iClinic Healthcare
Sanjoy Mukerji


iClinic Healthcare

Born in a ‘bollywood’ family, a mechanical engineer from IIT Bombay, with around 10 years of manufacturing and engineering experience, to then excel in sales and business leadership and become one of the top 10 telecom executives in India – only to then chuck the corporate ‘good’ life and start an entrepreneurial start up venture in healthcare – indeed Sanjoy Mukerji has lived an adventurous professional life with a myriad of successes and continuously seeking challenges!

Taking on seemingly impossible challenges and making difficult dreams come true while building and nurturing top talent and high performing teams is a personal turn on and I like seeking the adrenalin of changing courses at the top and seeking new peaks to conquer, says Sanjoy Mukerji – now leading iClinic Healthcare as Managing Director, a venture aimed at extending specialist healthcare to upcountry towns and busy metro folk.

He entered the corporate arena as a trainee with Shaw Wallace. Thereon, he joined Pepsi in 1989 as one of the first 30 employees, as an engineer and after a few years and many awards moved to running business operations in UP and Mumbai with more awards to follow! Thereafter post a short stint in Navin Mail, a valley based start up in Internet telephony, he joined Hutch (later Vodafone) in 2001, where he moved quickly from COO to Operations director, eventually heading the business for the North and East of India with around $3Bn in revenue. His last stint in Vodafone was as Chief Commercial Officer where he headed revenue, marketing, sales, distribution, customer service, exclusive retail and special projects. Hence his career of 27 years has seen various transitions – from engineering to sales and marketing and business leadership; from franchise management to leadership; from food processing & beverages to IT to telecom to healthcare; from senior corporate executive to entrepreneur!

Wanting to whet his appetite with greater challenges and also benefit society more significantly, he left Vodafone in end 2012, teamed up with friends and ex colleagues – Varun Berry (MD, Britannia Industries), Ravinder Jain (Consultant, Ericsson, Africa) and Dr. Rajesh Kapur (Senior radiologist, ex President IRIA, MD, DNB) and started iClinic Healthcare which is looking to transform specialist primary consultations especially in upcountry areas. His ability to understand technology and processes and mould them for business benefits, as well as, develop complex ecosystems will help him create a unique service for the benefit of millions of patients in India and abroad.

As a person, Sanjoy is known to be passionate and intense and extremely hard working. He drives himself and his teams hard and inspires them to dream of and often achieve the impossible! He is happily married and has a daughter. Being a fitness freak, he brought about a major personal transformation when he shed 25kgs and achieved a leaner fitter frame and was also featured in the Men’s Health Magazine. Sanjoy is also very creative and expresses his emotions through poetry, a talent not very common in senior corporate executives.

The following verses from Longfellow’s “Psalm of Life” sum up his attitude to life:

"Not enjoyment and not sorrow Is our destined end or way But to act that each tomorrow Finds us farther than today!

Let us then be up and doing With a heart for any fate Still achieving, still pursuing Learn to labour and to wait!

And the following lines by him sum up his personality: I’m a migratory bird Born to be free The sky is my home Not just any old tree!

I’m a migratory bird Sworn to be free I’ll fly away someday On the wings of glory!"


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Vodafone's Chief Commercial Officer Sanjoy Mukherji Moves On
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Sanjoy Mukerji Age: 49

Last Position: Chief commercial officer, Vodafone India Education: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay Career: Started at Shaw Wallace & Company and went on to join Pepsico India; had a short stint with Navin Mail Services in between Hobbies: Poetry, exercising

Q. You've been with Vodafone for 11 years. During this period, the industry has evolved a lot. How has the journey been? It has been the most exciting 11 years of my career, from impacting nearly 100,000 people to impacting millions. When I joined the company, telecom was still very niche. We had only about 600,000 customers and Rs 500 crore in revenues. The industry was focussed on income markets. We would tap into metros; and we were doing very well in Gujarat where income levels were good. But we didn't want to go to UP or Bihar at that stage. Those were still the days when incoming calls were charged. The concept of the calling party paying was implemented in May 2003. When that happened, the market moved from an income basis to a population basis almost overnight. It started exploding and we began to run out of capacity. That is when a lot of new technology came in.

