Dr. Amit N Thakker, Chairman, Africa Health Business

Dr. Amit N Thakker, Chairman, Africa Health Business

Amit is the Chairman of Africa Healthcare Business. He is the President of the Africa Healthcare Foundation. Amit has been recognized, felicitated, and awarded globally. He is also a member of YPO.

 

Podcast

Overview

This episode of The Brand Called You brings you the story of a man who saw loopholes in the Healthcare Business of Arica and decided to change it.

Our guest for today is a healthcare professional, Dr. Amit N Thakker. Amit is the Chairman of Africa Healthcare Business. He is the President of the Africa Healthcare Foundation.

Amit has been recognized, felicitated, and awarded globally. He is also a member of YPO.

About Africa Health Business

Africa Health Business is a boutique, consultancy, and investment firm. It is headquartered in Nairobi and works in 27 countries of Africa.

After working in the health sector for 25 years, Amit started Africa Health Business in 2015. His motive was to create a unit that propels investment and strengthens healthcare systems in Africa by creating strong partnerships with the public sector and developing partners.

Amit wanted to provide affordable healthcare to the people of Africa as about 1.3 billion Africans depend on affordable healthcare.

Dr. Amit’s journey before Africa Health Business

Amit was born in Kenya. After completing his education he went to the University of Nairobi to train as a doctor. During his days of internship in an 1800 bedded hospital, he realized the need for affordable healthcare. He could see people struggling to pay hospital bills.

To reach the unreached population, he started Avenue Healthcare in 1995. He started with a van serving as a mobile clinic. He used to go to different places to serve the patients. It grew to 18 clinics across Kenya serving about 50000 patients a month.

Eventually, it became a managed care model from a mobile clinic. In 2011, he made an exit from the company to explore new ventures. This is how the Africa Healthcare Business came into existence.

Amit’s learnings during his entrepreneurial journey

During his entrepreneurial journey, Amit realized that passion is very important. He was willing to help people and found joy in doing so. He did not draw a salary for many months during the initial days of his business but his passion kept him driving. He also tells us that he learned that one of the reasons for his entrepreneurial journey being successful was getting the right people with him.

How are healthcare challenges being handled differently in different countries of the African continent?

Amit says that India and Africa have almost equal populations. To serve the patients in India, there is one legal framework across the whole country.

But in the African continent, one needs 55 different licenses and 55 different regulatory frameworks to serve a similar population, which is quite challenging. Another challenge Amit talks about is the treasury.

He says that the treasury allocates a certain amount of funding to every African country and it has to make the best use of it to provide good quality healthcare to its people.

How is technology changing Healthcare in Africa?

Africa is the youngest region in the world with an average age of 19 years. Due to this reason, the adoption of the technology there is rapid. Amit tells us that Kenya has exported a brilliant mobile money platform to the world called M-pesa.

Similarly, Africa is soon going to see something in telehealth. He believes that electronic medical records, telepharmacy, telepathology are going to change the way people receive healthcare services in Africa.

How did Africa deal with the pandemic?

Amit tells us that early preparedness was the secret behind the successful handling of the Covid pandemic in Africa. He tells us that Africa got its first case of Covid-19 on 14th February 2020. They had the privilege to see how other countries are dealing with it and prepare accordingly.

By March 2020, half of the African continent was well prepared and equipped to fight the pandemic.

During the pandemic, Amit and his team created a Covid-19 Strike Team. Through the Africa Healthcare Federation, which Amit chairs, they started exchanging blueprints and ideas on protecting the healthcare worker and ensuring the minimal transmission of the virus.

This exchange of information was extremely powerful and helped a lot of countries. They also promoted a task force in every country, which was a combined effort of the public and the private sector.

Amit’s advice to young entrepreneurs starting their journey

Amit says that today is a very favorable time to become an entrepreneur. We have a lot of investors and people with experience to help us with entrepreneurship.

He advises youngsters to just make sure that the ecosystem they surround themselves with is positive and brings them encouragement.

He also says that don’t let the naysayers and negativity bring you down.

Profile

Amit was born in Kenya. After completing his education he went to the University of Nairobi to train as a doctor. During his days of internship in an 1800 bedded hospital, he realized the need for affordable healthcare.

He could see people struggling to pay hospital bills. To reach the unreached population, he started Avenue Healthcare in 1995. He started with a van serving as a mobile clinic. He used to go to different places to serve the patients.

It grew to 18 clinics across Kenya serving about 50000 patients a month. Eventually, it became a managed care model from a mobile clinic. In 2011, he made an exit from the company to explore new ventures. This is how the Africa Healthcare Business came into existence.

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