Vikas Dafda is the Founder of Nirogya Geriatric Care Clinic that he initiated during his summer internship in 2017. He worked as a General Manager in Mpal Traders Gandhinagar and is responsible for overall business development. He is also a co-founder of Dianamik hospital management consultancy. Currently, he is working as a Category manager in Quikr, Bangalore. This hard-working soul was the first physiotherapist doctor from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda who got admission in an IIM. Vikas has also interned as a doctor, responsible for leading junior doctor teams in various camps like polio camp, paralysis camp etc.
Interviewer: Can you tell me something about your journey from a doctor to a person interested in management? Why did you think of changing your profession?
Vikas: The answer to this question lies in my final year of graduation. One day, I was reading a newspaper and I came to know about Sanjeev Bhikhchandani, founder of Naukri.com, an IIM-A alumnus. That day, the whole article in the newspaper was about entrepreneurship and how the alumni of the top B school of India had ventured highly successful start-ups. So, this thought of doing something big and challenging rather than following the common way inspired me to go for an MBA and entrepreneurship after my graduation.
Interviewer: Did you find it to be challenging entering into a new field?
Vikas: Initially, it felt difficult but then it was highly interesting. The whole MBA programme was enthralling.
Interviewer: What about your start-up, how did it face the environment?
Vikas: In my first year, I had this idea about the geriatric clinic, a multi-speciality clinic for old age patients where older people can find all medical and paramedical services like dental, physiotherapy, nursing, care-takers and dietician services under one roof. So, I discussed this idea with my one colleague who decided to be a partner in this venture. Then we brainstormed on this idea and we decided to establish our first start-up in Ahmedabad after intense market research in different cities of India. In summer, this colleague had to leave within 10 days as he was working on another project. So, the remaining days, it was very hard for me because I had to set the whole clinic myself. But I was determined to do so. I contacted my graduation friend who had shown interest in being a partner in this venture. Together we found a location, contacted vendors and equipment supplier, hired doctors and paramedical staff on variable salary base, and did the marketing in and around clinic area. After one month, we got our first patient and then our clinic started to function. In the next four to five months, we reached a break-even point. That time, I was in the second year and I remember, I used to go to Ahmedabad from Udaipur every weekend. Thus, we started earning good revenue in every quarter period.
Interviewer: It’s nice to hear that. But how did IIMU play a significant role and helped your start-up?
Vikas: I would say IIMU has a major role in my start-up. Before coming to IIMU, I didn’t know many things about business and even some basic concepts like market research. So, this knowledge gap was filled by Arun Singhal Sir, Shabbir sir, Kiran sir, Sasi Nair sir and other faculties as well. So overall, I would say without any help from IIMU, its’ direction, its’ financial help in summer as part of the SEP program, this start-up would not have been completed.
Interviewer: Great! Do you want to give a message to the current batch?
Vikas: My message is simple: Keep an aggressive attitude to follow an uncommon path and be creative and innovative in every aspect of your career whether you are doing a corporate job or handling a start-up. Attitude to achieve goals, determination and exploring new opportunities are the keys which can take your career to great heights.