Q. What were the toughest challenges you faced? The toughest challenges were to do with the regulatory environment. Some aspects are difficult, like the manner in which customer acquisition forms are filled. India is constantly under threat and we need to be careful. Personal identification of people is a little uncertain. It is always a challenge to ensure that these records are maintained. Regulatory changes keep happening to seemingly benefit the customer and we have to be pretty fleet-footed to manage this. During the Hutchison days, there was a lot of negative talk about the company and it being owned by a firm called Orascom; as executives we felt a little weird. At the end of the day, seeing the massive edifice that you've built is a matter of immense pride.

Q. Why did you move on soon after being promoted to the post of chief commercial officer? The process of change started in my mind last November. That was when I turned 48 and thought I've another 10 years to go officially. What do I want to do in the next 10 years was the question in front of me. I saw Vodafone and it was a bit like driving QE2—a big ship—but it is well-run, so all you do is sit in your cabin. Vodafone has all the systems and processes in place. Moving on was a very difficult decision. When I looked at different businesses, health care was the one that attracted me. I didn't want to join another large company. With all the travelling I'd done, I came across a developing technology that was based on creating connectivity platforms that would enable health care to be provided at remote locations. That's what I plan to do now. Read more

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Sanjoy Mukerji, Director, Business Operations, North and East India, Vodafone Essar
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For Sanjoy Mukerji, director, business operations, north and east India, Vodafone Essar, customer trust and consistent service quality are of utmost importance…

When Sanjoy Mukerji talks about why he finds the telecom industry fascinating, his enthusiasm is infectious. He talks about the social changes he sees in India during his travels, relates little vignettes that show how small-town India's aspirations have grown, and expresses excitement at the potential of mobile phones to liven up villagers' lives by offering them much-needed entertainment.

Mukerji says telecom is unique in that few other industries, even FMCG companies, have as much simultaneous contact with the customer as the various departments of a telecom company.

"Right from the network, which customers evaluate when they look at the bars on the phone and which they experience when they make a call, they immediately judge the network by the quality of their call. The network communicates directly with the customer when the latter calls to ask why two rupees have been deducted from the balance. The information technology department directly impacts a customer's opinion of the brand. The sales and marketing team interacts on what plan a customer should opt for. The collections team also has direct contact. So you have about six different departments simultaneously interacting with the customer," says Mukerji.

One of Vodafone's strengths, he says, is that each department speaks the same language. "Because airtime is an intangible product, trust is very important, and that's why every department at Vodafone has the same stance towards the customer and consistency in every communication," he says. "Creating coordination and collaboration at every level of operation so that customers get a consistent brand experience is one of the most satisfying parts of the job and where Vodafone I am talking to Mukerji at the Vodafone office in Okhla, south Delhi. The road to the office is bone-breaking. While researching him before the interview, I had read that Mukerji had suffered four slipped discs. As I jolted and bumped my way to the office to meet him, I thought it must have been the potholes that did his back in! After all, to suffer one slipped disc could be regarded as a misfortune, to suffer two seems like carelessness, but four…?

he explanations Mukerji gives, as we sit in his large, airy office, are quite different. They range from extensive travelling to twisting his back while getting out from a bottling machine at the PepsiCo factory in Cuttack (which he had unwisely entered to repair), to an awkward move while doing weights.

"Yoga has stabilised my back, touch wood," he says. "I tried everything – acupuncture, acupressure, homoeopathy, allopathy, reflexology – but none of it worked. Now it's fine and doesn't limit me at all."

That is just as well because he still travels a lot. Since his wife Orpita and 16-year-old daughter Sanjita are currently based in Mumbai, he makes a weekly trip to the city from Delhi, and since he is responsible for the management and business in 13 circles in the north and east, the job entails extensive travelling.

He has dealt with numerous challenges in his almost 10 years at Vodafone. Jammu & Kashmir has presented operational problems owing to security requirements. Vodafone had to abide by stringent subscriber verification rules and often had to verify subscribers all over again. At times, prepaid services were stopped altogether and then restarted.

In Bihar, crime is an issue. Diesel used for generators at cell sites is often stolen. "We have thousands of sites across a circle and each one is like a mini factory. Criminals steal diesel, they steal copper cable worth Rs 1 lakh," Mukerji says. "Maoists occasionally burn down a site."

Recruiting people is another challenge as the business becomes larger and more complex. He has recruited people from remote areas and realises that they need to be supported as much as those in Delhi or Chandigarh. "We have to make sure they feel involved and part of the mainstream," he says.

