Many seek MBAs for higher pay and positions. Snigdha Gorana plans to use her MBA at INSEAD to make old people happier. A trained physician, Gorana is behind Medin Healthcare, which started as a home health service to provide elderly care in Pune, India.
“We conceptualised and launched the city’s first community cognitive and mental health programme reaching out to the grassroots,” she tells Study International. Her aim is to make healthy aging a reality for all senior citizens in India.
First, however, she needs to upskill and build her expertise with her MBA at INSEAD. We caught up with Gorana to learn more about her MBA at INSEAD, Medin Healthcare and other social projects she’s involved in:
What made you choose to study your MBA at INSEAD?
Transitioning from a clinical role to a business role, I always knew that an MBA would be a good springboard for upskilling and building expertise. This intention was magnified while setting up my venture Medin Healthcare.
My career choices, fuelled by imbibing cross functional perspectives, were the essence of my growth. It was evident that I would want to receive education at a school that would bring this diversity and openness to its core. Moreover, I was looking for a strong alumni community both in terms of reach and presence.
Do you think it would have made a difference if you studied at a local institution?
Studying at a local institution (especially during times of COVID-19), would have maybe been more convenient but would have pigeonholed my perspectives. An MBA goes beyond academic learning and I would have certainly stunted my growth if it weren’t for the enriching opportunities.
This comes through exploring myself in a different culture and context. To add to that, local business schools back home enroll students with homogenous backgrounds and this is where INSEAD stands out.
My MBA at INSEAD experience has been unparalleled. Pursuing this degree locally would have impacted this journey. Not to mention, INSEAD is one of the few schools offering in-person classes in France which is not the reality for many others.
Walk us through Medin Healthcare and how you hope to help MBA applicants with COVID-19 relief.
Medin means companion in the Sanskrit language. It started as a home health service to provide elderly care in Pune, India, focusing on companionship. The evolving needs of senior citizens around wellness and prevention motivated us to launch a community healthcare vertical creating awareness around healthy aging.
We conceptualised and launched the city’s first community cognitive and mental health programme reaching out to the grassroots. India is currently going through troubling times with the new COVID-19 variant. It was disheartening as a doctor to not be able to help my homeland.
To raise funds for the crisis, students from top business schools came together to provide MBA counselling in exchange for funds to an NGO of their choice. We are providing MBA application counselling (including a school selection and review) with career counselling.
Our value add is that as current students, we are better attuned to give applicants real-time feedback on the COVID-19 situation and its impact on the MBA journey. This has been a gratifying endeavour as we have built a community of mentors and mentees who stand in solidarity with each other and the country.
What has been your most memorable class so far as an MBA at INSEAD student?
The “Master Strategist” day. Our final Strategy exam was the most memorable day. It’s an intense 24-hour marathon project that has teams work on a real-life problem of a chosen not-for-profit organisation and recommend solutions to scale impact.
The project served as a perfect culmination to our learnings from the courses and leadership development sessions. The thrill of coming up with solutions within 12 hours, overnight conversations and ideations, and creativity was immeasurable.
The energy was so infectious that I couldn’t sleep that night! What surprised me was that in the midst of two months, our team harnessed our individual strengths and balanced our weaknesses by supporting each other. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share this experience with an incredibly talented and egregious team.
What fond memories with your teachers can you share with us?
The pandemic disrupted our in-person experience so we were taking online classes for a while. As new students, the Zoom fatigue was overwhelming. However, I was surprised at how empathetic our teachers were and have been ensuring active learning virtually.
In our Financing Accounting class, Professor Sharon Katz made sure that learning a relatively bland subject remained fun and unencumbered. To lighten up our (dark winter) days, he introduced his kids and his pet online.
Our Strategy professor created a video to bid adieu for our last class. There are many micro moments throughout the course where professors went out of their way to engage us through small yet kind gestures.
Do you get to apply the theories you gained in the classroom to the real world?
My programme is about experiential learning and transcends the formal academic system. The fous at INSEAD so far has been on “learning by doing.” We’ve had the chance to work on real-life projects, cases and simulations that put us directly in the driver’s seat.
One of the ways we have applied our learning was during a COVID-19 wave. To make life more engaging, many students took initiative to build better academic and social experiences during lockdown. This came through as online gatherings with cultural exchange sessions, speed dating, auctions, and so forth.
What’s one thing you miss from home and how do you substitute it?
I miss my family the most because I come from a tight-knit one. We’ve ensured each other to always be a call away and we keep in touch almost every day. While my family can’t be substituted, I found a second family in some of my close friends who have been my pillars of strength.