While cardiac diseases take 17M million deaths annually, courtesy the current lifestyle and the work culture, Pune based Just For Hearts is helping companies and individuals de-stress. YourStory in a candid conversation with cardiologist, Dr Ravindra L Kulkarni, Director, Just For Hearts.
What inspired you to start Just For Hearts?
There were various things that led me to start Just For Hearts. In our country, people are disease centered; nobody focuses on health and wellness. There is a need to refine these practices. If you look around, people do not have options for wellness and lifestyle consultancy. Also, there is an increase in the incidence of lifestyle diseases, heart ailments, etc that have a great impact on the lives of individuals and their families. Hence, Just For Hearts.
Since you are a cardiologist and Just For Hearts is you first business venture, what were the initial problems you faced at the time of launch?
The biggest challenge is to make people aware of the need. A so-called healthy individual does not want to voluntarily opt for a health test. But the results can be shocking. The increase in the cases of heart diseases among people in their 20s and 30s is sufficient to substantiate this. And almost in every case, they are caught off guard. The traditional mind set that heart diseases are for the elderly is our biggest challenge. Also, being miss-interpreted as a charitable organization is also something we have to deal with. This is so because we try to get involved at the preventive stage, when a normal person does not suspect anything wrong with their heart or lifestyle. Only when they see the symptoms, they realize the importance of being pro-active towards their health.
How did you manage the funding money at the time of inception?
So far, I managed to put in my own capital. However, the expansion plans are big and I might have to look out for external sources of funding.
How is Just For Hearts different from other stress & lifestyle management initiatives?
Being a cardiologist and leading Just For Hearts, I believe we are the one-stop solution for all ‘matters of the heart’! Hands on experience in dealing with critical patients and unique cases have helped us design a holistic approach to heart care. With our expertise, we can reach out to people with their individual risk assessment, screening tests, preventive care, treatment and even post-treatment rehabilitation. My participation in international researches in cardiology and clinical drug trials have helped in the understanding of newer modalities of heart treatment. As an up-to-date team, thus we are able to serve better.What are the various services that you offer to your customers?
We offer an array of services such as various essential screening tests, risk assessment, awareness programs, diet counseling, Yoga consultation, cardiac consultation, treatment and post treatment rehab. We also introduce unique concepts like Office Yoga, which are specific to corporates.
Tell us something about yourself.
Born and brought up in Satara, Maharashtra, my schooling was done in the vernacular medium. However, I finished my graduation and post-graduation medical qualification with merits from University of Pune and went on to acquire cardiology trainings at various universities in USA and Italy. Currently, I also am consultant cardiologist at various hospitals in Pune.
What is the kind of competition Just For Hearts faces?
There is no direct competition to Just For Hearts, but we do have similar concepts running at various big hospitals and even companies who invest in employee welfare. Spas, Yoga centers, etc work in the same space as they are all focused on reducing the stress. However, we have the advantage of an up-to-date team, and our medical expertise gives an obvious edge.
Tell us a little bit about your team.
Our team has medical professionals, dieticians, Yoga experts, clinical researchers and counselors, apart from me.
What is the outreach model of your organization?
Along from the on-field activities that we do, we focus a lot on interacting with people through social media. Our Facebook page is a daily dose on health, heart and lifestyle management. We also have frequent online sessions on heart care where the experts answer queries in real time. People have been increasingly participating in relevant conversations with us. Our blog is also an active tool that connects us to them.
Where do you see your organization five years from now?
We plan to make it a LTD company very soon and establish ourselves as a well reputed name in the Wellness space, especially among corporates and younger people.