Cover Story

Global CEO Leader Healthcare Group SUKHDEEP SACHDEV

Media Shy or Strategic Anonymity?

The cover story is about a man who has stayed away from the media for more than 10 years.

A string of impressive achievements are associated with Sukhdeep Sachdev and the acclaimed entrepreneurial venture Leader Healthcare Group.

What makes the man tick? Is he just another CEO?

MediWorld walked the halls of Leader Healthcare offices to gather insights. Three employees shared information that piqued curiosity. Read all about the savvy gentleman in the pages that follow.

-Vasujit Kalia

Employees spill the beans…

What Sukhdeep Sachdev shares in common with most CEOs…
The ability to see far into the future.
What sets him apart…
Perfect balance of emotional intelligence and perfect acumen.

Sonal Sachdev

Director Strategic Planning

Sukhdeep Sachdev on his worst day at work is…
“A buddy to rival your best buddy”Sukhdeep Sachdev on his best day at work is…
An energizer batter to charge your dreams

Nadeeka Maheswaran

Global Head Marketing

 Sukhdeep Sachdev in a sentence…
“Master of the master stroke.”
Sukhdeep Sachdev has proven
without doubt that…
“Nice guys finish first.”

Ansari Shabnam Ateeq

Chief Knowledge Officer

About Sukhdeep Sachdev

Sukhdeep Sachdev is an Indian-born businessman and the founder of a number of companies across the MENA & APAC regions. He is the Global CEO of GCC – based Leader Healthcare Group.

His initial interest was import and distribution of capital medical equipment. Subsequently, he has led the business into sectors such as turnkey solutions for simulation-based healthcare education, immersive tactical combat casualty environments, signature aesthetic & wellness centres, life support training centres, sensory environments for special children, to name a few.

Sukhdeep Sachdev is the winner of Dubai Eye 103. 8 F M Entrepreneur Awards 2017 in the Leadership category. His flagship company Leader Healthcare has recently gained an entry in The Guiness Book of World Records for the largest sports injury event organised in collaboration with Dubai Corporation Of Ambulance Services.

About Leader Healthcare Group

Leader Healthcare Group was established in 2009 by Sukhdeep Sachdev, in partnership with friend and investor Greg Leader. It has a distribution portfolio of global brands dedicated to patient outcomes and quality of life. It has recently gained an entry in The Guiness Book of World Records for the largest sports injury event organised in collaboration with Dubai Corporation Of Ambulance Services. Leader Healthcare Group completes a decade of growth and market leadership in 2019. With 11 corporate offices across 8 countries, and strategic partnerships across MENA, APAC & North America regions, Leader Healthcare Co-Founder & Managing Directoris poised for the next decade of disruption and innovation.

So, are you media shy?

The PR team thinks so. I hope to prove otherwise with the assistance of MediWorld team. Thank you for being here.

What is the secret of your success?

‘Bad’ timing, probably. (laughs) .

Please share more…

Think back to the year 2009. It was the peak of The Great Economic Recession. Leader Healthcare was established in the same year. Friends and well-wishers termed it ‘professional suicide’. I have lived to tell the tale. The trust in the timing paid off. The ‘bad timing’ was a blessing in disguise.

How so?

Customers seek suppliers who are here for the long term, especially during economic turmoil. The ‘bad’ timing seemed to assure customers that Leader Healthcare is ready for the worst, it is here to stay. The portfolio of exceptional technologies certainly helped. Leader Healthcare was a profitable company in 12 months, by the grace of the Almighty. As entrepreneurs, we wore our heart and vision on the sleeve. I think the healthcare industry wanted us to succeed, to fulfill the belief we had in the vision of healthcare excellence.

What is the big deal about healthcare excellence? One reads about it, everyone seems obsessed about it…

Two decades ago, when a patient consulted a doctor, treatment records were maintained by the patient. Today, treatment records are maintained by healthcare providers. There is an expectation that these records should be available through the lifetime of the patient – for continuity of care, for lowering costs, for making informed decisions. This is a great picture of IT-driven, technology-driven healthcare. However, the cost of storage and information security are the accompanying challenges. Within this scenario, healthcare excellence means maximizing the advantages of available technology, while minimizing the cost of care and the rate of adverse events. The big deal about healthcare excellence is simply because we deserve the best of care possible, because information technology makes it possible to analyse performance, and because it is possible to address mistakes in a manner that wasn’t so earlier.

You said,”… because it is possible to address mistakes in a manner that wasn’t so earlier”. What does this mean?

