We talked to Pramod Goel of Placidway on how the Medical Tourism company connects patients seeking medical service with providers across the world.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Pramod Goel: We’re doing well and staying healthy. We are trying hard for everyone to be in high spirits and not let the environment let us down. Keeping busy by understanding and serving customers has kept us thinking of a better future!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded PlacidWay.
Pramod Goel: I started my professional career working in the airline industry doing management consulting. Over the years, I gained experience working in various industries such as energy/nuclear, manufacturing, consumer products, healthcare implementing technologies, and performing process re-engineering initiatives. I started PlacidWay over 12 years ago to address a growing need to help people find medical procedures at an affordable cost. The healthcare industry was going through a major crisis of rising cost and many new innovations and technologies not available locally. With this focus and entrepreneurial spirit, I launched the PlacidWay Medical Tourism company to connect patients seeking medical service with providers globally.
How does PlacidWay innovate?
Pramod Goel: Innovation is at the heart of our culture. To continue leading the industry, we need to stay fresh, understand our customer needs, and create solutions that are easy to adopt and transformational. Our innovation is driven by using a multifaceted approach that combines strategy, data, marketing, process, and learning. We take big ideas and break it into smaller nuggets that can be innovated to gain process efficiency and user adoption.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Pramod Goel: As we are in the global medical travel business, our industry was significantly impacted by the pandemic and global lockdown. People are not able to travel and seek medical procedures abroad. Although we have been through other major crises before, such as the dot.com bust, economic meltdowns, among others, we learned from each such event. We managed to keep our organization resilient, where we can adjust our resources based on evolving situations. Of course, the pandemic crisis is unprecedented. We saw early signs when the outbreak happened, and we were quickly able to adapt and readjust our operations. During this time, we have taken time to further push innovation on our platform by adding new products and services to serve our customers better and further differentiate our global offerings.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Pramod Goel: Like many organizations during these times, we had to make tough choices to adjust our team roles and responsibilities as well as cross-training them to do more with less. As we wanted to continue to be the industry’s thought-leaders, and based on our experience, we focused our efforts on educating our customer base on ways to deal with the crisis. The key to evolving your organization is to work together with your staff, customers, suppliers, partners, and include them in all decision making processes.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and PlacidWay in the future?
Pramod Goel: With so much continued uncertainty has consumed our lives, creating stress and anxious workforce as well as customers. The ability to remain focused was challenged with so much chaos around the world. During this time, to gain employees, customers, and partners’ trust, we had to be very transparent. We openly discuss our company challenges and how everyone can contribute and work smarter during this time to help us sustain ourselves and continue to build a stronger company. We focused on innovating the Hybrid Medical Travel platform, which integrates continuum of care – from patient acquisition to online consultation to inpatient to aftercare and lifestyle management.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Pramod Goel: Medical travel industry is big and fragmented. The landscape is competitive, as it is a growth industry. PlacidWay continues to innovate to stay ahead of the competition. With the launch of several new products such as hybrid medical tourism, behavioral marketing, omni-channel communications platform, PlacidWay continues to innovate and lead the industry.
Your final thoughts?
Pramod Goel: COVID was a true test of survival! PlacidWay evolved during this time by balancing people, processes, and systems, further cementing its foundation to scale the organization. With the continued rise in pent-up global demand for affordable medical care and access to the latest technological evolution, we continue to lead the industry. Our evolution over the last 12 years has made us stronger and more versatile to sustain any downturns and ability to scale the business when we reach normalcy.
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