In recent years, there has been a drastic rise in the number of people suffering from vision impairments and eye problems due to factors such as digitalization and extreme working hours. The number is not restricted only to the adult population, as many kids and teenagers are also increasingly affected by issues pertaining to vision. Meanwhile, awareness about eye health and healthy vision has also increased in recent years.
As people become more conscious about eye care, several new eye care service providers have emerged over the past few years. Sharp Sight, an Indian-based eye care provider, however, is amongst the best in the industry. As a pioneer in eye care for over 20 years, Sharp Sight believes in providing eye care of international standards to all. With the trust of over 10 lac delighted patients and more than 5 lac successful surgeries and procedures, the company has established itself as a leading eye care provider in the region.
Face Behind the Curtains
A leader driven with an innate desire of creating an organization that can provide joys of vision to enhance the quality of life, Deepshikha Sharma (CEO of Sharp Sight) has been one of the mainstays of the company since its inception. Deepshikha is an experienced healthcare professional with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital and healthcare industry for 16 years.
Deepshikha is a post-graduate from Delhi University and has been a part of Sharp Sight since its inception. Over the years, various challenges faced by the organization have contributed to her rise as a CEO. She has also been inspired and guided by various industry leaders. She mentions that M.S. Dhoni is a true inspiration for her in real life.
As the CEO of Sharp Sight, Deepshikha is primarily responsible for driving the organizational culture, P &L, implementing strategic initiatives for growth, long-term capacity building, enhancing stickiness of the team, brand building, and reporting into the board. Under her auspices, Sharp Sight has attained new heights of success.
Comprehensive Eye Care Solutions
Sharp Sight was established in 1998 and a structured form of the company was instituted in 2012, till then it was a mid-sized private practice. The company provides eye care solutions to every strata of society. It believes in providing high-quality eye care for all at affordable prices and was the first eye care service provider to offer comprehensive eye care at just Rs.99—which was a major differentiator in the Ophthalmology space.
Additionally, Sharp Sight makes sure that no patient is deprived of treatment or surgery due to lack of funds despite being a private organization—as it strongly believes giving back to society is what it is all about. The company has super-specialized departments for Cataract, Refractive, Retina, Glaucoma, Oculoplasty, Cornea, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Opticals, and Pharmacy.
“We believe in generating local employment and as we are expanding to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, our primary endeavor is to recruit people from local schools and colleges and give them a platform for training, growth, and long-term stability, women being one of the major focus,” asserts Deepshikha.
Crisis Creates Opportunities
Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last 12 months have been extremely challenging—particularly for businesses with a single specialty. Deepshikha adds that most of the surgeries at Sharp Sight are elective by nature and a majority of its patients are senior citizens—most of them with comorbidities impacting their ability to come to the hospital due to high risk. Thus, the company witnessed a major drop in demand for its services amid the pandemic.
However, Sharp Sight took this as an opportunity. The company launched its unique tagline “Aao Accha Dekhen” to encourage one and all to look at the positive aspect of life and its beauty. To demonstrate that it meant what it said, Sharp Sight went ahead with its expansion plans. Moreover, it started hiring at times when other organizations were letting go of their employees. “We are probably one of the very few mid-sized private sector organizations that made sure that nobody lost their jobs during these challenging times and also made sure that everybody was paid their salaries in full,” adds Deepshikha.
She further mentions that Sharp Sight was able to negotiate its rentals and bring down the operational cost to manage the same and simultaneously started constructions for new eye hospitals at Prayagraj, Patna, Jhansi, Jammu, Asansol, Agartala, Ranchi, and a major upgrade in Srinagar to a 17000 sq. ft. tertiary center. By prudently managing costs and starting new initiatives like patient engagement and free patient consultations through a virtual medium, the company has managed to succeed in bringing back its patient load while simultaneously maintaining its profitability.
With the aforementioned eye hospital additions, Deepshikha expects a complete turnaround and buoyant growth for Sharp Sight in 2021. “We are expecting a phenomenal response for our hospitals due to the unique modalities of our services being offered,” she affirms.
Lessons Learned in the Journey
In her journey as a successful leader, Deepshikha learned many things from her own experiences as well as from others’ experiences. From her own experiences, she learned to focus on purpose, have a common vision and aspiration across the organization. Moreover, she discovered that the primary focus of a leader should be on impacting peoples’ lives, profitability is a byproduct.
Observing others, Deepshikha got to know that having a healthy cash flow is imperative for an organization, particularly in the uncertain times. She also learned that it is important to have a lean and focused team at the top focusing on successful implementation of plans rather than creating multiple strategies.
Books: “Good to Great” and “If Disney ran your Hospital”
Movies: “Lagaan”, “M.S. Dhoni”, and “Lakshya”.