We know the time when medical graduates mastered the practice of medicine through observation and working under supervision. Mistakes were made, it was not possible to get every intervention right the first time. Soon, the number of students enrolled in medical colleges surpassed the capacity of teaching hospitals. The situation was exacerbated. Then a ray of hope emerged. It was called healthcare simulation. A doll maker created a life size doll for healthcare education. Soon, a CPU was placed inside the doll to mimic the human physiologic response. Anatomical models were shaped to facilitate instruction, interaction and discussion. By the time a medical student graduates today, he / she has performed a number of medical interventions using virtual reality, augmented reality and immersive experiences. Mistakes are made, but not on humans or animals under care. Today, mistakes are controlled events that are addressed in a constructive learning environment. Muscle memory, clinical decision making, golden hour management are the competencies effectively developed through simulation-based healthcare education. Hence, it is possible to address mistakes in a manner that wasn’t so earlier.

Here is a rapid fire round. You have five seconds for each response. Game for it?

Oh hello…someone pass me the thinking cap. (laughs).

An unusual tendency that contributed to business success…

Wearing my heart on the sleeve, give-before-take and keeping no secrets.

Complete the sentence  I am very good at, and I love…

Number crunching.

I am often accused of…but it works very well in business.

Giving people a long rope.

A regret that has stayed with you…

Not mastering many more languages. Language is a powerful bridge to the heart and mind.

The question you ask every prospective employee…

What’s your dream and timeline for achieving it?

The point at which an employee gets fired at Leader Healthcare…

When he / she is no longer building the foundation for that dream to turn into reality.

The best use of money…

Certainly not in the bank. Give it back, give it forward, use it to create memorable experiences, and to make your stakeholders more wealthy.

If you lost all of your money…

I would be thankful that it is mine, not the stakeholders’ money.

The shortcut to getting promoted at Leader Healthcare …

Global mindset, not needing supervision, gaining trust and support within the team.

The surest way to get in your good books…

Everyone is in my ‘good books’. People may leave it temporarily. They are welcome back anytime.

Entrepreneur. To be or not to be?

The entrepreneur-to-be has no choice. He is merely a tool for an idea that is destined to change the world.

(End of rapid fire round)

Would you be willing to share a few feathers in the cap of Leader Healthcare?

A recent feather in the cap is the association of Leader Healthcare with The Crown Prince Center for Training and Medical Research in Bahrain. It is a part of Bahrain Defense Forces, a source of pride for the nation, and the first simulation-based learning center in Bahrain. I am grateful for the trust and support extended to Leader Healthcare by Bahrain Defense Forces. A similar project with Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi is under progress. Several other projects are in the pipeline. The shape of healthcare education is changing, exciting times lie ahead.

What is the pain point in healthcare education as experienced by faculty and medical students?

Surprisingly, the pain point for faculty and medical students are the core subjects in healthcare education – Anatomy, Physiology and Clinical Decision Making. Medical students may panic, drop out of medical school or struggle to grasp the interrelationships associated with these subjects.

Is there a solution to address these pain points? You said that the shape of healthcare education is changing…

Innovative technologies have been available to address these pain points for some time. For example, a 3D beating heart is available for dissection in virtual space, your finger is the scalpel. A radiographic image of a diseased lung can be converted to a digital 3D object and studied by a group of students. Digital drugs can be injected to observe changes in 11,000 physiologic parameters as a true pharmacological response. A digital patient is available to hone differential diagnosis and clinical decision making skills. Faculty love these technologies, medical students rave about it, early adopters at colleges & universities champion it. However, a few of these amazing solutions had a short term novelty factor, because integration into the existing curriculum was lacking. Creating lessons using these tools remained a challenge for faculty. Companies like 3D4Medical are now focused on curriculum integration and lowest cost per institution across its anatomy learning solutions. Companies like Body Interact have built a performance tracker to support student grading across its decision making scenarios. There is a clear return on investment for institutions investing in these solutions. Hence, the shape of healthcare education is changing.

Medical students in the near future will utilize virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence to master the study of medicine. The human body is a marvel of engineering. These simulation-based tools of learning will transfer the awe and amazement of the human body like never before.

Any regional challenges that could be addressed through these innovative solutions?

