(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Dr. Tanushree Devi Laishram, a medical doctor and a clinical cardiologist by profession, is the CEO and Co-Founder of  CyGen, a cloud-based preventive healthcare platform that helps various channels diagnose patients earlier with higher accuracy.

What makes you do what you do?
From my earlier days I’ve always been a problem solver. When I was practicing as a cardiologist, I realised the major problem people end up in my chamber was due to lack of proper knowledge and early detection. The solution to this critical condition was simple, though it’s to be started early in life. The zeal to solve this imminent problem and touch millions of lives, thus bringing about a positive change made me do what I do.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
To start with I’ve the right blend of medical and technical people in my team which is an essence in the success of any HealthTech company. Along with right ecosystem support, mentorship, blessings; a lot of hard work has gone into it in making me rise in the industry.
It’s time for Consumerism in Healthcare with patients increasingly acting like consumers who have a choice in their healthcare options, trying to make the best decisions for quality and cost just as they do with any other commodity.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
A very good question, perhaps, it was a complete career switch for me as I’ve to leave my stable, secure and high earning job as a cardiologist and start from the scratch where everything was new except for my medical knowledge. With no financial or business background, I took the plunge with the conviction that this is the only way I can put my knowledge to best use in realizing its full potential.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?
I do have a mentor, for me a mentor plays a vital part of my start up as I needed handholding at many steps, I won’t say he’s from my industry, but he’s a vast experience across industry which is a plus point and it’s been working very well.

How did you make a match if you did, and how did you end up being mentored by him?
To be honest, I’d say I was struck by luck because it happened by coincidence and finding a good mentor out of nowhere is quite rare. I can bank on him for my financial and business queries, as those were the areas where I needed most of the advice. Having someone watching your back, whom you can consult anytime of the day to clear the slightest of doubt does really make a difference in your start up journey.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
At this stage, for every new hire we look only for people who are proactive, inquisitive and disciplined. We’ve seen senior people who came highly recommended fail us drastically and graduates fresh out of college who outshone them. Understanding their aspirations and giving them opportunities and support to hone their talents has been beneficial for both the company and employees in our experience.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?
We support talent and hard work of our organisation irrespective of their degree, religion, gender, or race. So, unconsciously we support diversity because individuals and their characteristic matter and not the tags that they carry along.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
To be a great leader in my industry the subject matter expertise is a must, only if we understand the problem in depth can we find the solution. To have an open mind and be adept with the latest trends across industries comes second, in today’s world and with technological advancement no industry can function in solidarity. So, keeping an eye on how to apply a cutting edge technology in solving the pressing problems in my industry by harnessing the latest technology plays a huge role in staying ahead in the game. Last but not the least, being mindful of the needs and expectations of the customers and my team is the most important of all these.

Advice for others?
There are many ways to bring about a change in whatever small way possible according to an individual’s capacity. Always follow your heart and never settle for anything lesser. Grab the opportunity and be a positive change in someone else’ life.

My next step will be to enhance my predictive model by incorporating genetic element to it, thereby disrupting the health care system where we prevent diseases instead of treating them.

From data analytics to patient empowerment, the advancements from the past year may indicate that the healthcare industry is finally about to reach its most pivotal moment:
1) Design for most complex healthcare technology based Augmented Reality
2) “Precision Medicine”

If you’d like to get in touch with Dr. Tanushree Devi Laishram, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-tanushree-devi-laishram-6a211184/

To learn more about CyGen HealthTech, please click here.


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