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Leadership Lessons from Dr. Sanjay Arora, Founder & MD, Suburban Diagnostics

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Founder & MD of Suburban Diagnostics, Dr. Sanjay Arora, is a known leader and icon in the diagnostics and healthcare industry. Graduated from Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital and with a special interest in Cytopathology, Dr. Sanjay Arora trained from the esteemed Tata Hospital, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Henry Ford Hospital, USA. Dr. Arora’s humble demeanor and humility have led him to be a constant student of leadership who is learning to better himself every day. 

Over 27 years ago, his brainchild, Suburban Diagnostics, was founded to realize his dream of delivering world-class diagnostic services to the people of Mumbai, which has now forayed into being one of the most trusted and renowned names for precise testing in the Indian diagnostics industry. 

Since Suburban Diagnostics’ inception, Dr. Arora has expanded on his dream of offering cutting-edge diagnostic services and has ensured adherence to stringent process and global pathology standards. 

Dr. Arora was recently honored as the Influential Leader of New India 2021 by Teammarksmen in association with CNN News 18, held in Mumbai on the 20th of August, 2021 for his exceptional leadership, especially when the pandemic presented several operational and financial challenges. 

While receiving accolades for his work, he credited his success to his team, who stood as front line warriors in the country’s fight against the virus. Furthermore, he thanks every patron for maintaining their trust in him even in the pandemic’s critical times.

With over two decades of experience, Dr. Sanjay Arora is a change maker, philanthropist, and knowledge bank for aspiring leaders. We bring you some lessons he learnt first-hand through his journey:

  1. Build a team that is better than you: You can’t do everything yourself. It is crucial to build a team that is empowered and where you can delegate. People with diverse backgrounds and qualities will always find ways to challenge your thinking. While delegating and empowering, inspect what you expect. Set the right expectations with the team and keep a check to ensure they succeed.
  2. You will not grow in your comfort zone: If you are good at something, it tends to become your cocoon since you are your best while doing it. Other things, which you might not be so good at, tend to make you uncomfortable. To grow, you need to embrace that discomfort because that is where the areas for growth are. 
  3. Have backup plans: While planning, we focus on making the grounds so mighty that everything we build on it will stay strong and standing. We tend to ignore the possibility of things going wrong. It is a sign of excellent leadership skills to be prepared for contingencies. Backup plans ensure that things don’t stop working in any eventuality. 
  4. Dream Big: Everything needs a dream, an inspiration. Find that! Then there is a series of perspiration (hard work), dedication (commitment and perseverance – there will be challenges, but one can’t give up), innovation (how to work smart and not just work hard), celebration (have fun and enjoy what you do!) – and back to inspiration. This is a continuous cycle of evolution.
  5. Relationships matter: One of the most impactful lessons; building relationships with contemporaries, customers and audience, investors and partners, and your employees and team; they are the reason behind growth and success. Continue to invest in these relationships and build a sense of purpose amongst yourselves. You may build many long-lasting friendships from them.
  6. Flexing your emotional intelligence: This will help you foster a culture of open communication, enable you to understand the motivations and worries of your team, and breed trusting relationships that will help your organization reach its strategic business goals. We always speak about EQ, but it is a skill we need to practice and display at all times constantly.

Leadership

4 Must Reads – Straight from Elon Musk’s recommendation list

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Elon Musk’s reading collection includes science fiction classics as well as complicated literature on cutting-edge technologies. His vision as the leader of some of the world’s most valuable companies makes it interesting to take a peek into the inner workings of his mind. Musk is also known for sharing his suggestions on social media. 

Let’s evaluate some fascinating reads from his recommendations.

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson 

This book chronicles the ambitious and adventurous life of Apple’s brilliant entrepreneur and eccentric creator. Steve Jobs covers the man’s successful enterprises, beginning with his early experiences with spirituality and LSD and ending at the pinnacle as a worldwide technology superstar. This is a well-researched book that goes into the thinking of the man behind the world’s most valuable technological business.

