Pivoting for a Purpose
How Shell Tameer alumni has transformed her business model to support the country following COVID-19.
COVID-19 has significantly impacted the lives of people around the world. Fortunately, amidst these tough times, we have also seen shows of strength and resilience. In Pakistan, providing sufficient healthcare facilities and financial support to citizens out of work has been difficult. To meet this challenge, some Pakistanis have risen to the occasion to support their fellow citizens, maintaining high spirits and doing their best to help minimise the effects of COVID-19 in their regions.
Dr. Sara Saeed has pivoted her business model in the wake of the largest pandemic in a generation. As alumni of Shell Tameer, Pakistan’s branch of Shell’s global LiveWIRE initiative, Sara received the support and backing of Shell’s flagship entrepreneurship development programme.
Healthcare consultations at the tap of your finger
Dr. Sara Saeed, the co-founder and CEO of Sehat Kahani, believes that a doctor should be available for anyone who needs it. In 2017, Dr. Saeed reached out to female doctors who couldn’t practice their degrees professionally because of their domestic lives. Under her leadership, the group created a healthcare platform to connect with people in remote areas who have limited access to healthcare facilities.
The team established e-health clinics in low-income areas, where people can come for online consultations with a doctor via video call. The service is available any time from 9 am to 5 pm, and patients are charged the same fees as any other clinic. Sehat Kahani currently has 26 such clinics around Pakistan, and plans to establish more are underway. Also, the company has launched a mobile and web-based application for corporates. With this subscription-based service, employees are provided with a dedicated doctor panel accessible on their smartphones 24/7 for health consultations and counselling. To date, large firms such as Philip Morris, Jazz, and Unilever have engaged Sehat Kahani for their employees.
The need for services like Sehat Kahani’s became even more vital at the end of March 2020, when a lockdown was implemented throughout Pakistan in response to COVID-19. Their mobile application enables people to virtually connect with doctors without having to set foot outside, providing access to a critical service at a time when Pakistan was facing a substantial shortfall in medical practitioners. To address the direct impacts of COVID, and in response to increased demand, the team trained a new cohort of more than 100 doctors to be able to diagnose people and provide counsel on best practices. In a show of solidarity, Sehat Kahani made their service free of charge until June 30, with the help of sponsorships and collaborations from 37 partner institutions.
To date, 150,000 people have accessed healthcare via Sehat Kahani’s online service. This number is expected to grow, as more than 500 people continue to access consultations every day. Dr. Saeed’s efforts have been acknowledged both nationally and internationally, where she has won a number of awards. From the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey, when she received a runner-up award in Shell Tameer Awards 2014 in the health category, until today, Dr. Saeed has shown the power of resilience and dedication, supporting her country in a time of need.
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