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Female Entrepreneur: Bindu Menon – Founder of Point Blank Advertising Pvt Ltd

bindu-thumbTell us about yourself

I am a Postgraduate in Biochemistry and have an MBA. I began my career with GSK and have spent all my working years in healthcare marketing. I have been an entrepreneur in Healthcare Communications for the past 16 years.

In 2001, I founded Point Blank, in partnership with my husband, Sujeesh. Together we have grown this into an agency that does cutting edge work in the area of strategic healthcare communications.

In 2014, we launched another company which is a social enterprise that will help people live a healthier life and also help them get better healthcare. This enterprise is named Pepper Wellness.

Tell us about your company

Pepper is a company that works to put health in people’s hands. The underlying philosophy is that people who take charge of their own health will live a fuller, healthier life and can live well even in the presence of disease.

Creating programs that provide sustained, meaningful support and that empower patients to make these choices is the purpose of Point Blank. Our programs are designed to enable patients to live to their fullest potential, despite their condition, and benefit more from their treatment.

Our programs, typically, are a blend of four elements, pillars of a collaborative approach that puts the patient at the centre:

  • Timely intervention – Disease awareness, prevention, detection
  • Patient involvement – Understanding of a condition, treatment compliance and adherence
  • Doctor capability – Skill development, knowledge and experience sharing
  • Patient support – Community support, counselling, access to medical experts, financial support and advocacy

To create the programs, we draw from our knowledge of the healthcare system in India, our ability to work with clinicians and our strengths in designing platforms that both empower patients and enable providers to work towards better patient care.

An entrepreneur has to inspire every team member to believe in the company’s vision and work towards common goals and have shared values.

Why did you set up the company?

I have been an entrepreneur in the healthcare space for almost two decades. During this time, I have worked with healthcare providers to help them reach out to their customers and increase sales through effective communication programs. While doing this, we realised that patients, or the consumer in healthcare, had very little say in how care was given to them. In India, even though patients pay for the treatment, they often don’t have enough information or guidance to help them to stay healthy and to get the best possible care when they fall sick.

We realised that patient centricity and putting health in the hands of people is the only we can remain a healthy nation and it is only empowered patients who can bring about a change.

Pepper is the only health advocacy company in India, working to bring about sustained health behaviour change and catalysing the transformation of the nation into a healthy and more active one.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

Managing people and keeping them motivated is, I think, the biggest challenge. People are the most important asset in any business and today finding and retaining good people is challenging, because of the numerous choices and opportunities they have.

An entrepreneur has to inspire every team member to believe in the company’s vision and work towards common goals and have shared values.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Point Blank is one of the most awarded healthcare communications agencies in India. We have been recognised for our creative work and have won recognition from global healthcare forums.

Today we work for most of the leading healthcare companies in India and have an enviable client base.

We have built a reputation of being an agency that delivers great work by our clients as well as industry colleagues.

Don’t wait for people to woo you; in business, you have to make the first move.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

There are several people who have inspired me. Some of them are people who are known personally to me and who have been great business leaders.

The biggest inspiration are people who helped me find purpose in my life – who made me realise that I can make a bigger contribution in healthcare by focusing on people and their health instead of focusing on helping healthcare companies improve revenues.

How do you balance your work life and home life?

I don’t think I have been able to find a way to balance work life and home life! However, what I have managed to do is enjoy my time at work and at home 100 per cent. Be in the present and try to do the best is my motto. At times, it is all about work and I am completely consumed by it and then there are times when home becomes a priority and work takes a back seat.

Maybe I am not a great role model for work life balance. But it works for me!

What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?

Networking, meeting people and using business intelligence is as important as operational efficiency. These are key sources of information and knowledge. Often women find it difficult to do that or shy away from it.

My advice to women: Don’t wait for people to woo you; in business, you have to make the first move.

If you could ask for one thing to help propel your business what would it be?

I would greatly appreciate using this forum to get access to the networks of each member and introductions to decision makers in corporates and health care providers who will support our cause. Our vision involves building a community united by health and we need to reach out to as many people as we can to make this a reality.

What does the future hold for you?

We want Pepper to be the unified voice of people who wish to have greater control over their choices with respect to health and healthcare. This is a social enterprise and I feel that the future will have more and more people wanting to work in such enterprises where they can make a contribution to the society and not just build capital.

Be in the present and try to do the best is my motto.

Website link: www.pointblank.co.in

Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/thepepperway2health

Twitter handle : https://twitter.com/thepepperway

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