Reimagining the Healthcare System


Mrs Dr.Shalini Kothakonda

Director- Shree Hospitals

Here is a story of the Valor & intent of women who goes beyond normal straps to unleash her potential in an uncharted zone beyond boundaries,she is the director of Shree Hospitals Dr. Shalini Kothakonda, She talks about  her wit in her inspirational  journey as an entrepreneur to set up a top class hospital at the heart of Bhubaneswar and its outcomes in a candid talks with Interview Times.

What is it like to carry on your father’s legacy in the healthcare sector for decades?

For the last 35 years, my father has run the hospital with the help of his partners. I am also a shareholder, but I had zero involvement in it…. Hardly i  attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) rather send  my proxy signed and sent by courier. And that’s all about my links with our  business and hospital. To be honest, my father was unaware that I was planning to open a hospital. After two years of successfully operating the hospital with my partners, Dr Debdutt and Dr Ravi Sankar, they became aware that I have a hospital in the area. Since neither financial support nor moral support nor any other support was taken from my father, how can I refer to it as his legacy? Since I wanted to do it on my own and not take advantage of any privileges I would receive as an inheritance, I decided to do it on my own.

As a woman, how difficult was it to establish Shree Hospital in Bhubaneswar in the beginning?

My upbringing was typically girly, where women were always relegated to being weak genders, even though my dad is a doctor and my mom was a magistrate, my maternal side was the same. I have never felt that way in Odisha, in fact, the government has given me special encouragement, and my husband offers me 100% support in my career. In no way does he expect me to sit at home all day.

Shree Hospitals has established a national reputation for providing top-quality orthopaedic and neurological care. Is there a secret to this notion that you would like to share with me?

The hard work, commitment, and complete dedication of my partners and employees at … shows that we are a cohesive team of like-minded individuals

In retrospect, COVID was a complete disaster in terms of health hazards, but it improved enormous technological advancement, giving it a fresh lease of life in terms of health disruptions. As a result, what has COVID taught society as a whole?

I would say it has taught many lessons that has become a new normal to the current generation, as you know

1.      Masks are useful tools.
2.      Telehealth might become the new normal.
3.      Vaccines are powerful.
4.      We need to take mental health seriously.
5.      We have the capacity for resilience.
6.   Thrive in challenging times.
7.   Value of life.
8.   Value of self-reliance
9.  Importance of self-resilience
10.  Experienced nature’s miracles.
11.  The world of today is truly interconnected.

How do you view the recent impetus Odisha has given to the healthcare system prior to the arrival of major players such as Apollo, Max, etc?

As a result of several factors, the health status of the population has gradually improved…. Including development and educational interventions, economic development, and improved healthcare services. Odisha has a largely public health care system. There has been a limited role for the private sector. In addition to your husband being a renowned doctor, he is very supportive of your efforts to make your hospital a top brand every day.

How do you all take decisions regarding various aspects of your hospital’s growth given your husband as renowned doctor being involved in the daily operating system? Of Shree Hospitals?

We both have a balanced approach to hospital issues. At the same time, he will not interfere with my profession, i.e., my area of concern, and I will not interfere with his work. At the hospital, we are only business partners. At the time of the decision-making, I will discuss with him that I believe this is what is best for the institution, and so far he has been satisfied with my decisions.

Given that Shree Hospital has established itself in the market, do you intend to expand its reach beyond Bhubaneswar?
Yes, we will have orthopaedic-only clinics in some districts in the near future.

Since Odisha has become your home and workplace, what excites you most about its rich culture and art?
This is the best question for me to answer. I feel indebted to Odisha as we have received good recognition for our quality treatment and return gift for all the hard work we have put into it, and I am excited about the art and culture of Odisha.
Some of the best-known ones are:
1. Pattachitra (cloth painting)
2. Silver Filigree
3. Rock painting and carving
4. Sand art
5. Brass and dhokra
6. Pipili Chandua
7. Rath Yatra
Odia culture and tradition are the foundation of any Odia household. Thanks to an upbringing characterized by humility and open arms, the state welcomes any guest as if they were its own. Kind and helping. You may not speak the same language but you are sure to feel at home.

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