As per the recent reports from ICMR, the number of cancer cases is likely to increase to 15.7 lakh by 2025. The rising number of cancer patients is one of the most worrying thing in the healthcare sector across India, as well as the globe. The pandemic in 2020, has shown us the importance to develop the healthcare sector and make it stronger to face any kind of global health issues. While treating the patient, what comes first is the proper diagnosis on which the way of treatment gets decided.
Adoption of advanced technologies and Innovations in Oncology ,has played a vital role in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of cancer patients. And it is like a messiah for cancer patients. Keeping this need of the Indian Health Sector in mind, Oncquest Lab is revolutionizing the health care sector in India, with its top-notched diagnostics services.
Oncquest lab, promoted by Aditya C Burman, started its journey as a part of Dabur Pharma in the year 2002 and as molecular oncology diagnostic laboratory and R&D focused entity. In the Year 2007, Mr. Aditya Burman with his scientific skill and industry insight, re-established its new independent identity -Oncquest Laboratories Ltd- and made cancer diagnostic business its main focus.
Oncquest is now one of the largest diagnostic labs in the space of molecular pathology, with a strong credential in pharmacogenomics, companion diagnosis, immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, hematopathology and with a comprehensive menu of laboratory assays with unparalleled service. Today the laboratory handles over 15000+ samples a day with great precision and has earned its reputation for clinical excellence in the Indian market.
Dr. Ravi Gaur, who is Director & Chair Medical Advisory Committee of Oncquest lab shared his thoughts on the current industry scenario and his journey at Oncquest.
The Early Days
Dr. Ravi says, “I strongly feel that every individual deserves the best of healthcare irrespective of the cost. Also, I believe that the integration of conventional wisdom, refined by emerging technologies, is a must to cater to the new generation’s healthcare needs. Oncquest’ s approach & understanding of advanced genomic technologies, its application for precise cancer diagnosis, and mission to make advanced assays affordable & available to masses, was well aligned to my thought process.”
I insist on integrity, commitment and treating everyone with respect. Inspiring people to realize they matter is a must for greater success. I am committed to helping people reach their full potential.Dr. Ravi Gaur
Most of the diagnostic providers start from basic pathology offerings, but Oncquest started as an advanced pathology lab. It was when he started integrating the advanced technology & high skill-driven pathology services with basic pathology and bridging this gap with similar levels of skill, quality & focus, the graph zoomed, and growth took a fast upward swing.
Cutting through the complexities
To chisel a beautiful statue, you first need to hit the rock, which is what counts! Similarly, when starting a venture, you face challenges, which make up for the successful times of your organization. And tackling them with innovation and efficiency sails your boat! Oncquest has also faced and now also facing and tackling well with the hurdles.
With the fast-changing diagnostic industry and so much happening on a day-to-day basis, the toughest challenge for Dr. Ravi was to put his vision on paper. He believes that plan should be short, simple, and have a realistic set of goals. The more concise & focused plan is, the more likely you can achieve your goals. A few of the other major challenges were building the right team with similar vision and skill, balancing quality and growth, and address the rapidly changing consumer’s expectation. It is very easy to be different but very difficult to be better.
And then the growth started…
From its first avatar, as an R&D focused entity, Oncquest has evolved into a National reference laboratory in the field of Oncology, and more recently into a multi-platform Pathology Services provider and hospital lab management. Today they have various size 40 plus labs spread across the country, catering to a complete segment of pathology testing. Also, they have their presence in many neighbouring countries includes Nepal Bangladesh, Tashkent, and Sri Lanka.
Recently Oncquest has emerged as one of the major B2C labs with a special focus on home collection and providing services in tier 2- 3 cities. They are one of the major private labs doing Covid RTPCR and allied testing, across the country. Despite high competition and diverse challenges, the company has been growing 25-30% year-on-year.
Factors behind Oncquest’ s longstanding success
Mr. Aditya Burman’s quest for next-generation diagnostics and Oncquest’ s early adoption & utilization of clinically relevant genetic analysis, including sequencing technologies has resulted in many “first to market” assays, which are now the backbone for developing several treatments and monitoring protocols especially in the field of oncology & infectious disease. Advance technologies and global quality systems at Oncquest, have ensured that it stays ahead of the curve, resulting in its association with some of the most advanced hospitals, super specialists, clinicians, and research organizations in the country.