Right now, what's creating a buzz is Vodafone's much-awaited 3G launch. "The reaction to 3G has been enthusiastic," he says. "It has seen a huge surge in data usage as people use the internet on their mobiles to download content."

While rural subscribers are still using their phones almost exclusively for voice and to some extent for SMS, in urban India, he says they are being used for data, tracking locations, connectivity, watching TV, etc. As these concepts penetrate rural India and rural coverage improves, Mukerji sees fantastic growth happening as rural customers start demanding what urban customers enjoy access to – songs, video clips and TV.

"A lot of entertainment will move to phones. A lot of first-time internet usage will be on the phone as people access live TV and YouTube. Rural customers have the cash and are willing to pay. Later, you'll start seeing SIM cards being used in fridges and cars to remind you when a service is due and in all sorts of other machinery too," he says.

As an example of how people want entertainment, he talks of a visit to a small cluster of villages in Orissa where he found five shops with computers. Each one had an internet connection and was downloading music from the net and transferring it to a Mukerji was with PepsiCo for 11 years and worked all over India. He joined when he was 25. "It was like being at business school for me. I learnt all about business operations. I was one of the first employees and because we didn't even have a licence then, we got no salary for six months. But it was hugely exciting to be part of the initial team. It felt good to help build the organisation and the brand in India."

At PepsiCo, he also saw how managers motivated and energised their teams into putting in performance that far exceeded their salary levels. For Mukerji, motivating people is all about making them realise their potential, which many people fail to do.

"Some people just don't see their own potential. Others are too focused on their limitations to see the opportunities. What I try to do is make people focus on the opportunities and help them understand that if they recognise their potential and put in the hard work, they can fulfil their dreams. Most people have dreams, but don't believe in them," he says.

In his travels, he sees Indians daring to dream. Awareness and aspirations have grown, and he is pleased that mobile technology has played a part in this sea change. "What people aspire to now would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. TV and mobile technology are at the forefront of this social change," he says.

Mukerji is having "a whole lot of fun" at Vodafone. He is growing and learning to delegate, now that he has nine business heads reporting to him – a big change for a person who used to want to be down in the trenches with the troops. "It helps me draw back a bit and think more strategically," he says.

In his opinion, mobiles have also reduced the generation gap because parents and children now communicate more. As an example, he says that he feels very close to his daughter Sanjita simply because they communicate frequently by phone and SMS, and he feels he can relate to most of what she tells him.

To demonstrate the power of speedy communication during moments of crisis, he relates the story of how Sanjita was feeling frustrated and confused about some issue recently. The father and daughter have a habit of writing to each other in verse. She sent him a poem about her feelings that he received while on a visit to Patna. "I could tell the emotion was serious. I sent her a reply, in verse, within 10 minutes. Somehow, it defused everything. When I met her two days later, she was fine. So without having to interrupt what I was doing, I was able to respond to her need instantly. If I hadn't, her feelings might have festered," he I am about to leave, relieved that he ended up giving me an hour of his time rather than the 30 minutes he had originally allotted for the interview, when a stray question reveals that Mukerji belongs to a distinguished film industry family, which includes his father Subodh, his uncle Sasadhar Mukerji who set up Filmistan Studio, actresses Rani Mukerji and Kajol, and numerous cousins who were actors, producers, directors or distributors.

He was the only person in the family who did not join the film industry because he wanted to do something different. He went to IIT Bombay for a bachelor's degree in technology with a specialisation in mechanical engineering. Mukerji's first job was with Shaw Wallace in 1986 before he joined PepsiCo and Hutch. Read more

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Sanjoy Mukerji, Director, Business Operations, North and East India, Vodafone Essar
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Sanjoy Mukerji & Samaresh Pardia Quit Vodafone

Movement at the senior level at Vodafone India: Sanjoy Mukerji, chief commercial officer, and Samaresh Pardia, head of special projects, have put in their papers, reports The Economic Times. Both Mukerji and Pardia were assigned new leadership roles in February, following the restructuring of Vodafone's top management.

creating new posts of Chief Operating Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and Director External Affairs, on the lines of its UK based parent company. Mukerji was promoted as chief commercial officer's position and Pardia was made director for corporate communications, corporate sustenance, in addition to special projects. Vodafone has confirmed the movement, to the publication.

