rural Kolkata. Working in IBM and Oracle, and an ardent technology lover, my father’s health crisis was an eye-opener for me to gauge the plight of the 840 million Indian rural populations. As his health recovered, I set out to look for the fundamentals that can bridge the gap and build a platform to seamlessly connect patients with doctors and the healthcare system. I took the lesser-known path to build the ‘Unicorn’. You can’t solve a problem unless you face one. Felicitation with the ‘Change Maker award’ & ‘Ashoka Fellowship’ by the former President of India, Shree Pranab Mukherjee in 2016 provided me with a firm anchor for my journey ahead.    

On inquiring from Mr. Sujay Santra, why has he chosen to become an entrepreneur over a job? He replied that;

I have always enjoyed being an entrepreneur even, though my first attempt was less than far impressive. After graduating, I worked as a junior scientist in the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) and was mentored by Prof. K. Radhakrishnan-Mission to Mars ISRO chief, where I was drawn towards understanding the complexity of technology and how it can save a life. While I worked in top-notch IT firms, I was deeply rooted by my clearly defined problem of healthcare access and was ready to take the plunge and facilitate an innovation that can bring efficiency and value creation in healthcare and one that everyone would aspire to be a part of it.

On inquiring from him about what was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur? Mr. Sujay apprised that;

I believe I have been drawn by an inner inimitable driving force.  Since my childhood, I was fascinated by technology and developed a life-long interest in software applications.  This interest helped me participate and win multiple awards during my service period in IBM and Oracle. As I traveled extensively, I became more aware of the dearth in healthcare access, and my personal experience was instrumental in finding a wider perspective of technology application in primary healthcare. I resigned from my 9-5 job to move into the direction which was less appealing in many ways. However, the hardships, and struggle, I had to make to reach this far, was a great learning experience for me. My parents, family, and my team have been my greatest support.

On inquiring about his source of motivation? Mr. Sujay narrates that;

I have been fortunate enough to be mentored by people with iconic figures and men of diversified skill sets. For example, my father has been my greatest source of inspiration, who was a very successful Banker, with popular mass appeal for his generosity, and intellect, as he left a mark on every human life he touched. Witnessing the difficult circumstances of humanity, be it families getting cash strapped due to healthcare expenses or poverty that prevents them from accessing the basic amenities, my father helped them all, transforming shortfall into values, that few in such a position can make it possible.         

On inquiring, How many hours a day do you work on average? Mr. Sujay explains that;

An entrepreneur’s working hours are beyond a 40-hour work-week. While bombarded with commitments and deliverables from all angles, it is hard to figure out the number of hours truly put in. I remember, not sleeping from two-three consecutive nights, and waking hours involved family responsibilities. So, I cannot equate no. of hours with my successes. I do catch up with my power naps during the flights or while travelling, also I believe your mental wellbeing is more important than your physical wellbeing, so it is necessary to keep a balance to help you sail through the patchy terrains and gloomy days at times.    

On inquiring about the uniqueness of his company ikure Techsoft Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Ashish apprised that ;

A patient named Runa has been visiting the hospital for her dialysis. Sometimes a year back, when she complained about breathlessness and dizziness, she consulted multiple local doctors. As her discomfort grew, she switched doctors and medications, which caused her more trouble, at last, when her severity grew, she was hospitalized and suggested for dialysis and kidney transplantation. We often witness such health mishaps caused by disintegrated care coordination leading to fatal consequences. At iKure, we aim to create an integrated care continuum backed by innovative technology and scalable models.  iKure is a Population Health Management company that delivers primary healthcare services through digital technologies, a network of hub & spoke clinics & trained frontline health workers. Our health management services span Preventive, Promotive, & Curative aspects of healthcare. iKure focuses on addressing the primary healthcare needs across all settings –rural, semi-urban, and urban areas.

How do you handle the pressure and manage stress?

Well, I talk to my father or I listen to music, take a long walk or drive somewhere and have some good food just to feel good about myself and that's how I have seen that I am able to handle pressure or stress.

How do you generate new ideas?

The generation of creative and practical ideas is the key to success. At iKure, I am open to new ideas, where every team member contributes in their own way to solve administrative challenges, opportunities to expand businesses, and generate technological ideas for products and services. We are also supported by investors, advisors, and different stakeholders who guide us with their novel ideas to drive change and open new possibilities for iKure in the healthcare domain.  

How did you come up with the name of your company?

At iKure, “i” stands for Innovation and “K” stands for Knowledge. So we wanted to provide Health Care using innovation and Knowledge and that’s how the name iKure came into existence.

 

What piece of advice would you like to give to the college graduates who wanted to become entrepreneurs?

I think persistence and perseverance are important traits of an entrepreneur. So build on it, without burning it. You need a dedicated team who can believe in your idea, stay true to them, as much you stay true to yourself. Explain your strategies, goals and reinforce it internally. Being an entrepreneur is like running a marathon, you need to keep your stamina and go steadily and definitely you will be successful.

"We feel Mr. Sujay Santra is an inspiration VictoryTales and wishes him a grand success"

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