Holistic approach can help in further bolstering the health ecosystem says Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya  in his keynote address at IIMA Healthcare Summit

 IIMA Healthcare Summit themed “Catalysing Innovation – Start-up Ecosystem and Policy Research”

brings to fore important health concerns


By Rafat Quadri

Ahmedabad, Aug 5:  Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Health, and Family Welfare and Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India in his key address touched upon important health issues and steps to be taken. 

“India has the potential and manpower to emerge as a global leader in healthcare. With its effective COVID management strategy and exemplary execution of vaccination drives across its 1.3 billion population, India has garnered global recognition and set a proud precedent before the world” he said. 

Dr. Mandaviya delivered the keynote address as the Chief Guest at the IIMA Healthcare Summit themed Catalysing Innovation – Start-up Ecosystem and Policy Research” held today at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), a premier global management institute. 

Emphasising that India has the potential and the wherewithal, he said with the right roadmap, active participation of private and public service players, startup interventions, and technology integration could ensure holistic growth of the Indian healthcare system, which today stands as a shining example before the world post the pandemic. He attributed the success to the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi for India’s success and said that the nation could achieve this feat only because of the holistic approach taken by  the PM.

He further added that the same holistic approach can help in further bolstering the health ecosystem. He stressed that the sector needs a greater number of doctors, robust infrastructure, and adoption of technological advancements to reach the remotest areas of the country, and ample opportunities for startups to drive innovation and progress in the sector.”

Making the opening remarks at the IIMA Healthcare Summit, Professor Bharat Bhasker, Director, IIMA, said, “The Indian pharmaceutical industry is acknowledged as one of the largest and most efficient in the world today.  It has done a wonderful job of creating medicines and keeping the prices affordable not only in India but for the world, which has been a great support for the survival of humanity. Our strength in generics is incomparable globally. With these achievements, we are on our way to becoming a pharmacy of the world today.”

Sharing his thoughts on how the summit can contribute to the healthcare sector in India, he further stated, “I hope that the IIMA Healthcare Summit will become a platform for innovation and change. It could deliberate on how AI and telemedicine can be made more practical in making healthcare affordable and accessible to the masses, especially in rural areas. I am sure there will be more kindling and exchange of ideas, which will go a long way in reshaping the healthcare sector of India. I hope some of the startup ideas which were presented at the Summit will fructify in easing out several problems for the nation, and that will be our contribution to the future.”

Talking about the crucial role of startups in the healthcare sector,  Pankaj R Patel, Chairperson, IIMA Board of Governors, said, “Today we are seeing another wave of startups who have the ability to create new horizons of growth for the Indian healthcare industry. These healthcare startups can address the challenges that we are facing and greatly improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare in India. The Government of India has been championing innovation and entrepreneurship and has so far promoted almost 160 incubators, and nurtured about 12,000 startups, including 1600 women-led startups in India. Currently, India is home to about 2000 health tech companies or startups.”

Elaborating further he said, “One of the things we are trying to do here is to understand and learn from academia and take their support in terms of innovating new things. We need to create a qualified talent pool that is trained to think out of the box and innovate. We also need to create funding mechanisms and hubs for innovation, where the academic institutes and industry can exist and collaborate in this area of healthcare.”

An MoU exchange ceremony was also held during the inaugural session. Facilitated by the IIMA Endowment Fund, the MoU’s objective is to extend funding support for the CMHS by IIMA’s PGP 1994 Batch. This will help the Centre to create a platform for advancing healthcare research, promoting knowledge dissemination, and driving positive change in the healthcare sector.

The Summit was organised by IIMA’s Alumni Special Interest Group (SIG) in Healthcare and the Centre for Management of Health Services (CMHS) at IIMA. The SIG comprises more than 200 members who are at the helm of affairs in leading companies in the healthcare sector. The CMHS is one of the oldest centres at IIMA and was set up in recognition of the Institute’s contributions to the health sector in the past.  It aims to elicit support from healthcare associations, startups, and academic and research institutions to create a conducive environment for collaboration and innovation in the healthcare sector. It will also serve as a platform that catalyses innovation, fosters partnerships, and shapes the future of healthcare in India.

The day-long event had two panel discussions on “Entrepreneurial Journey: Learnings, Insights and Experience” and “Role of Government and Academia in Shaping Policy for Enabling Innovation”, where industry leaders shared their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that lie before the sector today and deliberate on solutions and roadmap for the future.

On the sidelines of the Summit, a Startup Competition was organised where many established start-ups, early-stage start-ups, and concept-stage start-ups presented their innovative ideas. The winners from each category were chosen based on the creativity, utility, and viability of their ideas and rewarded with a cash prize.

(Rafat Quadri can be contacted at