Vikram Kapur Part 1 - Senior Partner, APAC Healthcare Practice Leader at Bain & Company
Subscibe to our podcast
Many aspire to reach the upper echelon of the healthcare industry, but few are able to successfully navigate the corporate ladder. As Asia becomes the world epicenter of the healthcare industry, C-Suite Partners sits down with international healthcare executives asking the tough questions and unpacking the personalities of the top industry leaders.
Welcome to the boardroom.
Michael Murray 0:51
Vikram, thank you very much for being a part of C-Suite Partners in the boardroom.
Vikram Kapur 0:54
Thank you. It’s Pleasure, pleasure and privilege to be here really, really excited to talk about my career and talk about healthcare in the region.
Michael Murray 1:00
Why don’t you tell the viewers the past 10 or 15 years of your career and where you are today.
Vikram Kapur 1:06
So you know, again, I started right out of college, I was an engineer by training, started as a consultant at Bain back in 2001, started in Chicago spent time working across a variety of sectors and then spent six months on transfer to Stockholm. It was actually a very pivotal time in my career, it was not what I was looking to find, find an anchor. And I found that to some extent in healthcare, is the first time I worked in healthcare. And I think what excited me about the sector was the fact that there were many complex problems in appropriate industry that need to be solved. I came back to the US took two years off to go to business school. So you healthcare working, came back to being in New York as part of our healthcare practice. And then about seven years ago, seven, eight years ago, I had the opportunity to come to Asia for what was meant to be a here to focus on on helping grow our healthcare practice. Fast forward, it’s been seven years, I had the privilege of being able to work all the way from India to Australia, China, Southeast Asia, across sectors and healthcare, and just inspired by the opportunity in front of us.
Michael Murray 2:06
What is it about Asia? That’s so exciting, and healthcare, everyone is focusing on Asia in the past, probably five years, but the past 24 months, it’s really picked up momentum. What do you think that is?
Vikram Kapur 2:16
I think, look, I think it’s a combination of things, right? It is, you know, from from, from a macro perspective 50% of global healthcare spending growth, two and a half trillion dollars of healthcare spend, growth will come in Asia in the next decade, people are getting older people are getting sicker. And there’s a massive gap that needs to be addressed. And so I think what’s been exciting about Asia, is he just following a path that’s very different from what’s been taken, it’s in the Western markets, a lot of innovation is coming out of China, a lot of innovations coming into India, Australia. And you know, when 10 years ago, we were told a client to look at the US as a benchmark. Today, more and more of our American clients and European clients want to understand what’s happening in China when understand what’s happening in India, because it’s that disruptive form of care, which they feel will be the future.
Michael Murray 3:03
Why do you think healthcare has so many challenges in terms of operations? Because what you’ve seen in probably, you know, mostly hospitals, it’s just so many moving parts. What do you feel is the biggest challenge that hospitals face in this region?
Vikram Kapur 3:20
I think it’s a couple of things again, you know, a lot of hospitals, as as they emerged in the region, there was a very massive emphasis on growth. And so it was about being able to put the bed capacity out there, and hope the basil drive the business to kind of run itself. Also, you’ve always had this dichotomy where you have clinicians who are focused on on driving care, and the business side, which is looking to manage the operations in the most effective way. And very few have struggled to be able to do both together. The winning hospitals I’ve seen are the ones who were able to find that right balance. Yeah. And that’s been one of the challenges. One of the biggest challenges in region.
Michael Murray 4:00
I’m sure a lot of entrepreneurs would love to get an hour with you to get into your head with all the experience that you’ve had. What would you tell them from the start to make sure that they’re doing so in the next three to five years, they’re going to be set up for success or other key fundamentals of business that you would really give that advice to?
Vikram Kapur 4:20
It’s a couple of things, right? One is, I think you have to embrace this insurgent mindset. And the way things were done before and mark the way things will get done in the future. I think healthcare in general, you also find people who are very risk-averse. And so being able to embrace new models of care, new models of funding, you know, again, the solutions that have worked in developed markets will not work here. We cannot afford to spend 1718 19% of GDP on health care. And so having that conviction, and leaning in more to to disrupt a little bit. I think the second thing is, is investing in people development, like most sectors and health care in the region. Healthcare two has a massive talent shortage. And that is a war for talent. Once you’re able to attract good people, the line starts so people can approach them. I think the other third piece is and which is something that is fundamental to healthcare overall is just always staying on mission. You know, we operate in a sector where there’s always a balance between patients and profits. And it’s very easy to skew in one direction or the other, with recognizing that they’re synergistic. And being a sustainably profitable organization to be able to serve more patients, and delivering really, really good outcomes and great experiences to patients, to again, support the profit, I think finding that balance is important.
Michael Murray 5:39
What about in terms of maybe a mistake or regret that you’ve had over the past 10 years of your career?
Vikram Kapur 5:47
No, look, I think I’ve made several mistakes over time. Right now, I’m big believer that growth over time can never be linear, right? There’s always ups and downs. And I’ve looked back at all of these setbacks, frankly, as as a learning opportunity. While in the moment. They were, you know, you regretted them, you were frustrated. But then as you look back said there was a lesson in each one of these. And I think some of the biggest ones. The team I found was was was was was people was underestimating the people challenges in being able to overcome to implement a solution of some sort. And, you know, I would have found myself doing much more now as spending, taking the time upfront to really think through motivations of different people. And how do you deliver success because at the end of the day, I think it’s business is so much more about people, you can have the most elegant solution in the world. But if you’re not able to energize empower people to be able to action it might serve not.
Michael Murray 6:50
Tell me about the biggest problem icons come to you
Vikram Kapur 6:53
with companies that are growing rapidly. But their systems and their hardware and software have not scaled. You need the systems and processes in place, but at the same time, you don’t want to become a bureaucracy.