Life 3.0, by Max Tegmark

The Brief Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Elon Musk’s latest book, is one of the few that explores the idea of AI being used for good rather than harm in the world. Max Tegmark, an MIT scientist, addresses how to keep Artificial Intelligence helpful to humans while simultaneously ensuring that technological progress is consistent with humanity’s long-term goals.

The Big Picture, by Sean M. Carroll

The Big Picture is a bold examination of the world we live in and how we may make sense of the vast majority of it through scientific thought. It teaches readers how to think about the most difficult things, such as the origins of life, awareness, and the cosmos itself, using a deductive approach. Sean Carroll is a practicing theoretical physicist with some unique philosophical perspectives. Sean invented the phrase “poetic naturalism”, which is addressed in the book.

Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom

Superintelligence is intended to be a serious, hard-headed examination of the impending arrival of computers that are far smarter than humans. Musk has often warned about the dangers of unfettered Artificial Intelligence, and this book examines the pitfalls of taking technology too far too soon. 

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Leadership

Freshwork’s inspiring success story makes employee crorepatis

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Freshworks IPO has made 500 employees crorepatis

Freshworks Inc., led by Girish Mathrubootham, became the first Indian Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company to get on the NASDAQ, which helped the valuation of the company reach a sky-high value of $13 billion.

Through stock options, around 500 of Girish’s employees turned into ‘crorepatis’, out of which 70 are said to be under 30.

Born to a former bank officer in 1975, Girish co-founded Freshdesk (now Freshworks) with Shan Krishnasamy in 2010. Atwell College from Australia was the first of many clients on board. The company managed to get 22 clients worldwide in the initial days.

Entrepreneurship is never a smooth journey, with success never guaranteed. “Success and happiness are two different things – One should focus on staying happy irrespective of what is happening around you. We always hold the key to our happiness,” says Girish.

Girish also mentions how grateful he is to all his employees and that the 500 new ‘crorepatis’ deserved a reward for their contribution over the years. About 4300 of Freshwork Inc’s employees globally hold equity options in the company.

Girish strongly believes in mentorship. He also founded SaaSBooMi, a community of founders who share hard-learned experiences by making these learnings available to all. “Passion and purpose are more important than almost anything else,” said Girish talking about young entrepreneurs looking to leave their mark. In the long run, he hopes to build a SaaS company that is recognized globally.

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Shaji Thomas: The Indian Superhero who is saving the Amazon Rainforest

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Global warming, forest depletion, and other hazardous effects on our environment have been increasing rapidly as days go by. There are still a few souls who do everything they can to make sure they somehow play a part in saving us from what is known as the end of our existence.

One such hero is Shaji Thomas. He has been in a fight for the last 26 years to protect and save the Amazon Rainforests of Brazil. Here is a look into his heroic struggle to ensure a better future for us all. 

Shaji Thomas: Guardian of the Amazon Rainforest

Shaji Thomas who hails from Kerala carried his bags and shifted to Brazil as a young student. This young smart superhero is now an environmental conservationist and a lawyer, but what is more fascinating about him is the fact that he stayed back after his education for one special cause.

Shaji Thomas decided to fight and protect the Amazon Forests of Brazil and the rights for the 60 plus communities that reside in the region. This passion began when he was in his mid-twenties and was a part of the Quilombola Community. 

The battle was not easy in the beginning. Thomas had to acquire Brazilian citizenship and become the only Indian-origin lawyer in the region. He stood up to the mafia and lived on a boat in the rivers of the Amazon for years. 

This superhero has been holding up a strong fight for years but there is still a lot of work to do. Climate change is something that has been on the rise leading to major destruction of the rainforests. Thomas claims that almost 20 sq. km burns every year due to forest fires.

Shaji Thomas is working hard every year and inspiring people all over the world to play their part to ensure that the Earth’s lungs are safeguarded, and we have a sustainable future.

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