Investor. Co-founder. Advisor. Nilesh Jain is all that. And more. When he says, “entrepreneurship teaches how to think very clearly, and that is useful in both investing and being a founder”, he means it, and has practically proved himself right too. An experienced, value driven, passionate innovator, entrepreneur, investor and advisor working with purpose-driven technology companies to solve problems that have an impact over a billion lives, he is currently actively associated with multiple start-ups as investor, co-founder and mentor. Blive catches up with him to know more:
Your profile says you are a “passionate innovator, entrepreneur, investor and advisor working with purpose-driven technology companies to solve problems that have an impact over a billion lives”. Could you please elaborate on what all you do?
I love ideas that have the potential to impact, improve and change a billion lives! It is a planned effort from my end to be a part of companies, either as a founder, investor or advisor, that have the potential of bringing some kind of social change, has human connect and can be thoughtfully integrated with technology platforms to simplify existing processes and improve geographical reach.
The companies that I closely work will provide examples of my vision of building platforms that can easily connect with masses across geographies, build sustainable models, increase accessibility and provide affordable solutions.
With Clinivantage, we are changing the way care will be delivered in the future, not just to the people who can afford it but to the masses, a very inclusive healthcare model, enabling best practices, providing technology as a means to improve care, reduce cost and be more preemptive in healthcare.
We are probably the only leading healthcare company bringing software, hardware, process and infrastructure in a single play from rural to urban and from a single doctor to a multi specialty multi-bed (1000s) hospital surrounding the consumer.
Our vision with Picostone is not only about automation or making lives easy but with a strong focus on energy management and being more efficient with resources so that “less can be more”. The focus on building a robust software, hardware and integrated platform to manage energy resources is the key and bringing the affordability where this is accessible to average middle income homes across the globe, where energy savings matter the most!
HeyDeeDee, a company I am very passionate about, is focused on Women Empowerment. It’s about time we realized that 50% of our world population is not honored for their skills and leveraged to their full potential. Women driven logistics in both B2C and B2B are untapped andHeyDeeDee is drawing out the women from all sections of our society to be respected and be an equal member to the male counterpart. The bigger question is how do we leverage technology to simplify problem for scalability, accessibility and affordability.
Your work involves active engagement in the start-up ecosystem. How would you rate the start up space in the Indian scenario?
India is at the cusp of this revolution and this is just a start. One of the reasons why I went to investing, as angel investor, to incubating (bringing in companies into our facilitates, to provide capital, space, infrastructure, etc) to acceleration (znationlab.com) is to scale what I do best, help companies refine their product journey, market fit and scale to a sustainable business model.
Having lived in the valley and seen this process first hand of building companies and raising capital, gives the ability and experience to share and help young entrepreneurs build solid companies and products.
Sustainable philanthropy and the burden of healthcare, according to you, are fundamental issues challenging India. What changes do you see in these areas in the near future?
Healthcare has to take a completely different approach. We are still in a “Jurassic” of a world in technology and adoption of it. This has also created a huge opportunity for startups like Clinivantage, Subhag, etc to solve complex problems. There are some fundamental issues like care delivery, data flow and accessibility that still plague us. Technology can change a lot of that and through sustainable philanthropy some of this can be changed immediately. Some of the leading causes of mortality are preventable – like tobacco related deaths, infant mortality in rural areas, early diagnosis of chronic condition at early stage, this can reduce the overall cost burden on the states and improve the basic quality of life.
In near future, we will see technology solve the accessibility and affordability problems for the masses, while more advanced technology like robotics and AI solving long term challenges and move towards more preventative and intelligent interventions (personalized medicines). Genomic with personal data can get into real predictive and preventive care. Well, we might even start seeing “super genes” effectively creating super humans!
What makes you believe that entrepreneurship comes in handy when you are an investor and a founder?
“Having been there, done that”, I think the first hand experience of having been through the entrepreneurial journey builds a lot of resilience and prepares you for a lot of events that you would have never come across otherwise. Also, entrepreneurship is about making mistakes, and out of the small mistakes – fail fast, fail small, comes out that one model, that one idea that sticks to the wall and the “eureka” moment. There is no right answer, if an entrepreneur is not an avid learner and a fast learner, he is bound to fail. As an entrepreneur we have been through the journey of being “seasoned” and this helps a lot to be an investor. It helps get to the longer term vision, understand the marketsand evaluate the growth potential of products and the entrepreneur / team.
You had developed and exited companies in the US. Could you tell us more about that?
It was remarkable journey to work with successful people. Scaling the company from the struggling days when the economy tanked, to building high performance teams and also learn to deal with hard times of scaling down, and refocusing on core v/s context of businesses. The experience taught me the hard journey of being an entrepreneur, willingness to take risk for what I believed in and work with smart people and investors. I think the silicon valley gives you the “entrepreneurs bug bite”, hard to leave.
As a member of the NITI Aayog’s committee for Health & Nutrition, what according to you are the aspects lacking in that space in the current Indian scenario?
Being a part of the committee on Health & Nutrition, by National Institute for Transformation of India (NITI Ayog), I had the opportunity to represent Clinivantage to our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his entire PMO cabinet; and at a broad level discuss how technology can change the way healthcare can be delivered and managed effectively for the masses. The focus of NITI is to solve the challenge, while handling diminishing number of doctors, inferior and deteriorating condition of infrastructure, increased population and ever increasing costs of medical care. The focus needs to come down to basics, and that’s solving the primary care and healthcare access through extended care centers, upskilling of existing resources, like ASHA, GramSevaks, etc and leverage technology to “teleport” medical care.
You co-founded Clinivantage and have invested in a handful of other start ups. Could you elaborate on these. Also, what makes these outfits different and worth noticing?
Clinivantage is very close to our hearts, souls and mission, impact a billion lives. Clinivantage simplifies healthcare innovations across technology, transactions &data for patients, providers and payers. A disruptive universal consumer centric care platform integrated across software, devices and doctors. Our vision is “healthcare presence” is every village, every grampanchayat, every school, next to every fast food chain and every coffee chain, you would see small primary clinic “Empowered to provide care, powered by Clinivantage” and managed by well trained doctors and skilled workforce. Today it’s easy to buy a “cutting chai” than get primary care service in any part of India, why only india, this is true across the globe and we are seeing this through our journey in Clinivantage, across the 6 countries we ventured in.
Our investments in Subhag, revolutionizing the IVF process, brining an over the counter product, disrupting the current ecosystem for the greater good. In Log9, working on a revolutionary energy project, potential to solve the countries energy issues and develop primary cells in India. With HeyDeeDee, our aim is to empower women of India to be micro entrepreneurs, bring a wave of change in logistics sector that is powered by women, provide an equal opportunity platform that leads to significant earnings, self respect and above all and equal status. Our focus with QuitX is to focus on reducing harm and change habits (alternate products, processes and therapies) that will lead the transformation on harm reduction efforts towards a healthier and a tobacco free world helping save a BILLION Lives!.
The list can go on, but my focus is very clear: Entrepreneurs, Products and a Billion Lives!!