Rohit M. A., Co-Founder and Managing Director, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals

Rohit co-founded Cloudnine in 2006 and expanded operations from a single hospital in South Bangalore to other locations across the country. Cloudnine has now 19 hospitals and clinics in Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurugram, Pune, Mumbai and Chandigarh. Rohit has led and managed the entire gambit of professionalizing the company. He has attracted top talents who form the core team of Cloudnine and also been responsible for leading the whole journey with private equity investors with the likes of Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital and TrueNorth.

 

Even at the best of times, pregnancy comes with risks, anxieties and worries. Then, think about being pregnant during a pandemic? Expectant parents must be experiencing a lot of stress now, barring the ones who have consulted Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, a chain of maternity, fertility and childcare hospitals headquartered in Bangalore. Under the leadership of Rohit M.A, Cloudnine Hospitals have taken some critical measures to help pregnant women, new mothers and babies during this time of social distancing and nationwide lockdown.

“Many restrictions make it difficult for us to provide the entire Cloudnine experience. However, with our ability to harness technology, and innovate during the need of the hour have held us in good stead and we should be able to engage with our consumers in entirety,” says Rohit. Claimed to be the first-of-its-kind services in maternal and child healthcare, Cloudnine has announced Teleconsultation. Available across Gurgaon, Noida, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai units of Cloudnine, Teleconsultation is an excellent help for customers to consult doctors from their homes via video thereby avoiding all the non- essential travel to the hospital. For this purpose, Cloudnine has a mobile app called ‘It’s our Baby,’ which has over one lakh users now.

On the other side, in collaboration with the ride-hailing company OLA Cabs, Cloudnine is offering mobility services to its customers during the lockdown. In Bangalore, where Cloudnine has six hospitals, women who need urgent medical assistance can now book OLA Cabs through Cloudnine call centres or through their app. The hospitals have designated areas for pick-ups and drop-offs where Cloudnine staff will help customers in and out of vehicles. “Every day is an evolving situation, and at times like these, every company big or small has to learn to adapt fast and rise above. At Cloudnine, as an essential service across our locations in the country, our primary challenge is to ensure the safety of our staff, clinicians and customers,” shares Rohit.

The Ideas that Changed India’s Maternity Healthcare Concepts

The inception of Cloudnine in 2006 changed a few things in the Indian healthcare system. India lacked a specialized mother and childcare hospital before Cloudnine. Rohit recounts, “The biggest issue was that we were creating a sector in healthcare for the first time in the country and that came with its challenges through naysayers, and that took a lot of determination, passion and conviction to stay on the path to unlocking value. Once customers started appreciating the effort, the validation was an indication that we were on to something important and necessary, the rest, as they say, is history.” In addition to maternal care, today Cloudnine also provides Fertility, Gynecology, Pediatrics and Neonatal Intensive Care services.

 

Having celebrated over 85,000 births across regions, the ‘Cloudnine Experience’ is more than an international standard of healthcare service. The hospitals have heavily invested in clinical and business innovation with technology, as it believes that technology would change the way mothers experience pregnancy with informed decisions on healthcare and medicine. “Future of healthcare revolves around the consumer and the ones who cater to the demand of the consumer wins. Technology no doubt will play a crucial role in bringing consistency across the touchpoints but will have to be positioned on the consumer,” pinpoints Rohit.

At Cloudnine, Rohit actively involves in several core areas including strategy, the digital revolution, public relations and stakeholder management with a critical focus on the expansion of presence and development of new business models for the company. While most of the hospitals in India spend less amount of their revenue on technologies, Rohit’s effort to invest in technology partnerships to get innovation going has helped Cloudnine to deliver its global standard healthcare services even in the toughest of times. Rohit shares, “The current COVID situation has been a major influence on technology coming to the rescue of delivering care where possible and the ecosystem adoption has been largely gratifying. We are not far away from creating personalized health plans with which we can digitally monitor and manage care to cure whenever needed.”

