Perspectives from ISB

Dr Utkarsh Agrawal , an ISB PGPMAX Co’ 22 alumnae, evolved from a clinician to a healthcare strategist and management professional, inculcating abilities to build and lead sustainable healthcare organisations.

As a young student, Dr Utkarsh Agrawal was enamored with science and desired to explore the depths of human biology and evolution. However, it was a personal tragedy—the loss of his father to cancer—that crystallised his resolve to become a doctor.

“Being a doctor has always been about caring for the health of the patient, but while practicing medicine, I realized that health and economics are intertwined in the life of every person. I learned that health today is not only clinical medicine; rather, it is cure, comfort, and cost that all together decide the well-being of any patient,” says Dr Utkarsh, who leads the business and operations at Rainbow Children Hospitals Limited in Bangalore.

Having worked in organisations in both the private and public sectors in India and collaborating with global healthcare leaders, Dr Utkarsh has seen healthcare from different angles. “My experience with healthcare MNCs has had a substantial impact on my work in India. I am focused on building quality driven hospitals and leading them to create value by building effective teams, system processes, quality, technology integration, and sustainability through rational choices, empathy, and agility.”

In his organisation, Dr Utkarsh was instrumental in employing a mechanism to capture more meaningful information about the patients coming to hospital and able to analyse them to identify both opportunities for his team to work and challenges to solve.

Explaining a recent feat which his team achieved, Dr Utkarsh explains: “Data Science and Technology have given a way to answer both business and operations questions, which we were not able to do before. In my work as well, we are able to employ such solutions and incorporate them within the routine of teams to get real-time information and then bring out actionable outcomes. But it’s still a long way to gather enough data to have precision on such outputs. This will eventually give immense objectivity to our work,” he says.

Clinical medicine has mostly been a science driven by rigorous training rather than theoretical knowledge alone. Dr Utkarsh believes that to navigate changes in healthcare, professionals need a blended understanding of both the nuances of clinical medicine and the intricacies of management. Those who have experienced both sides of the healthcare industry can better understand the perspectives of all stakeholders involved.

Dr Utkarsh adds: “I strive to harness my team’s collective experience to enhance our outcomes. Being medically trained, I bring empathy and kindness to all my efforts, ensuring these principles guide every decision,” he says. This approach brings him daily satisfaction, as he can explore his capabilities beyond clinical medicine, bridging the gap between medical science and service delivery to positively impact lives and create a safer environment for practicing medicine.

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