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

By Punita Sabharwal

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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)."

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)

Punita Sabharwal

Entrepreneur Staff

Deputy Editor, Entrepreneur India Magazine

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