“Indians enjoy a very sedentary lifestyle, to get them to an active lifestyle is quite a task. It includes a combination of changing their eating habits and getting them to exercise, more so in children who are often found with high levels of obesity simply because they are just not physically active,” says Co-Founder and Managing Director of AktivOrtho Gabrielle Seacy.
Born and raised in Ireland, Gabrielle is a Commerce graduate from University College Cork. She has over 15 years of international marketing and business management experience in Ireland, the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Nordic Benelux. She then worked in the family textile industry for some years. Following that, IT reckoned and she did stints at London and Paris. Though she excelled everywhere, she found her true calling only after getting into what she calls ‘people service’.
For those thinking what people service is all about, here is what AktivOrtho does – it helps improve your quality of life. It is a European model of rehabilitation chain of clinics focusing on orthopedic, gynecological and neurological rehabilitation, prevention and sports medicine. The fact that sports medicine has also grown as a niche sector has worked to the advantage of AktivOrtho.
Be it a six-month-old child to people well into their 80s, AktivOrtho offers treatment across all age groups.
Starting Up in India
Starting up in India happened for Gabrielle upon the insistence of an Indian who walked into their Hamburg clinic in Germany.
“He was immensely benefitted and wanted others in his home country to be similarly helped, and that is why he asked us to start our chain of clinics here in India,” adds Gabrielle, 45, who, along with her orthopedic doctor husband Dr Gerd Mueller, operates the chain of clinics.
With the request pouring in, Gabrielle and her husband started making trips to India to explore the business opportunity. And in April 2012, they opened their first centre in Delhi. Currently, there are four clinics in Gurgaon and seven in Germany. There are talks of adding to the number of centres, soon.
I feel blessed as somewhere we make a difference to the quality of life of people who walk in to our centre. I am very grateful that I am in this people’s business. As we all know, good health is important and we are thus helping people in a very fundamental way,
Being an entrepreneur and a mother to two young kids (10 and 8 now) was a little challenging for Gabrielle. But with a great support system in place at home, she was able to juggle all roles to start with and then started excelling at each.
Getting motivated too was easy with Gerd being a great support always. “Being married to him, I could see huge benefits people got from his line of treatment. It was hugely rewarding. To see people enjoy long and healthy life is also a motivation for us to keep growing,” says Gabrielle. And thus she joined in and became an integral part of AktivOrtho. Gabrielle is happy that they have made progress and been of help to people over the years.
Her mantra of living healthy
The ideal thing to do is go for brisk walks every day in the mornings. It exposes people to the sunlight, a direct source of Vitamin D,
says Gabrielle. She remembers a gentleman from Oman who had a number of surgeries on his ankle had to walk with the help of crutches for a long time. He did a six-week therapy at ActivOrtho for three to four hours daily and he was finally able to walk. It’s a manual therapy followed by active therapy and finally sports therapy.
Couple complement each other
As parents, Gabrielle and her husband are happy that their kids are exposed to various cultures in India.
Gabrielle likes the fact that she and her husband run the business well together. While Gabrielle handles the operations, finance, marketing and client services, her husband is more into the treatment side. “We both are a very strong team with a huge amount of trust between us. We bring very different skill sets and I can proudly say the success of our business is partly because of the fact that we work together as a team,” signs off Gabrielle.