Startup soldier? You need to pay more attention to your health

“Wow! what a work environment?”, we all said after reading an article about how global software product companies are creating cool office infrastructure to promote innovation and creativity.

However, when we peel the layers on this, we find engineers often slogging – either stuck with a specific issue that no one else has solved or meeting a release deadline to stay aligned with marketing efforts.

Welcome to startup world! The degree of stress that startups have remains unmatched for:

– the entrepreneurs who are trying to do everything from coding to selling to dealing with the plumber for a broken faucet

– the team members who are constantly reshaping their learning curves and dealing with new work challenges every day

Your health in this type of a pressure cooker environments begets even more attention. No wonder, great companies try to create a fun-loving and stimulating environment to act as a stress buster. But we as individuals need to do more as well. Here are some tips that could help:

– Take a walk at least every 30 mins, go say hi to your colleague. It not only improves blood flow in your system, it increases your social presence

– Do standup meetings, especially if they are setup after lunch. We are sitting all day long and feel lethargic after lunch. Standup meetings keep us alert and active

– Keep your workspace exciting. Pictures of family, friends can be a huge source of excitement and happiness at work place. A souvenir from your favourite destination or your favourite sport item are great appeasers.

– Participate in office activities, in fact – take lead on making arrangements for everyone if hosting a team lunch or an outing, etc.. This gives a great tangential setting to bust work stress and you come back to work with a sense of accomplishment and happiness if your efforts get appreciated.

– Eat healthy. It is easier said than done but being conscious about what you eat can be a good first step. And being conscious of frequency and quantity of your meal can be a huge second step.

At Savetime, we are trying everything we can to make the work environment exciting, fun and healthy. We would love to get more ideas on how to make work places better especially for a startup environment.

Mitesh Bohra, CEO & Co-founder

Mitesh is CEO, Co-founder at savetime.com. He has been working in the industry for over 16 years and this is his 3rd startup after InfoBeans and Infosignz. Mitesh is a BE in Electronics from India and has dual MBA from Columbia Business School, New York and Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, California.

EMI – the entrepreneurship killer

“EMI hua kam tau ghoomne chale hum” – the SBI home loan ad which is running rampant during the IPL matches is an embarrassing testament to the state the new Indian generation is headed towards. The dream of owning a home some times changes one’s life to a level that we often wonder whether we are working just to pay our loans or worse, making money for the housing finance companies. The monster called EMI has grown so big that taking a family vacation has become an after thought despite of manifold growth in purchasing power of an average middle class family.

“Ghar ka EMI dene ke baad kuch bachta hai kya?” – how did we get to that state in the first place that we can’t afford anything else after our EMI  – Peer pressure? Our desires and dreams getting us to stretch ourselves? Risk taking attitude? Investment in an appreciating asset so you can have a pot of gold at the end if you sell it?

Oh wait a second…aren’t some of these attributes similar to what ticks an entrepreneur as well? Isn’t entrepreneurship about dreams and desires getting us to stretch ourselves, about taking risks, about that end state where you attain a pot of gold in the form of growth and success and in some cases through handsome exits?

So, does this mean there is an entrepreneur in each of us who is getting killed everyday because we chose to mortgage all those great entrepreneurship traits in one lock-in called “EMI”? This is food for thought for all the folks who have a spark somewhere in their belly for start-ups/entrepreneurship and feel stuck.

I have gone through this EMI experience myself only to realize that its not worth trading my start-up attributes with a home where I feel “house arrested” every day. I have chosen to nip it in the bud and not let it grow to be a monster that I may not be able to handle. As a happy renter for last 15 years, I would rather make owning a house an easy by-product, when I  build a successful start-up.

Life is short, there is never enough time to realize one’s dream. I have chosen to save my time. I have chosen to run savetime. Are you saving your time?

Mitesh Bohra, CEO & Co-founder

Mitesh is CEO, Co-founder at savetime.com. He has been working in the industry for over 16 years and this is his 3rd startup after InfoBeans and Infosignz. Mitesh is a BE in Electronics from India and has dual MBA from Columbia Business School, New York and Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, California.

A wakeup call for doctors? New age healthcare

“Why admit her in ICU for 5 days for an E-coli infection especially after you have isolated the bacteria through blood work and determined which antibiotics it is not resistant to?” I asked a reputed doctor.

What transpired for almost 20 minutes after this question was a classical offense-as-the-best-way-of-defense story. I was accused of being this new generation guy who reads up half-baked stuff on the internet and thinks they are more qualified than doctors. I was told to perform diagnosis and was told “bring anyone who can challenge my diagnosis”.

For the first few minutes of taking this onslaught, I was baffled. What did I say that made our डॉक्टर साब so angry? It was simply a question, a desire to understand what and why, something that is increasingly becoming a fundamental need in modern times.

It was only later did I realize that doctors in India aren’t really used to any kind of questioning, let alone a harmless information seeking question. We Indians have been living for decades in a deprived society sorely lacking education, awareness and more importantly lack of choice in which doctor you can go to. That made doctors “gods”.

That’s what is changing. The new gen is armed with a lot more education, medical information and the courage to ask questions. If a doctor is unwilling to have such conversation with patients and/or their relatives, they are putting themselves in grave danger. Not the danger of a lawsuit or a lost patient but the danger of becoming obsolete.

The new gen doctors have tremendous opportunity here to develop greater rapport and bond with the patient community by being responsive and by simply having conversations with them. The new era powered by the Internet and availability of information at your fingertips has established itself in the uprooting of traditional industries. Look around you: is travel industry the same, is retail industry the same? Healthcare services will be no exception.

It’s a wakeup call for doctors…

Mitesh Bohra, CEO & Co-founderMitesh is CEO, Co-founder at savetime.com. He has been working in the industry for over 16 years and this is his 3rd startup after InfoBeans and Infosignz. Mitesh is a BE in Electronics from India and has dual MBA from Columbia Business School, New York and Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, California.

Putting care back into Healthcare

“What a broken healthcare system!?”, we’ve all found ourselves say in frustration.

You’ve moved to a new city, you fall sick. The chaotic scramble to find a doctor begins. The stress of making an appointment, waiting in long queues. And finally when you see the doctor, just a few minutes to make a diagnosis and a prescription. Not to mention that some doctors bring infamy to their profession by prescribing unnecessary medicines, tests and sometimes even operations.

We’ve all been in these situations. And yet, these scenarios play themselves out, over and over again. The break down hasn’t happened all of a sudden. It took decades to settle in.

However, change is all around us; the way we work, the way we shop, the way we travel. The pace of change is faster than ever before.

If we set our mind to it, we can change the way we receive healthcare services. We’re more aware today, have vast amounts of knowledge at our finger tips. We don’t hesitate to ask the important questions that concern  us, ask for a second opinion, learn more. We’ve got a new generation of doctors better trained, better informed, armed with the empathy to recognize the plight of the patient, and not simply run a practice to churn numbers.

More than any other time, a patient-centric healthcare system is needed now. Change is in the air and we’re the ones who will realize it.

We are the ones who can put the care back into healthcare…

Mitesh Bohra, CEO & Co-founderMitesh is CEO, Co-founder at savetime.com. He has been working in the industry for over 16 years and this is his 3rd startup after InfoBeans and Infosignz. Mitesh is a BE in Electronics from India and has dual MBA from Columbia Business School, New York and Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, California.