Pradeep has deep expertise in healthcare, human services, finance and technology. He has been in the CEO, COO, CIO and CTO roles at various innovative technology companies over the last 26 years. Pradeep was deeply involved in designing and building solutions for public programs such as Medicaid, Children health insurance program, Medicare, SNAP/TANF, Child Welfare program, health insurance exchanges and health information exchanges.
He has worked for and with commercial insurance companies as the top technology executive, and implemented benefit administration, consumer engagement, claimed medication and payment systems. During the last 26+ years, Pradeep has built 4 healthcare IT companies and has been at the top of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, INC500/5000 fastest growing companies lists multiple times. Pradeep was included in the 100 most promising entrepreneurs globally, complied by Goldman Sachs.
Where did the idea for Solve.Care come from?
Solve.Care is the culmination of my many years spent working as an executive in healthcare, insurance, and IT. It was during this time that I witnessed first-hand some of the inefficiencies inherent in the sector and when it became important to me to try to do something to improve these issues.
I also had a desire to do something that had a meaningful impact, and I think there is universal agreement that revolutionizing healthcare would make an enormous difference to humanity. When you look at some of the tremendous technological innovations that are happening every day, it’s startling to think that humanity still suffers from common ailments. We may be advancing rapidly in terms of science, yet in other areas we still have problems in terms of managing care and engaging patients.
In fact, the quality and accessibility of care is regressing. Healthcare is simply not administered to the benefit of the patient. To fix these issues, we need to go back to a level of patient-centricity beyond a cliche or beyond the buzzwords used by the large corporations.
Finally, on a personal level, I have experienced first-hand the difficulties and inefficiencies with our healthcare system as my young son has a developmental disorder and requires continuous care.
All of these motivating factors combined with my personal and professional experiences compelled me to try to “solve healthcare” and so, Solve.Care was born.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I always approach the working day in the same way; I’m very driven by priorities so, in order to be as productive as possible, it’s essential for me to be able to choose objectives for the day and create a task list. To achieve this, we have a process by which my team presents an ABC list or tasks, which is structured according to priority. We work through the list, A gets crossed off, B becomes the new A, and so on. The other way I achieve productivity is by embracing a somewhat radical approach to time management. Time is an asset to be invested. People say, “time is money”but they never really change their mindsets to reflect this manner of thinking. At Solve.Care, my team and I treat every hour as if it were worth $1,000. Then we break things into 15-minute slots, worth $250 each. This encourages a different way of looking at how time is spent. If time is a currency, then you should treat your time like a bank account. Spend time as wisely as you spend money and invest it only where it makes sense. If you take this approach, you’ll be far less likely to ever waste time again.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As a team, we bring our ideas to life by brainstorming. We typically start with a hypothesis, no matter how far out it may seem. Then, the first thing we look at is how it aligns with our priorities as an organization. If what the idea seeks to accomplish is not on our immediate list of priorities then we park it for the future. If, on the other hand, it is, then we continue to explore it, to examine the pros and cons, determine what success would look like if this idea were to come to life, and so on. This is how some of Solve.Care’s most innovative ideas have come to fruition.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think what most excites me at the moment is the trend of young innovators doing their part and using technology to change the world. This new generation of millenials is driven by macro factors like climate change, social justice and inequality. It’s encouraging to see that they’re not driven by pure pursuit of profit. This generation has always been connected, having grown up in the post-iPhone era. They don’t see the world as divided by lines on a map or cultural differences. Instead, their peer groups are dispersed around the globe, and communication is instant and intimate. All this is to say that these truly globalised citizens can work together collectively to solve problems that affect humanity, rather than as individuals divided by arbitrary and artificial borders. This is probably the best time in human history to be young and disruptive as society expects change, and the status quo gives way to innovation far faster than it used to. I’m hugely excited to see some of the young leaders that will emerge from this period of innovation to change the world we live in.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am an extremely logical person by nature, and no matter what I’m looking at, I always look to connect the dots: how can we learn from something interesting from sector A and apply it to sector B, and so on and so forth. I strive to abstract everything and look at the world through the lens of input – process – output. Like completing a mathematical equation, I apply this methodology to different situations, mentally visualize problems and solutions, strip away emotion and prejudice, and seek to solve the problem. Always focus on solving the equation rather than solving the emotion. I think it has been this habit, above all others, that has enabled me to identify business opportunities and establish a number of successful businesses.