A regional challenge is the number of Emaratis dropping out of medical school in Year 1 and Year 2. Cultural inhibition, rote-based learning, lack of engagement, the shock that precedes desensitization through exposure to cadavers are the drivers for the high dropout rate. Cadaver exposure leads to desensitization – a sort of detachment towards human suffering. It was considered necessary for the effective practice of medicine. Recently, John Hopkins School of Medicine published an article in its newsletter questioning the role of desensitization in the practice of medicine. The article introduced the thought that desensitization may not be desirable or necessary for effective caregiving. The article proposed that medical students could be exposed to death in a

natural manner, so they could retain empathy towards human suffering. This is where simulation-based learning steps in. It allows med schools to delay the introduction of cadavers into the curriculum.The barriers of cultural inhibition, rote-based learning, lack of engagement are overcome through simulation-based healthcare education. Subsequently, the rate of Emarati med school dropouts could be reduced. Concurrently, the number of Emaratis choosing to study medicine and life sciences could be increased by creating healthcare simulation labs and anatomy museums in K-12 schools. Simulation-based learning can also transform healthcare education into a social awareness tool for promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

Do we need social awareness towards healthy lifestyle choices? And how could healthcare education be a tool for same?

An active lifestyle was natural to the nomadic Gulf Arabs. A sedentary work environment has taken its place. Healthy traditional diets of the Arab culture have been replaced by popular diet choices. Recreational smoking is prevalent among men, women and children. This has created a regional disease profile encompassing obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It is a cause for concern because these lifestyle-related diseases have economic implications. The region needs a well- educated, skilled and healthy workforce to realise its long term economic goals.

The Body Worlds Exhibition is a traveling exposition of dissected human bodies that have been preserved through the process of plastination. Since it began touring in 1995, roughly 47 million people have been to a

Body Worlds exhibit, making it the world’s most popular touring attraction. The BodyWorlds Exhibition reminds visitors of the fragility, individuality and anatomical beauty underneath their skin. So, what emerges when one is introduced to beauty under one’s skin? A sentiment to preserve it. For example, there is an exhibit area to view a smoker’s lung versus a healthy lung. The smoker’s lung belongs to someone who has died of lung cancer. Such an exhibit brings us face to face with undeniable reality. It creates awareness about lifestyle choices and associated health implications.The exhibition is supported by The Institute of Plastination, which produces human specimens for healthcare education, and for social awareness. Man is said to be the finest creation of The Almighty. One can experience this finesse at close quarters.

Sounds like a ‘must visit ‘. Has The Body Worlds Exhibition toured the GCC countries?

The traveling exhibition is yet to tour the GCC countries. Its primary tour circuit spans Europe, America & Canada. The Institute of Plastination showcased the Body Worlds specimens for the first time in the GCC region at Arab Health 2019. Leader Healthcare hopes to generate awareness about the exhibition by spreading the word across its network.

The healthcare market has been termed ‘recession proof’. How true is the label?

Markets revolving around essential services could be termed ‘ recession proof ‘ – food, healthcare , transportation, logistics, etc. But then, does ‘recession proof’ mean that money is flowing within the market without discretion? In any market, the seller must demonstrate that his goods have a specific value, and that the goods address the problem better than anything else out there.

Describe a day at work in the life of Sukhdeep Sachdev.

My day at work has 24 hours because it is day time and work hours somewhere (laughs). The work, family and personal time are inseparable. The KPI for each day is to create smiles and success for stakeholders of Leader Healthcare. Each day brings a million opportunities to do so. I am eternally grateful for that.

If you could, what would you do that hasn’t been done yet?

When I travel the globe, I am introduced to amazing, innovative, game-changing healthcare technologies. I look at these and say,” Wow! These should be available to every patient across the world”. The solutions serve patient outcomes and improve the quality of life. Often, the associated innovators and manufacturers lack the connections to introduce the products globally. At some point, I would like to create a zero cost platform for providing the global exposure that such solutions merit. It is possible that this is in the pipeline of like minded individuals. Would love to connect with them on LinkedIn.

What is the legacy that you want to leave behind?

I hope to build leaders who surpass me in every way, who create a tomorrow that is better than today.

Your favorite quote?

”The road to success is always under construction” by Lily Tomlin.

Augmented Reality for Anatomy Education

Problem Based learning for Clinical Decision Making

3D Learning Lab for Anatomy Education

Virtual Reality for Scenario Familiarization

Learning physiological and pathogenesis with a live digital human organism up tp 11,000 physiologic parameters in real time.

Craving for a smoke? Think it’s cool? Enjoy the view of a smoker’s lung first.

Hyper-realistic manikins cast from living humans still think learning CPR is meh?+