Addressing The Healthcare Crisis
Sylvana Sinha's inspiration to enter the healthcare industry traces back to a poignant personal experience. A decade ago, while her mother was visiting Bangladesh, she required basic medical treatment. To her astonishment, despite the country's economic progress, access to high-quality healthcare was severely lacking. As a result, her mother underwent two surgeries in Bangkok and the United States to rectify the initial procedure. This eye-opening encounter ignited Sylvana's passion to resolve the healthcare crisis in Bangladesh.
Transitioning from a life predominantly spent in the United States, Sylvana encountered initial hurdles when establishing a business in Bangladesh. In the interview, she candidly admits that her unfamiliarity with the local landscape turned out to be an advantage. By relying on her problem-solving acumen and leveraging her personal determination, Sylvana built relationships based on merit rather than preconceived notions. Her approach attracted team members and investors who shared her vision for Praava Health. While acknowledging the prevailing gender bias in funding opportunities, she perceives these challenges as opportunities for growth. She believes they compel her to possess an in-depth understanding of her business and emerge as a stronger leader. Sylvana strongly believes that the healthcare sector needs more female leadership, as women play a significant role in making healthcare decisions in households.
Embracing Human-Centred Technology
When asked about the state of technology integration in the healthcare industry, Sylvana believes there is immense opportunity in Bangladesh. With limited digital data, the country presents significant potential for advancements. However, she believes any technological solutions must prioritize a human-centered design approach. Considering the paramount importance of doctor-patient interactions and personalized care, a balance must be struck between technological innovation and maintaining the human touch.
Transforming Healthcare Delivery
Praava Health differentiates itself by being the only healthcare provider in Bangladesh that owns the outpatient healthcare experience for patients end-to-end - with both in-clinic and virtual services. Through pioneering initiatives such as introducing Bangladesh's first patient app and telemedicine services, the company provides a comprehensive solution for outpatient needs. Recognizing the significance of diverse players in the healthcare ecosystem, Sylvana encourages other health tech startups to add value and contribute to the growth of the sector.
Sustaining The Momentum
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a surge in patient acquisition for Praava Health. To ensure the sustainability of this progress, the company has effectively retained and converted these patients into long-term customers. Leveraging the brand recognition gained during the crisis, Praava Health continues to deliver comprehensive healthcare services beyond COVID-19 testing, while diligently managing customer acquisition costs. Despite economic fluctuations, the fundamental nature of healthcare guarantees the viability of Praava Health's hub and spokes model. Although the establishment of spokes is pending, the company has successfully expanded its reach through over 40 collection points and sample collection from more than 25 districts. Furthermore, its recent collaboration with Psychological Health & Wellness Clinic (PHWC) aims to broaden counseling services and integrate mental health as an integral component of primary healthcare.
Future Aspirations In Healthcare
Looking ahead, Sylvana envisions Praava Health becoming the leading healthcare company in Bangladesh within the next five years. She aims to expand Praava Health's operations throughout the country, scaling the business while maintaining its strong brand value. Despite the hesitancy of venture capitalists within this sector, she believes they have a crucial role to play in building resilience in healthcare infrastructure and fostering industry growth. Through innovative solutions, a patient-centric approach, and a focus on collaboration, Praava Health is redefining the standards of healthcare delivery in the country, inspiring positive change and better health outcomes for all.