What advice would you give your younger self?
When I was younger I was always particularly concerned with the concept of wasted time. I fixated on the fact that we only have a limited amount of time on this earth, and this drove a relentlessness in my work ethic that helped me to be successful, but also meant that I risked missing out on other parts of life. Now, a few years later, I would tell my younger self to be patient, and to take more time to enjoy life. Rather than simply looking at the number of hours worked, it’s important to evaluate the quality of the day, and balance work with fun and other activities that lead to overall greater life satisfaction. Of course it’s important to manage one’s time productively, but taking the time to enjoy life is also vital.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Logic has always been a powerful force in my life and I’ve never been afraid to be the only person to believe in something as long as logic supports it. I apply this thinking to business too, so if my team isn’t completely bought in at the beginning of a project, I just ask that they trust me and work to build consensus around success, once the outcome becomes clear. I believe this to be at odds with what many other business leaders will tell you – that you need to have absolute buy-in from your team from the beginning. I don’t believe this to be the case. Eventually, even the skeptics will recognize value once they start to see the success. This was the approach I took when first deliberating on Care.Wallet, Solve.Care’s personal health coordination app. Initially, some of the team couldn’t see the value proposition, but I asked them to trust me and come on this journey, and eventually they were won over once they grasped its potential.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Put your team at the center of everything that you do – this is critical to success. Many business owners place all of their focus on their clients, and while the client is certainly important, your team is even more important. I’ve learned over the years that my team comes first, and I need to focus on growing their ability to effectively service the clients. Nowadays, I spend most of my time with my team deciding the what and the why, and I leave it to them to decide the how and the when.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think one approach that has been central to Solve.Care’s success is the strategy of “threading the needle”. You can’t win most of the time by attacking the most obvious problem in the obvious way; instead you must have everything aligned in order to succeed. And part of this means finding the balance between your needs and those of the incumbents in the sector that you’re seeking to break into. If you behave like a bull in a china shop, and set out to take their business they will use the fact that they are established and have resources to shut you down. Seek to align your interests so that they are complementary to other industry stakeholders. As well as this, don’t forget to focus on distribution channels and how you will distribute your product to customers. And, finally, focus on generating cash flow, because even the world’s most promising company isn’t going to last long without a guaranteed cash flow.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It took me time to realize that not all capital is the same. Capital is not just a commodity, it has color and character, and different capital comes with different sets of expectations. You need to understand the type of capital that you want and you’re willing to bow to.
Early in my journey as an entrepreneur, this was something that I failed to understand, and it resulted in me having the wrong type of capital, capital that was insufficient for my needs at the time.
For instance, if you’re building a solution that will take 5 years to deliver a return, you need investors that share that longer-term vision. Long term thinking requires capital from long term thinkers, capital that is “patient”.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There is a need for a global register of physicians, where they can register without being affiliated with a specific body or association. The register should be deployed on the blockchain, with its main purpose to connect practitioner availability to the patient’s needs, where the patient can then freely access the practitioner’s information and qualifications. This will benefit businesses as it will streamline activities, reduce costs and overall, make the process of arranging appointments easier. At present, there is no global resource that is reliable, accessible, or available to patients or governments to access. As we currently face a global pandemic, this presents a major problem in the fight against the coronavirus.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently went to hear a motivational speaker and it was a really enlightening experience. They focused on leadership and emotional alignment with what you do, and I found it to be a really great use of time. The session really helped me come to terms with something that I think a lot of founders struggle with, the concept that their company might not reach its full potential within their lifetimes. I’ve had this thought about Solve.Care on numerous occasions. However this course made me comfortable with the fact that this revolutionary journey may not be completed within my lifetime and helped me come to terms with the fact that, some day, it will be time to pass the baton to the next generation of leaders.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Solve.Care has offices around the world and the nature of my role requires me to be in contact with colleagues globally, to share documents and meet with them to discuss our growth strategies. To this end, Zoom Video Conferencing has been absolutely invaluable to helping me and my team be as productive as possible.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The book I recommend is titled, “ Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”, by Jim Collins & Jerry I. Porras. The book details how visionary companies became so successful, providing practical insights and advice along the way, directed to those who would like to build such companies that can stand the test of time.
What is your favorite quote?
“There are no failures in life, only lessons.”
I love this quote as it serves as a daily reminder for me to reflect on what we have learned from our mistakes and to ensure that we’re always pushing forward.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.