Vikram Kapur Part 2 - Senior Partner, APAC Healthcare Practice Leader at Bain & Company
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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 0:46
What about healthcare tech? Sure seems to be growing and especially within Singapore, it seems to be this this hub of healthcare tech and obviously within in China as well. Why do you think so many of these healthcare tech startups go through challenges? Is it because of the idea is is good in theory, and then all of a sudden when it’s in the real world, it just needs to be, I suppose, tinkered with a little bit. What do you think the challenge is?
Vikram Kapur 1:13
I think it’s a really interesting question. So if you look at I think health tech, more generally, in the region, a lot of health tech models were created to solve pain points, in terms of access to doctors, that’s where the telemedicine apps came, yes. Or being able to get access to, to pharmaceutical drugs. And so he pharmacy because, again, you know, you don’t want to wait in line waiting graphic for an hour in Jakarta to be able to get to the pharmacy. I think what’s been interesting is, you know, we’ve seen across a lot of sectors, it’s always been online to offline. I think with health care, actually, what we’re seeing is it’s more offline to online, okay. And so people’s trust, I’m comfortable talking to a doctor online, or through telemedicine consult, if it is a follow up visit. If it is, if I need a prescription refill, that trust barrier has still not been crossed when it comes to the primary consult, you know, beyond the coffin a cold. And so I think what’s the challenge has been is being able to find the right balance between the online and the offline. And a lot of the players who have driven growth early on have driven growth from being more digital being digital natives more online. And as as overtime, we’re seeing them pivot more to finding that offline bounce.
Michael Murray 2:25
What about with all your teams within Asia? How are you managing them effectively? Because it seems like you’ve got to have a lot of trust in your team. So when you turn up, things are, you know, ahead of schedule, on time, on budget, how do you manage them? What’s your style?
Vikram Kapur 2:40
Yeah. Okay, I think this is this is the core, the core of my job is building and developing are my teams. And really, you know, we’re in a sector where, frankly, we’re constrained by talent supply. And so a lot of time is spent with my teams. Typically, the principals or managers who I’m working with, or the junior partners I’m working with, helping coach them on how do they become effective fly leaders, helping them solve big problems, and my style tends to be not as directive. Thinking through really on understanding the motivations of each of each of my direct reports, helping them be successful, coaching them in the right way, when I need to roll up my sleeves, I will roll up my sleeves with them being able to role model to them, What good would look like or what I would think would would look like. But again, you know, it is the one benefit we have in healthcare, frankly, is most people who work in health care, also given by the broader mission and purpose and so constantly reminding and reconnecting people to that purpose, and why we do what we do.
Michael Murray 3:43
Tell me about the biggest problem icons come to you with
Vikram Kapur 3:47
That are many, many big problems. And I think, very often the problems the client comes to us with or not the problems. Okay. So very often, you know, they come to us with what they think is a symptom, versus what they actually need to work on is the cause. And so some of the biggest problem challenges, you know, I work with our companies that are growing rapidly, but they’ve not been able to their systems and their hardware and software have not scaled. And so how do you balance a very founder led company that by default kind of runs away in has an allergic reaction to systems and processes to recognize that you are now no longer answered, you no longer a small startup, you need the systems and processes in place, but at the same time, you don’t want to become a bureaucracy. And those are some of the toughest problems I’ve faced. But those are the most enjoyable ones because being able to guide people through that journey and help them see the value of how systems and processes very often can help free up more oxygen for them to be able to go to climb that next hill. Is is what’s quite inspiring.
Michael Murray 5:00
Do you normally go with your gut or your head and watch your star?
Vikram Kapur 5:04
Yeah. You know, to be honest, I think as, as I, as I look back, every time I have not gone with my gut is when I regret it. So I could go through the intellectual argument and you can make the case for something. But if your gut is not telling you know, what the right answer is it just as I look back, every every situation where I wish things had gone differently, but back then if I just trusted my gut, whether it was making a decision to work with someone to hire someone to make to make an investment in a certain certain area, you know, it’s I’ve learned to rely realize over time to use my gut more. But But frankly, I also use my teams and my mentors to challenge me.
Michael Murray 5:46
What about advice that you give yourself, if you 10 years previous? But today, what would you say?
Vikram Kapur 5:53
I think the advice I’d give myself would be isn’t this advice I gave many, many young young folks on my teams is don’t wait for Superman. Now, there are so many opportunities. Don’t wait for the move. Don’t wait for permission. I look back at my career, I felt very often I was I had great ideas. There were lots of great opportunities. There was a period of time where I would wait for permission to be able to take that next step and I felt that what really unlocked for me growth and learning was moment I stopped waiting for Superman chapter. Let’s go jump in, ask for forgiveness. After after the fact was this permission and unbalanced more often than not your instinct will be in the right place. If you have questions. Talk to your board of advisors, talk to to your colleagues, but don’t get held back.
Michael Murray 6:42
What about your career in one word?
Vikram Kapur 6:45
Michael Murray 6:48
Vikram, thank you very much for spending time with C suite partners in the boardroom. Thank you.
Michael Murray 6:51
Thank you, appreciate it.