Lessons In Persistence: Deep Chand Dialysis Centre, Fighting Chronic Kidney Disease in India

9th Aug 2012
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Aseem Garg lives his life by a particular philosophy: “Challenge the norm, think disruptive, pursue your passion, and everything else will follow.” Thus, it would come as no surprise that when he received doubts over his idea to introduce stand alone dialysis clinics to India to expand treatment beyond the walls of traditional hospitals, Mr. Garg persisted in his pursuit and founded Deep Chand Dialysis Centre (DCDC).

Aseem Garg received his education in business, having studied at ITM Gurgaon, and earned his MBA in General Management at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. A businessman at heart with a bent for innovation, he was simultaneously influenced by the philanthropic character passed down to him by his family, including his late grandfather after whom DCDC is named. Garg, like all innovators of his kind, noticed a problem associated with an underserved market. Like his family before him, his focus was on health care. The problem: rising instances of kidney disease in India.

The Indian population faces extremely high rates of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), a potentially fatal disease linked to the loss of an individual’s renal function. Among those affected, many are unable to receive dialysis treatment due to lack of facilities or the high cost of treatment. Prior to DCDC, India lagged behind the U.S. and many developed European countries in adopting what are referred to as stand alone dialysis clinics. These specialized clinics operate independent of hospitals to expand outreach, improve the quality of treatment, and increase the quantity of patients served. Garg recognised this deficiency and sought to compensate for it by introducing his own stand alone clinics.

After receiving training and valuable experience serving as the Assistant Manager of the National Kidney Foundation of Singapore, an organisation renowned by many as the best dialysis care provider in Asia, Garg brought his knowledge in the field back to India to seek support for his burgeoning business idea. Support, however, was not easy to come by. Upon returning to India, Garg found that he was against odds not only with dissenters, but with the entire hospital-centric health care tradition. Investors were reluctant to place their funds in the hands of such an unconventional entrepreneur. Trained doctors and nurses were uncomfortable with the idea of giving treatment outside the hospital setting that they were so accustomed to. Patients mistrusted the newly introduced clinics, which at that point in time had no reputation to speak of.

Undaunted by the lack of initial support, Mr. Garg persisted in his attempt to challenge the norms. He was able to amass enough capital from friends and family members to get Deep Chand Dialysis Centre off the ground. Eventually, he convinced doctors with a shared passion for innovative solutions and a desire to maximise patient outreach to jump on board. With a team of trained medical professionals, he was able to attract patients who soon discovered a heightened sense of comfort and patient care in the DCDC clinics.

Today, DCDC runs 8 dialysis clinics in the Dheli/NCR region. With a total of around 80 machines, Garg has been able to expand dialysis care to patients who were previously unable to receive it. As for individuals who can’t afford treatment, DCDC has instituted a policy that encourages patients to earn income by providing treatment at discounted rates to those who begin working. In doing so, DCDC not only delivers a critical health care service to those who normally could not afford it, but also empowers patients, preventing the all too common slip into feelings of helplessness and depression associated with diseases such as CKD.

The future of Deep Chand Dialysis Centre is hopeful. Aseem Garg and his team at DCDC have succeeded in breaking the mold and proving to the country that quality health care services can exist independent of traditional outlets. As a recognized provider of quality dialysis treatment, DCDC has already begun redefining the health care landscape in India, partnering with hospitals to establish independent DCDC clinics within the hospitals themselves.Mr. Garg is currently looking to receive capital investment to help him expand his reach across India and to achieve his goal of 100 clinics in the next 3 years. His ambitions are high, but his success thus far has proven him to be a man capable of defying odds, a testament to his personal philosophy that if you work hard, challenge norms, and pursue your passion, the rest will take care of itself.

Author:

William Sloan

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