A Chartered Accountant with expertise in Accounting and Indian Indirect Taxes, Ms. Rima Sunit has worked with leading brands across industries such as Ernst and Young, Wockhardt, Otis Elevator and Pidilite in the last 10 years. Rima moved out of her mainstream career purely out of her personal aspiration of promoting affordable healthcare services in India. She co-founded Healthnovo with Abhay and is responsible for the overall execution of the operations along with developing finance and marketing strategies. Healthnovo is a hybrid healthcare startup that primarily aims at helping you prioritize your health needs with the help of affordable, easily accessible, and extremely agile health care solutions. It allows you to digitally store the test results and maintain a high level of privacy with the help of a unique health ID.
On this Women's day we are happy to feature Ms. Rima and her entrepreneurial story which would motivate others to step forward towards their dreams with determination and courage.
Rima: I am from Mumbai and belong to a working-class Marathi family. Professionally, I am a chartered accountant and I have worked for almost 12 years with brands like Ernest and Young, Wockhardt, Otis, and Pidilite. Nobody from my family has their own businesses nor do I have previous entrepreneurship experience. Therefore, starting Healthnovo is a new experience altogether. While working with corporates, I always had an urge to create values for myself and others however that was not being satiated. And when you can clearly see all the problems that exist around you and you are in a position to solve them, then all you have to do is take the first step in the right direction.
Rima: Healthnovo is a hybrid healthcare start-up. We are coming up with First Mile Clinic which is a franchise-based setup that offers primary screening of registered members with the help of scientifically tested methods and socially accepted approach, digitally through mobile apps. Healthnovo primarily aims at making health needs affordable, easily accessible, and extremely agile with the extensive use of Point of Care Technology Solutions. This means that the use of certain medical devices can make the healthcare consumer’s lives convenient. Additionally, our clinic functions in such a way that they become one-stop solutions to all the healthcare needs.
Rima: In a corporate setup, when you work at the mid-management level, you automatically start to feel a sense of restriction. For me, I think it was not a moment, it was a phase. Also, when you can solve the problems around you, then it is just a matter of going for it and taking the first step.
Rima: There were quite a few challenges that I felt along the way. I was unassertive about the responses from the users since we started this at the peak of the pandemic. Additionally, I also had to think about managing my family along with my professional life without any domestic help. Lastly, the main challenge I faced was surviving without a fixed income till the time Healthnovo became profitable. Major challenges were:
Rima: Most of the time we, women underestimate our potential abilities and end up taking the easy way out. However, one lesson that I learned during the year is, if we take that first bold step to break the shackles of our fear, we can create wonders. Another thing, I have learned is running your own venture is like raising your own baby. You end up doing whatever it takes to protect your child and raise him/ her in a safe environment. Similarly, you explore all the possible ways to create a success story for your venture. It amazes me that Healthnovo is actively creating employment opportunities for so many people whereby in the last 11 months, the rate of unemployment has increased gravely. My advice to women who want to take the plunge into an entrepreneurial journey is – Take that first bold step!
Rima: In the initial phase of Healthnovo we were not getting the right resources for the job. Customers would not pay on time and our entire budgeting went for a toss. Explaining our customers regarding benefits they can avail through by using point of care solutions offered by Healthnovo was very difficult. But we never felt dejected due to such small setbacks. With every setback, came an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective and hence identifying alternative solutions that would improve our services.
Rima: A satisfactory smile from the users and the stakeholders gives us the inspiration to keep going. I always tend to read biographies and memoirs of female iconic figures to motivate me. As Michelle Obamas once said, “Always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals''. I always follow these words and my mantra to other women would be the same.
Rima: Fortunately, I haven’t faced such challenges however gender disparity is very much visible even in metro cities. A Simple example would be, life survival skills such as cooking, household chores, kids’ responsibilities are naturally cast upon a woman.
Rima: Let us support each other and grow together.