Dr. Ravi says, “I am a strong advocate of a personalized approach in healthcare. Today we are better known as final opinion or difficult diagnosis solution provider. We focus more on DNA /RNA-based assays which helps the clinician not only to deliver target base therapy but also helps in a better understanding of the progression of the disease.”
Dr. Ravi strongly believes that, for continued and sustainable success in the current fast-evolving technology-driven world, Innovation has to be an essential part of any organization’s DNA. Better diagnostic tests are needed to improve the quality of healthcare and for benefit of patients. The diagnostic providers should keep adding the technology & newer assays at regular intervals and ensure affordability too.
Dr. Ravi Gaur – A leader with a futuristic vision
Dr. Ravi Gaur, joined Oncquest in the year 2009. He is a qualified Onco pathologist by profession and has over 30 years’ experience in the field of Pathology and Health care management. He strongly believes in setting up the new trend of pathology practice in India by introducing advanced assays and equipment, new biomarkers of wellness, predictive & prognostic algorithms, disruptive technologies, and Integrated ICT including AI. He has worked in the past with some leading diagnostic companies like erstwhile Pathnet India (a venture of Gribble’s pathology, Australia), Piramal diagnostics, and served in the Indian Army too, which helped him to take challenges head on and think innovatively for a better outcome and personalized customer service. Building ideas, building teams, and building business over time are what excites him the most. He loves creating something out of nothing, and he loves it even more when people say ‘that is a weird idea’ but then a few years later, they come back and say, “Weird though, but I knew it will work”. As Dr. Ravi says, “That is very satisfying.”
Dr. Ravi has learned over time that, if for greater business success, one should have their heart in business, and business in their heart. He says, “I have also learned that every phase of building a business is new. When I look back to where I started and who would believe we would be here, where we are now. If you believe in what you are doing, you will find a path forward. Ensuring and watching people progress, making a difference in their life is the greatest achievement. “
To be successful in life and business, listen to what people don’t say. One has to be ODD if you want to be number ONE.
Talking about the responsibility of an entrepreneur, he says, “The biggest responsibility of an entrepreneur is to build a sustainable, sellable, and scalable plan. An entrepreneur should play by the rules but be ferocious. One cannot always predict what to do or what problems will arise, but that’s part of their journey. They must strike a balance between optimal outreach and overkill. They should learn to read “What consumers do not say’’ and be open to continuous improvement. For success, they should empower them with patience, aim for perfection, and prioritize their passion. To have a dream is important but the true entrepreneur should be a doer.”
The Driving Force
Dr. Ravi attributes his Credit for his success to his team. Caring about people is the most primal thing. But caring should be in actions, not just words. Caring creates trust, and trust creates loyalty. Loyalty is what makes good people stay and take good care of your business
We generally talk about and focus all our effort on our customers, but Dr. Ravi thinks, we should focus on our employees first. It is very important to build a safe place for them, fulfil their career dream, and create an environment that treats people fairly and appreciates their work.
Humans are complicated, and the challenge is getting a team of 300-400 people, all going in the same direction. Healthcare needs strong teamwork, if everybody does not know the direction we are going in, it will knock you off soon. When you have the right people and a team, who believes in you and you have faith in them — that is an Organization. Without a well-knit team, no organization can achieve success. Over the last decade, the team at Oncquest has relentlessly worked with a single mission – “Perform to Excel and Care”.
Dr. Ravi’s take on the current health industry scenario
It is a well-known fact that the development in the country’s health status has not kept pace with its economic development. Our performance, particularly on health equity and quality issues has been far from satisfactory. There are vast variations in health-care facilities and care.
Our priorities seemed to be setting up high-cost tertiary health institutions at the expense of the primary health centres. The recently launched Swachh Bharat and Ayushman Bharat schemes, combined with various national health programs, offer a good hope of addressing these asymmetries.
However, I would like to appreciate, the promptness & some good decisions of the Government authorities, and the way private healthcare providers came forward to join hands with the government to address Covid pandemic challenges. It is a very commendable effort. It proves that ensuring affordable, quality health care can be made accessible to all ,if all providers work together in a structured way. Also, we need some strong but practical regulations to ensure quality and satisfactory services.
The future of healthcare is shaping up in front of our very eyes with advances in digital healthcare technologies, such as artificial intelligence, genomics, telemedicine, robotics, or nanotechnology, etc. We must familiarize ourselves with the latest developments to be able to control technology and not the other way around. The future of healthcare lies in working hand-in-hand with technology and healthcare workers have to adopt new healthcare technologies to stay relevant and better clinical outcomes in the coming years.