This IIM Alumnus is Making Healthcare Accessible to the Masses

The latest venture of Meena Ganesh, Portea currently has 4,500 employees across 16 cities managing 120,000 visits per month

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Coming from a reasonably conservative South Indian family, Ganesh was not exposed to the idea of setting up a business and chose to pursue a corporate career after IIM Calcutta. Ganesh says, "My entry into business happened in 2000 when the concept of offering remote IT/IT-enabled services were just starting to take off and we started our first start-up (CustomerAsset)."

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The wave of entrepreneurial era was yet to arrive in India. There were no support groups, mentors, advisors or angels etc. "It was interesting to be a part of entrepreneurship in India at its infancy and build and grow multiple businesses over the years," she says. CustomerAsset, was funded by eVentures, a Rupert Murdoch-backed VC firm.

When asked about her current venture, Portea Medical, Ganesh says, "Our involvement resulted from a deep personal experience. A close family member was diagnosed with cancer and we faced difficulties of taking care of a terminally-ill person first-hand. We realised about the challenges involved and the dearth of options for quality medical care in India." This was the time, when she and her husband K Ganesh had just exited their previous venture TutorVista, and were exploring new ideas. "We found that the lack of affordable and quality home healthcare in India was a big pain-point and provided a large 'whitespace' opportunity that we felt we could address," she adds.

Currently, Portea has 4,500 employees across 16 cities managing 120,000 visits per month. As a partner of the platform, Growthstory, she is also the co-promoter of nearly a dozen Internet and technology enabled start-ups.

(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)