(August 11, 2022)Two things set apart Elwinder Singh from his family legacy. Firstly, the third-generation Malaysian citizen chose to establish his empire in India when his father and grandfather had worked in the country that was formerly known as the Federation of Malaya. Secondly, he chose the path of entrepreneurship when there had not been any entrepreneur in the family, rather people holding white collar jobs for generations. However, the decision to delve into patient care as co-founder of Connect and Heal certainly has a family connection to it.
“My dad had diabetes and cardiovascular problems, and his health condition was deteriorating. Despite developed healthcare facilities in Kuala Lumpur, I realised how difficult it is to sail through patient care,” he informs Global Indian during a conversation.
It took lots of time and effort for Elwinder and his family to ensure a coordinated care solution handholding in every single health intervention of his father. With the right support, the senior Singh regained his health, and at the same time, the seed of a different career path germinated in Elwinder’s mind. He was just back after completing his bachelor’s degree from the University of Warwick, London, and was working at Roger Berger, Malaysia during that time.
Stumbling upon a vision
India, the country of Elwinder’s family’s origin, enjoys a very special place in their hearts. Challenges while dealing with his father’s ailments led Elwinder to think hard about how distressing it might be for many people back home to tackle patient care, right from obtaining the correct advice, to running from one specialist to another for the appropriate treatment. in a country with a population of 136 crores.
Struck with the desire to do his bit and weighing the possibilities of a successful health venture, he made a move to India. Thus began the journey of Connect & Heal which stands by its vision to ‘deliver healthcare with empathy.’
India provided a platform to make a difference
“In India and other emerging markets, the scale of fragmentation in healthcare is amplified,” says the Malaysia-born entrepreneur. While brainstorming all aspects before making the big move, Elwinder identified the huge potential to touch lives and make a difference in the country.
“We are four partners and the CEO of the organisation, Sanjay Vinayak has 20 years of experience working in India,” tells Elwinder emphasising how putting the plan into action in a country where he hardly knew anybody, except a few distant relatives, became possible.
Connecting the dots
The fact that his sister Galveender Kaur, a former investment banker, joined hands as a co-founder in taking forward Elwinder’s purpose in life made things brighter.
“Starting in 2016 with Mumbai, Connect & Heal now has a pan-India presence in 300 cities,” informs the entrepreneur whose healthcare venture has touched six million lives so far. The organisation has been providing last mile delivery of healthcare in not just big towns, but also in far-flung areas. Choosing the B2B route, it runs 250 plus on-site clinics in tie-up with one of the largest employers of India to manage primary care of their employees and their families.
“We are also the country’s largest network of private sector ambulances on an aggregated model to bring down response time in navigating emergencies,” he informs. Connect & Heal is currently serving 8,000 pin codes for home delivery of pharmacy and diagnostics services.
Enjoying the new phase
Elwinder’s transition from coming to India rarely during his childhood to living in the country as its resident and enjoying its myriad vibrant hues, is something that he dearly cherishes. “Work has led me to travel to different parts of India and experience it in the true sense, he says,” with a smile.
Catering to the healthcare needs of the country during the pandemic as a health warrior has been an exhilarating experience for the young entrepreneur, who has made it to 2022’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Talking about the peak time of the pandemic, he mentions, “Crisis is opportunity to serve and find a solution.” Swearing by the powers of health-tech, he remarks, “Technology stepped up to bridge the gap that was created by the lockdown.”
Basking in entrepreneurship
“Things do not always happen according to plans but being able to adapt, having plan B, and being quick on the feet to navigate the situation is what it takes,” he says talking about his success as an entrepreneur. “I am blessed with a good team,” he adds.
Connect & Heal’s thousand-plus strong team size combines non-medical and medical service-providing partners committed to improving the overall health outcome for patients through primary care, preventive care, emergency assistance, covid assistance, and hospitalisation assistance. “We are in midst of unveiling a top-of-the-line technology platform which will get rolled out very soon,” informs the young entrepreneur, whose went to a Malay-medium school. “My Hindi is reasonably good now and I am catching up with Punjabi, quite well,” he signs off with a smile.
- Follow Elwinder Singh on LinkedIn