Mukerji was responsible for the company's sales and marketing, brand, customer service and channel management and had been with Vodafone for more than 10 years. He will be leaving in October 2012, while Pardia will leave the company by August end, this year. Mukerji had previously worked at PepsiCo, and the report suggests that he is likely to team up with PepsiCo India Foods former CEO Varun Berry to launch a health venture. Read more

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Vodafone India top execs Sanjoy Mukerji, Samaresh Parida resign
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Vodafone India top execs Sanjoy Mukerji, Samaresh Parida resign

New Delhi: India's second largest telecommunications operator Vodafone India Ltd's two major executives -- Chief Commercial Officer Sanjoy Mukerji and Director of Corporate Communications Samaresh Parida -- have resigned from the company, just months after they were given new roles when the management was rejigged, media reports said Thursday.

Earlier March, Vodafone India had undertaken a major management revamp, under which it had created two new roles at the top level -- the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commercial Officer. Accordingly, Mukerji was elevated to the role of chief commercial officer from his earlier post where he was overseeing Vodafone's operations in the country's north and east zones, as the operator was then divided into two operational divisions.

In his new role, he was in charge of the company's sales and marketing, brand, customer service and channel management.

"It is true that Sanjoy Mukerji, chief commercial officer of Vodafone India, has decided to leave the organization to pursue his entrepreneurial interests. He will leave in October 2012. Sanjoy in his 10- year stint has made major contributions to the success of Vodafone India (and its legal predecessors) and we wish him the very best for his future endeavors," media reports said quoting a Vodafone India spokesperson.

According to The Economic Times, Mukerji will join PepsiCo India Foods' former Chief Executive Officer Varun Berry for launching a health venture.

Similarly, Parida was appointed the director for corporate communications and corporate sustenance in March, with additional responsibility of handling special projects, including assisting the finance team in preparing for its proposed initial public offering (IPO).

However, reports said that the role of Parida, who was earlier Director Strategy for Vodafone India, was curbed after Manu Dagar was appointed as director of external affairs responsible for corporate communication, public affairs and Vodafone foundation.

"It is also true that Samaresh Parida will be leaving Vodafone India by end August 2012," the spokesperson added.

Last week, Vodafone India reported a 16% on-year growth in its service revenue at 1.03 billion pounds in the Apr-Jun quarter, excluding the foreign exchange fluctuations.

As on quarter ended June 30, Vodafone India had a customer base of 153.7 million, with active data customers totaling 31 million, including 1.7 million third generation (3G) data customers.

Vodafone India, which is battling a tax case with the Indian government over its $11 billion deal with Hutchison in 2007, is also having to contend with high competition in the crowded 14-player market and policy uncertainty. Read more

About Iclinic

Organization Purpose

iClinic will enable a global transformation in primary healthcare by facilitating medical practitioners and patients to remotely connect, interact and interchange relevant health information to allow diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Highly competent and reputed professionals -
mix of senior medical practitioners and service & business professionals:

Sanjoy Mukerji, Managing Director

He launched iClinic after successfully transforming the Indian telecom industry in the last 11 years. Helped Vodafone (as Operations director and Chief commercial officer) grow from $100M to over $6B in revenue/annum. Senior professional with over 26 years of experience in process engineering, process design and customer service and he believe that these skills will help him set up iClinic to help doctors to serve patents in the best possible way.

Dr. Rajesh Kapur

M.D., D.N.B., Vice Chairman and practicing Senior Radiologist

Is currently the President of the Indian Radiological & Imaging Association, having over 30 years of experience in private and corporate hospitals and with foreign diplomatic missions. Visiting fellow in MRI in various universities, he believe that iClinic Healthcare is developing such a technological innovation that will now enable doctors to get a live physiological read for their patients even when they are far apart and will be able to collaborate with other doctors to be able to accurately diagnose ailments and prescribe solutions.

Varun Berry

Director, CEO Britannia Industries Limited

Senior professional with over 27 years of global experience in FMCG and foods and in running business including M&A and IPO. Worked in India, Vietnam, Philippines, UAE, Saudi, Egypt, Jordan as CEO of Food, Beverage, Dairy and Juice businesses.

Ravinder Jain

Director, Ex Chief Business Officer - Enterprise & Ex
CIO of Aircel Cellular, a leading mobile operator in India

A Senior Business – IT professional with over 25 Years experience. Ravinder has led and participated in transforming IT organization with support to enterprise–wide infrastructures. Core competency includes people management, business acumen, large project & program management and Customer management for large software, manufacturing, Internet & Telecom industry.