In Conversation with Gaurav Dudeja

Head of Marketing, Fortis Healthcare
Wednesday, 22 Mar 2017
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Gaurav is the Head of Marketing at Fortis Healthcare which he joined in July 2014. He started off with JWT as a Sr. Account Representative in 2001 and moved to ESPN Star Sports in 2004, as Asst. Manager Marketing. Gaurav then joined Mudra Communications in 2006 as Business Director and left in 2012 after serving as its Vice President. Prior to Fortis, he was with Philips India Pvt. Ltd. as Director, Marketing Communications, when he had joined as GM, Marketing Communications in 2012.
About
Gaurav is the Head of Marketing at Fortis Healthcare which he joined in July 2014. He started off with JWT as a Sr. Account Representative in 2001 and moved to ESPN Star Sports in 2004, as Asst. Manager Marketing. Gaurav then joined Mudra Communications in 2006 as Business Director and left in 2012 after serving as its Vice President. Prior to Fortis, he was with Philips India Pvt. Ltd. as Director, Marketing Communications, when he had joined as GM, Marketing Communications in 2012.

Worldwide, digital is becoming center stage, especially for healthcare. How are you at Fortis harnessing this shift?

At Fortis, we are committed to leveraging Digital not just as a marketing tool, but rather as a key enabler in the patient’s treatment journey. We have recently launched the MyFortis App that’s built with the vision of transforming the way people access the hospital and its services. Today you can book real time appointment slots on the app, and very soon it’ll enable online chats and video consults as well as well.

Further, once at the hospital the entire feedback mechanism is becoming completely digitized with opportunities for real time resolution of complaints.

From a marketing and customer connect perspective – Digital continues to grow as a channel that adds to the business funnel as we are leveraging search and analytics based retargeting for both domestic & international patients. 

And last but not the least – Digital plays a critical role helping us manage our Brand reputation. We are extremely active in the Social media space by not only engaging our audience in meaningful content in the preventive health space, but also in mitigating and managing the negative feedback we receive, with round the clock social listening and response mechanisms.We are extremely active in the Social media space by mitigating and managing the negative feedback we receive, with round the clock social listening and response mechanisms.

How good is your relationship with your agency partners? Is it based on trust?

Our Agency relationships are in good health. With Leo Burnett we have a 2.5 year old relationship and with GREY it's going strong for 8 years. And yes – Mutual Trust and Respect is the foundation that has helped us manage and nurture these relationships.

Your last assignment was with a healthcare, consumer lifestyle & lighting company, and prior to that you were with the advertising industry. How smooth or rough was the transition to the healthcare industry?

The transition was certainly not an easy one. Healthcare Marketing is a different ball game altogether. The service offering is complex – medical & non-medical, the audience set is dynamic – patient & customer need not be the same, and the relationship between the provider & the patient is highly asymmetrical – often what’s a once in a lifetime experience for a patient is an every-day occurrence for the provider. Settling in this environment and adapting the rules of brand building I had learnt from the other categories I worked on earlier in my career, really took some doing.

However, things began to settle down for me with the realization that Marketing in Healthcare cannot be effective without a seamless and intrinsic link with patient experience. The Brand first gets built inside the hospital walls, and everything we do in media can only re-enforce it, and hence the route to building a great Healthcare brand starts with building a culture within the organization where Brand is at the center of all service design, and the employees are inspired to imbibe it in their actions & behaviors.

Once I made this adjustment the transition became smooth.Healthcare Marketing is a different ball game altogether. The service offering is complex – medical & non-medical, the audience set is dynamic – patient & customer need not be the same, and the relationship between the provider & the patient is highly asymmetrical.

When not working, what is it that you enjoy doing?

Watching the English Premier League, indulging my 3 and a half year old daughter, Road trips, eating out and more recently – digging Netflix and Amazon Prime for original content. 

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