Inspiring women leaders are dedicated towards transforming their vision into reality. They are creative, adaptable, and they never give up during challenging circumstances. They lead their organization effectively with their foresight and shrewd business acumen. They are resilient, courageous, hardworking, and possess an innovative streak. These leaders transform every problem into an opportunity and always lead their team towards excellence.
One such inspiring personality who is spearheading the business sector effectively is none other than Reenita Das, Partner and Senior Vice President, Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice, Frost & Sullivan. She is a healthcare futurist and strategist, passionate about changing the healthcare industry. Ms. Reenita has lived and worked in over 10 countries in the world, focusing on healthcare issues and working with public and private sector to implement growth change strategies.
In addition, she is the Founder of GLOW (Growth and Leadership of Women) program. She is also on the Board of a non-profit “High Tech High Heels” Silicon Valley that focuses on increasing gender diversity for STEM in schools.
In an interview with CIO Look India, Ms. Reenita shares her journey, challenges throughout her career, and her future plans. Following are the excerpts from the interview:
Describe your professional journey as an inspiring business professional.
The last two decades of my career at Frost and Sullivan have been brilliant and spectacular, primarily because I was able to discover my passions, hone and build on them and eventually make a small dent in the world at large. I have two big obsessions – the first is my love for healthcare and bringing in this concept of innovating to zero to the healthcare world-– and the second is women’s empowerment in technology and STEM-based fields.
Another passion I am pursuing is creating awareness about gender-specific healthcare, most especially building ‘femtech’ or female technology products. I work in advising femtech companies on the right strategies and commercial business models to succeed. I also mentor young women on learning to be authentic and building their self-worth.
Who inspires you to wake up every day and keep making a difference in the industry?
Changing the lives of young women and as a result, making an impact in the world is what keeps me going every day. Once you have found your purpose, no one and/or nothing else can motivate you more. It took me a long time to realize that the only person I could depend upon is myself. Being a student of yoga and meditation, I use its guiding principles in my life, relationships, and work. It is a tremendous gift when you can turn pain into power and embrace it. Being present and aware is what guides me to stay focused.
As the Key Executive Personality of company, what challenges have you faced while running the business?
Every job has its challenges, but the key is to have the right attitude and mindset to confront these challenges. There are instances where even though you are given a seat at the table, you are not heard. I have to ﬁght twice as hard to be heard every day, and my attitude is – never give up. I do not believe in a status quo and like to shake things up.
COVID-19 has transformed the way we work, live, and carry out our activities and offers tremendous potential to drive change. I view this as one of the biggest opportunities of our times to disrupt the status quo and reconfigure what needs to be focused on issues such as sustainability, gender equality, etc.
How has the current pandemic affected your business?
This pandemic has highlighted that one has to change and adapt or die. It has allowed us at Frost & Sullivan to help our clients rethink their business strategies. Technology has been a tremendous enabler to provide better healthcare. Presently, 30% of the world is using phone or video for healthcare consultations, while pre- pandemic, telehealth was 0.03% – what a brilliant transformation! Frost & Sullivan has just released the top 50 technologies that will assist in transforming the world post-COVID. Necessity is the mother of invention has been proven yet again.
What creative ways have you employed to make the work environment of company vibrant?
Creating and building an environment of trust in the organization, regular communication from our CEO and senior management updating employees on the transformations in the company, frequent team meetings with fun activities such as quiz, talent show, etc., organizing sessions for all employees on wellness, Yoga, meditation, etc. are some of the processes we have employed at Frost & Sullivan to keep everyone’s spirits up.
According to you, what are the essentials of being an inspiring business leader or business professional?
Leadership is not a position or a title – it is a choice and a way of life and thinking. It takes a great deal of humanness, courage, resilience, and self-awareness to
create the right culture and bring perfect harmony for the beneﬁt of your employees, companies, and the larger world. It requires a high level of emotional intelligence, self-reﬂection, mindfulness, and thoughtfulness as well. I think good leaders are committed to a lifetime of learning and adaptability to change and can use these qualities to lead by example. Today’s leaders need to be comfortable with persistently high levels of uncertainty and chaos than ever before.
What would you like to share with the young generation of entrepreneurs who are looking to step foot in a leadership role in their respective businesses?
You have to ﬁnd your purpose in life and convert this to an obsession. Many of the biggest problems in the world have been solved by people who were not experts in that domain. For example, many challenges in the healthcare industry are being solved by information and technology companies today. Disruption usually happens from the outside. Hence, one has to think out-of-the-box to lead and succeed.
In terms of future growth, where do you see yourself and your company?
Our company is fanatical about growth, and I believe that we would continue this route. My personal goal is to work on building a zero-vision world. I would like to see a world where we can innovate to zero at every level. There are many examples across industries, but just in the healthcare industry there can be – zero infections, zero diseases, zero side eﬀects, zero hospitalizations, etc.
What does innovation mean to you? How is it going to affect the world in coming days and how is it making a difference now in the current scenario of the manufacturing sector?
Innovation is critical to driving growth in a post-COVID world. This pandemic has been the ultimate tipping point in the 21st century. It is a wake-up call for companies to either get disrupted and face their “Kodak” moment or change plans and transform. I work on helping companies identify growth opportunities in a world under stress and ﬂux.
In healthcare alone, we have identiﬁed over 100 growth opportunities that will change the world over the next 3 to 5 years. It is an exciting time for those who work on future growth and shape its course — whether it is looking at consumerization of healthcare, rethinking education, focusing on a green economy, or building diversity at every level of society. Innovation and digitalization go hand in hand. Digital transformation provides enormous opportunities for new ways to live and work and can empower people.