Exclusive Interview of Nandini Devi, Mpowered Health

·5-min read

Nandini Devi, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mpowered Health. She is a strategic thinker, and empathetic leader passionate about building highly impactful, socially responsible companies. Prior to founding Mpowered Health, Nandini co-founded ZeOmega and helped scale it into one of the largest population health management solutions companies in the industry.

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Nandini holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor's degree in Electronics Engineering from Bangalore University.

What motivated you to start Mpowered Health? How did the idea come about?

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We know how fragmented the healthcare experience is for individuals and their families. Getting and sharing records is such a hassle, not to mention the difficulty in understanding benefits & coverage, the cost of care, or the healthcare choices available. Many families forgo healthcare services due to a lack of coverage! This negatively impacts the health and well-being of millions of families and our society as a whole.

It is unreasonable to expect healthcare organizations to be responsible for an individual’s health outside of their relationship with the patient. For example - why should a health plan be responsible for managing an individual’s care when he is no longer a member of the plan? There is really no solution today that supports an individual across all scenarios - from the day he is born till the end-of-life. How can families empower themselves to take charge of their own healthcare?

I started Mpowered Health to be that platform that empowers consumers to be stewards of their own healthcare experience and enables healthcare organizations to acquire better, engage, serve and retain consumers. Mpowered Health will support people irrespective of age, gender, coverage, or socio-economic status with their healthcare experiences & choices from birth till the end of life.

How do you envision empowering consumers in healthcare?

Mpowered Health offers web and mobile apps where consumers can (i) easily consolidate their records from multiple payers & providers, (ii) share records with doctors, family members, caregivers etc. (iii) access doctors & other healthcare services like buying insurance or ordering tests (iv) make the right healthcare choices for themselves and their families

It is a bold experiment intended to give consumers a voice, the transparency, the choice, the access, and the convenience they need to manage their own and their family’s healthcare from birth to end-of-life.

Think about what Amazon did for retail, Uber for transportation, Netflix for media, Spotify for music. These companies were able to change entire industry verticals with an unrelenting focus on the consumer experience. This is the best analogy to think about what Mpowered Health seeks to do for consumers in healthcare.

We believe it is time to define a “digital front door” to the consumer and enable organizations to deliver healthcare services and experiences to that doorstep.

What do you attribute your success to? Is there a trait you have or a person who helped you along the way?

I could not have succeeded without the support and mentoring of family, friends, colleagues, and people I met along the way. I am genuinely grateful for that. The ability to see a silver lining in even extremely difficult situations has helped me. Another trait that has helped me over the years is curiosity which helps me look at situations differently without accepting the obvious conclusion at first. This has been key for me as Mpowered Health’s offerings evolve. With such a big vision as Mpowered Health’s, assuming I know everything about delivering on this vision is a fallacy. Flexibility in solution approaches and constant learning has helped shorten the curve. Another trait appears to be a stubbornness that kicks in when the going gets tough.

Employees are one of the most important players to succeed in business. What do you look for in an employee?

Leadership, Diversity, Compassion, Humility, Collaboration, Grit, Integrity & Quality at Mpowered Health are pillars of our culture. Why so many? People are different and being able to help them identify with one or more traits is a better culture builder.

We look for people with whom one or more of these attributes resonate. I believe skills and experience can be groomed, but values to a great extent cannot be groomed. I believe in creating an environment that inspires team members, clarifies our big goals and sees where human potential takes us.

What is unique about Mpowered Health? Is there a competitive advantage that you have over the rest?

We are focused on the proverbial last mile of the consumer mindshare. So solutions that help healthcare organizations deliver their services to the consumer's doorstep and improve the experience for the consumer align with our vision.

Because our focus is the consumer, we believe all organizations are collaborators with us – including those that offer other consumer engagement solutions. What sets us apart is our determination to build a support net for the individual and their families from birth to end of life – irrespective of changing healthcare needs, coverages, service providers.

What are the three best pieces of advice that you would give to anyone starting a business? What do they need to know from the very beginning?

My experiences as co-founder of ZeOmega gave me unique insights on handling challenges next time around at Mpowered Health. While every founder cannot benefit from a prior startup, they can seek advice from people who have done this before. Whether the advice is on tactical topics like shareholder setup, raising a seed round, landmines to watch for, etc or it is more emotional support, it helps to talk to someone who has been there before.

My second suggestion is to be flexible. Successful business models and plans emerge only with constant tweaking. Listen carefully for signals, learn and be open to change.

Last but not least, focus on small achievable goals, but never lose sight of the big vision. The route to the summit may meander a bit, which is still better than not reaching the summit.

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