Daniel Etra, CEO and Co-Founder of RethinkFirst, has created a mark for himself in the healthcare industry with an upward career trajectory. Prior industry expertise, unique skillsets, and influential leadership roles have proved instrumental in his rise.
Daniel began his career by working in investment banking, where he learned to value companies based on financial metrics. His stint in the army gave him the leadership experience and the ability to maintain focus/discipline, accomplishing complex tasks in extreme situations and under significant duress. Simultaneously, Daniel also managed an import and distribution company in the Middle East, which helped him develop management skills and the ability to take an operating concern and drive growth.
Later on, Daniel received his MBA from Harvard Business School. This was followed by experience working in the consulting industry, enabling him to gain insights and develop skills in analyzing and developing business strategies for various clients across multiple industries. “All of these prior experiences equipped me to found my first company, a printing business supplying the retail apparel and accessories industry,” further continues Daniel. His past experiences enabled him to lay the foundation for Rethink, a leading behavioral health technology company.
Making Best Practice Treatments Available
According to the latest reports by the CDC, about 1 in 6 (17%) children aged 3–17 years are diagnosed with a developmental disability in the United States.
Started in 2007, RethinkFirst is built on a mission to address the significant challenge of effectively and affordably meeting the treatment needs of an enormous and growing population worldwide with a developmental disability, faced with a significant dearth of trained professionals. Back in the day, Daniel and his team found extensive research on the effectiveness of video modeling for training in the fields such as medicine and the military. This gave them the light bulb moment. Together, they combined this proven method of instruction with the tested and medically-recommended ABA treatment methodology. “We at Rethink determined that the only way to deliver clinical best practice treatment in a scalable way was to leverage technology to train whoever was caring for the individual with the developmental disability how to deliver the treatment,” remarks Daniel.
Since then, Rethink has been applying its award-winning technology to provide a scalable and affordable solution for individuals with a developmental disability and their caregivers worldwide.
Unique and Making a Difference
Rethink offers expertise in three key areas: Behavioral Health, Employee Benefits, and Education. Research shows that employees who have a dependent with developmental disabilities tend to experience high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression and yield low productivity at work. Whil, Rethink’s inclusive personal wellbeing, professional development, and parenting & caregiving platform supports those employees and allows them to perform at their best. Presently, the Whil platform is being leveraged by employers with under 1000 employees to over 500,000 employees, and across its book of business, Rethink covers over 7 million lives.
Through Rethink’s practice management platform, a large number of behavioral health providers can serve tens of thousands of children nationwide with autism and related disorders today.
Moreover, Rethink’s Ed suite of solutions offers the industry-leading special needs management platform for public school districts. From rural to large urban districts, schools in the 50 US states seek this platform’s assistance. Daniel and his team have designed Rethink’s Ed program to fully meet the Federal IDEA requirements and a variety of state-based legislative mandates to provide an adequate education to students with special needs, as well as support the broader mental health needs of the entire district population.
Besides being robust and clinical best practice, Rethink’s software is web-based, easy-to-use, and provides a scalable platform onto which new products/solutions can be easily added and/or integrated. With such feature-rich platforms, Rethink is fulfilling its objective of inspiring and empowering individuals with developmental disabilities and those who support them and standing apart from its market competitors.
Turning Challenges into Opportunities
Right now, Rethink’s main challenges involve attracting and retaining the best talent and finding new growth avenues in today’s tech-driven age. “The fact that we impact the lives of millions worldwide helps us attract high-quality individuals who can work anywhere they want but ultimately choose to come to Rethink,” states Daniel. He further continues saying, “As we seek to accelerate our growth, we first and foremost listen to our customers and look for additional pain points that we can address for them through a platform driven approach, one where we can both build as well as buy new product offerings that can then be upsold to our clients.”
The growth and progress of Rethink remained unaffected even during the COVID-19 pandemic times. Pre-pandemic, a majority of our 300+ employees were already working remotely, so nothing much changed in the workflow. “In fact, the pandemic only served to drive greater awareness of the importance of mental health in the marketplace, which highlighted the importance of our behavioral health solutions to our clients and allowed us to have a greater impact in the market,” quips Daniel.
Client Testimonials Backs Rethink’s Performance
Daniel shares, “Our superior performance over the past few years has been reflected in rapid revenue growth in the high thirties on a percentage basis year over year, combined with growing profitability. We are currently serving over 2,000 enterprise clients across multiple end markets, with most revenues coming from the US.”
One of the Rethink’s clients shares their experience of using the Company’s platform and its value-added advantages. Donna Sexton, the Director of Employee Benefits at Costco, said, “I can’t think of any benefits we’ve ever added to our suite that got so much attention and so many letters to our president, thanking him for bringing Rethink on, and what a difference it was going to make in their lives.” The workforce at Costco Wholesale constituted nearly 20% of employees who were caring for a child with a developmental disability such as autism or ADHD. Costco Wholesale decided to deploy the Rethink program to support the needs of its employee caregiver.
Driving Product Innovation
Defining innovation and what it means to the Company, Daniel answers, “Innovation to us means first and foremost recognizing the problem in the market that we are seeking to address and truly understanding the customer’s needs before developing unique and scalable solutions to address those needs.” Based on a client-centered culture and best-in-class customer service, Rethink is driving the creation of innovative products that effectively and scalably meet the needs of its customers.
At the moment, Daniel and his Rethink team are planning to launch new products that will accelerate the Company’s growth and expand the customer base in the global healthcare system. One of the products from this range comes with data analytics capabilities where prediction of treatment outcomes can be made possible for the population with an autism spectrum disorder. Daniel regards this as “the cutting-edge leap for our industry” and will help position Rethink as a leader in this area.
As for the future years, Daniels reveals, “We continue to seek out new ways to effectively and affordably meet the behavioral health needs of our clients and will continue to pursue rapid growth across all the end markets that we serve.”
A Day in CEO’s Life
As the CEO of a leading health technology company, Daniel’s time is fullyoccupied, from staff meetings to product review sessions, client presentations, and investor reporting calls.
“I find the best way to stay focused and even keel is to remember that I have overcome challenges or difficult situations before and will continue to do so in the future,” shares Daniel while talking about his mantra of keeping calm under pressure. On a personal front, meditation is Daniel’s valuable tool for maintaining mindfulness and wellbeing. He also places high value on his time with his family outside of work.
For More Info: https://www.rethinkfirst.com/
About Daniel Etra, CEO, Rethink
Mr. Daniel Etra currently serves as CEO of Rethink. Before co-founding the Company, Mr. Etra was CEO of RER International, a supplier of printed materials to the retail industry. Mr. Etra was a Consultant at Bain & Company, helping establish their NY office, and served as a Managing Director of Promodex Ltd., an importer, and distributor of consumer appliances and industrial equipment. In addition, Mr. Etra worked at Wasserstein, Perella & Co., specializing in M&A in healthcare, technology, and natural resources. Mr. Etra has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Yale University. Born and raised in New York City, he volunteers in the Pediatric Department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, working with children ages 3 months to 15+ years old.