Perspectives from ISB

Dr Vedha Sampath, an ISB PGP Co’ 11 alumna who now heads the Strategy vertical at Providence India shares her story of transformation from medicine to consulting and strategy.

As Dr Vedha Sampath stood on the brink of choosing a career at 15, she knew she wanted to pick up something intense, intellectually stimulating, and difficult to achieve. She was also deeply inspired by the relief her mother was able to offer her patients, as a dental surgeon. Her father, who instilled in her the values of community service, fuelled her determination to embark on a noble profession. “Pursuing a career in medicine offered an opportunity to ‘achieve’ while doing something valuable for the society and in hindsight, I think it was that combination that led me to choose medicine as a career”.

Nurturing the Passion

“My interest in biology developed in high school, thanks to my biology teachers, Ms. Sushma Shukla and Mr. A.K. Singh. It is fascinating for me to see how complex the human body is. The way it functions blows my mind,” says Dr Vedha, who pursued MBBS at JIPMER, Puducherry.

The Hippocratic Oath Dr Vedha took led to numerous achievements in her nearly two-decade-long career. “During my internship, one of the most striking memories is being part of a team that conducted 75 deliveries in a single 12-hour shift. Later, a drug analysis report I worked upon along with my team prompted the European Medicines Agency and the FDA to grant a critical drug emergency approval for use in the most vulnerable populations during the 2008 flu pandemic,” she recounts.

Transition to Consulting

A decade after entering medical school, Dr Vedha made another move by pursuing a Post Graduate Programme in Management at the Indian School of Business. “I realised I knew medicine, but I only knew medicine. A management degree is useful for solving larger problems,” she explains.

For 13 odd years after ISB, Dr Vedha has served in Monitor Deloitte, NephroPlus, Sai Lifesciences, and Providence India and each experience had something unique to offer.

“At Monitor Deloitte, the intellectual problem-solving was fundamentally exciting. At NephroPlus, it was about working in a startup environment on M&A, international expansion, and collaborating with large business houses in different countries. At Sai, it was the thrill of building a platform from an abstract concept to a product. At Providence India, I am helping build a new business at the intersection of healthcare and technology, accelerating digital transformation in healthcare internationally.” In the next phase of her career, she hopes to bring her experience in medicine, healthcare, consulting and startups together to bring cutting edge healthcare technologies and services to market.

At crossroads: Medicine, Consulting and Strategy

Dr Vedha believes the thought processes in medicine and consulting are broadly similar, with only the context being different. “In medicine, one assesses symptoms, forms a hypothesis, conducts tests, and arrives at a diagnosis followed by treatment. In consulting, one breaks down a large business problem into smaller pieces, collects data, runs tests to find the root cause, and designs initiatives to solve the problem,” she concludes.

Dr Vedha’s journey from medicine to consulting demonstrates how diverse fields can intersect, offering valuable insights and solutions to complex problems.

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