Rohit comes from a very enterprising family based in Bangalore that nurtured entrepreneurship, thinking out-of-the-box, striving for excellence and perseverance. At the young age of 18, Rohit ventured into merchandising for high-end consumer electronics. During this time, he also did his engineering in Computer Science and went on to work for IT giants such as Intel and SAP. There he got the opportunity to travel across the country and learn the nuances of running large businesses. This was
long before the advent of e-commerce and he ran it successfully for about 3 years.
Rohit cofounded Cloudnine in 2006 and expanded operations from a single hospital in South Bangalore to other locations in Bangalore and now a multicity-chain in Chennai, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Pune. This was possible through his business acumen and attracting investments through marquee private equity investors such as Matrix Partners and Sequoia Capital. Currently, he is responsible for strategy and planning, digital initiative as well as employee engagement.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Powered by his belief that “Pregnancy is Wellness and Not an Illness”, in 2007, Dr. Kishore Kumar, internationally renowned neonatologist and the Chairman of the group, along with Scrips n Scrolls India decided to set up Cloudnine Hospital with the aim of focusing on providing quality newborn care. The organizations vision to effectively bridge the gap between Indian and International standards to ensure excellent standards in woman and child health care has been achieved through a combination of clinical excellence, comprehensive care and an atmosphere of well-being.
Having celebrated over 27,000 births across regions, with a 2000+ strong team base, Cloudnine has expanded its reach to multiple facilities spread across India with current presence across several locations in Bangalore, Chennai, Burgeon, Mumbai and Pune while continuing to maintain and excel international standards of care and is still going strong with plans to reach every woman and child in India.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
It is often said that great things are based out of the simplest of thoughts. Back in 2006, It was one such family discussion with Dr. Kishore my maternal uncle and our Chairman of the group, wherein his long international stints and exposure to Clinical Standards and outcomes had brought him to notice the fact that maternity and newborn care in our country were at least about 40 years behind most developed countries in the world. The decision to support from there on was synonymous. We
started gathering data, allocating capital resources, finding infrastructure, all on a hurried pace and basing the decision on our conviction that this can be done despite several huge hurdles that we faced. Once we had a nutshell together, all of us came together to bring about the customer experience and the difference in clinical standards that we wanted to stand out for. It has been a tremendous learning experience and a wonderful journey to reach this stage and inspirations have been a plenty all through the journey.
What is your life mantra?
Live Life to the fullest and keep up a positive attitude !!
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Challenges continue to come about and surprise us every now and then, but the times I have had to go through to make sure there is enough Capital to stay afloat and make payroll in the initial months of starting our journey, especially when banks and others do not support the business was a huge challenge to overcome.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Capital in an especially capital incentive business like ours, where returns are only visible after stretched periods, making the availability of capital very important. The fact that credit periods on purchases to the period of receipt on insurance receivables are usually constrained, a lot of such hurdles especially during the initial days used to give us nightmares and would end up questioning if we should continue the business or not. The only possible way to overcome this aspect was to become attractive enough to acquire venture/ private investments and it took us about 4 years of business to get in our first investor on board. Since then, we have been able to plan and utilize resources better and it was an important step towards establishing long-term growth opportunities and sustenance.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
One of the critical investments is the team in itself that we have been able to bring in and nurture at all levels. We had Matrix Partners join us in 2011 investing around 45 Crores INR, Sequoia India joined us in 2013 leading an investment along with Matrix Partners to the tune of 100 Crores INR and most recently India Value Fund Advisors with an investment of 400 Crores INR.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Our industry is particularly susceptible to huge churns especially in critical areas of nursing and clinicians. We continue to experiment with tremendous engagement initiatives, provide good working environments, build many cultures and celebrate each one!
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Attitude, Perseverance and Humility
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We use a lot of proprietary tools like Microsoft and others developed in house, not necessarily anything online.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Listening and not just hearing makes a real difference.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I have been gullible to trusting everyone very easily, which is probably in my nature and has been my shortcoming on many an occasion. It is an important change to develop and I am taking the right steps with coaching and support to come out stronger.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
Perseverance and Conviction are best friends that one can find and keep !!
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Is to never rule out the prospect that ideas and inspirations come from the simplest of conversations and people, never shut out learning opportunities.
• One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
No matter what, family comes first! There are probably a lot of important times that I have not been able to commit to the family as I am wedded more to my company and that takes away a lot! Doesn’t make up for all other achievements!
What are your plans for next 3 years?
The plan is to ensure we employ and deliver our strategy of “go deep” in the geographies of our presence. We are looking at establishing collaborative efforts in non-capital cities to see if we can give that a growth path on its own. We are putting in a real push on Tech Enablement to develop tremendous engagement opportunities with our customers and doctors which will help us leapfrog on several quarters.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Start building in the team earlier and expanding the presence much faster!
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Iceland, a recent escapade, which my wife and I undertook, was just surreal!
Chikmagalur, a lot does happen over coffee!
NewZealand, one can never grow old there!
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Attitude designs Life !!”