Being able to set up a digital-first healthcare service organization to credited with being the leaders to create a sector in healthcare that was far too long not considered worthy, Rohit has covered many significant milestones during his journey till now. “None of these would have been possible without the ability to attract the highest quality of team members across and is perhaps our most cherished accomplishment,” explains Rohit.

A True Leader Who is A Team Player 

Rohit does not consider leadership as easy job on any day. He opines, “At times of pandemic like this, never has been the word manager been so important to showcase the traits of working with one’s teams, no matter the size. An important aspect for all of us as leaders has been to demonstrate the values that we have all created in the company’s culture mechanism and wholeheartedly be available for every one of them to help arrive at solutions.” Rohit sees the current COVID-19 situation as a huge opportunity to understand and appreciate an individual’s ability to contribute beyond their respective cadres, which perhaps in the familiar working environment would have first gone unnoticed. He adds, “Working with the team to help innovate, cultivate, nourish, replenish and rejuvenate cultural impact and continuously increase customer engagement is a key approach for all of us as leaders.”

Coming from a very enterprising family based in Bangalore, leadership and an entrepreneurial mindset are Rohit’s inborn strengths. However, he has also worked in a few Multinational technology companies before co-founding Cloundnine. “Every job helped me understand the various challenges that an individual goes through in developing skill sets and particularly in stakeholder management. While the jobs were technically challenging and helped me grow immensely, my calling was always to take a lot more responsibility and innovate creatively, and that’s what I tried to do in every task I took up,” says Rohit.

Rohit’s school life was a regular hustle where consistency far outweighed creativity. “Perhaps that was the way of education at that time, and I played par for that course,” recounts Rohit, who later graduated through the Management Programme for Entrepreneurs and Family Businesses (MPEFB) in 2010, specializing in Entrepreneurship. He explains, “Far closer to this century where my management sessions at IIMB were a lot more interactive and encouraging of individualistic pursuance, which helped me largely in thinking bold. As much as classroom sessions would have helped shape the curiosity, the numerous discussions with the stalwart professors of various statures and peer learning helped deliver the edge.”

Rohit now has over 18 years of entrepreneurial management experience. Rohit states, “It has been a very enriching journey, and I continue to learn through various amazing entrepreneurs and professionals that I have had the privilege of being able to work alongside closely. Quite often, as a team of people solving for a situation, the process of finding a solution is far more refreshing than the solution in itself and probably gives the best learning opportunity.” As a leader, Rohit’s motivation has always been towards team management, encouraging innovation and culture development, which become critical challenges as companies grow beyond the initial cluster of reach while taking the entire brood together in the belief of the vision set out for the organization.

“My goal has always been to aim for the super team and nothing else. It always starts with knowing ones’ weakness more than strength, and that gives a chance to bring in a complementary team with skillsets which will together be very effective. The simplest way to earn a team’s support is through clear, transparent and consistent communication of intended outcome,” explains Rohit. The leadership style of Rohit has always been to look for entrepreneurial traits within the team. He then cultivates them by an adequate demonstration of such values and gives enough room for them to make their route plans for performance. Rohit adds, “Appreciation, big or small helps in creating a healthy atmosphere which they can percolate to as many levels in the organization there may be. Creating a sense of ownership is the most crucial aspect to help bring in a culture of innovation, and we all will do our innovative best when we believe that it is our own.”

Today, Rohit gives credit to his entire CXO team of past and present for always being able to deliver more than he asked for and helping him grow individually. Indeed, Rohit’s constant pursuance has always been to surround himself with individuals smarter than him. He believes that an expert at anything is not an easy accomplishment to achieve and more importantly, to be consistently recognized as one. “No effort other than a repeated practice of your trait to become constantly better is probably the most important aspect. Investing time and energy to staying updated and researching is very critical, and the single most important aspect is perhaps never to stop learning,” pinpoints Rohit. Perhaps, being a life-long learner is the reason why Rohit wants Cloudnine – despite being the leader in the sector – to continue growing while innovating to take their offering beyond the conventional infrastructure constraints.

 

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