EP 12: From A Pediatrician to An Entrepreneur | Dr. Ismail Sayeed, ViOS

Dr. Ismail Sayeed is a pediatrician, physician, a two-time amazon author, and the founder of ViOS. ViOS is a unique healthcare startup that aims to improve the skills and sustainability of private practitioners, who wish to communicate their values to their communities.

In this episode of the HealthTech Hustle, Dr. Ismail shares about his journey from a pediatrician to an entrepreneur. He describes why he decided to create a product that caters to both doctors and patients and what he hopes to accomplish with it.

“In entrepreneurship, there are usually two schools of thought either you solve a pain or you provide again.” -Dr. Sayeed [9:28]

Who is Dr. Sayeed and how did he get into health tech? [1:20]

He used to be a practising doctor just like both his parents and liked the health system. He got an internship in various countries and when it got to his residency he decided to specialize as a pediatrician just like his father. He went to America but he couldn’t see any progress as he wanted to give value to the community which he couldn’t see there.

He later got a scholarship for two master’s degrees in the UK after his failed ‘American dream’. Things didn’t look up for him when he returned to Bangladesh even with all his education, he experienced the same inefficiency in the healthcare system like everywhere he had gone. But he wanted to make a sustainable income while still making an impact and that is when he came across the physician entrepreneurship. He failed in his first six businesses but did not give up because he wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Why should the healthcare industry have entrepreneurship? [7:05]

The health system must include technological innovation and integration that is lacking and the
coronavirus showed us that. He realized that the right person to change the system should be from within like a doctor and that is what he wanted to do. The middle class was rising quickly in Bangladesh and he saw this as an opportunity t combine health disruptive concepts using technology as a tool to bridge the gap between patients and doctors.

What value does ViOS bring to the market? [9:28]

Doctors don’t know how to promote themselves and that is the pain of the medical field. But there are people in need of a doctor’s skill and that is the patient. That is what ViOS do, connecting doctors with their patients.

How was the journey of making the ViOS platform? [11:01]

He saw the problem and came up with a solution that could empathize with both the patients and the stakeholders. It took him years of studying and being a doctor until he had an aha moment, and that’s when he acted and created a platform.

How did he go about bringing ViOS to the market and creating awareness around it? [13:26]

He figured the most important thing was not the product but the whole process of team building to go on the journey with him. He also got himself a mentor who advised him to get rid of his selfish mindset and focus more on providing value.

How does he go about finding his team? [14:52]

He explains how he approached his tech co-founder and the rest of his team and how he met them. He has led as a leader and created a family that is more than a business.

Did he and his co-founder have any business experience? [18:20]

His CTO is a serial entrepreneur who complimented the business well.

What sort of tools is he leveraging to put his business out there? [19:30]

He spent 7-8 months only on a branding strategy where he created a strong demand even before there was a product. He wanted to provide value before starting a strategy and answer questions from day one.

Who was his target audience? [21:28]
He created content that was easily digestible by people. He used online platforms to get out there by creating content and getting to know his audience even before starting to sell to them.

What were his major obstacles in his journey and how did he overcome? [24:54]

He was business illiterate since he was never taught the value of money. He was also not very versant with strategy building and he had to be patient with himself as he learned.

How does he know when to learn something and when to start implementing it? [26:54]

He uses the 80/20 rule which is basically using the 20% of your waking life trying to validate your idea, and the remaining 80% executing. The best judge of your idea is the market, how much are they’re willing to pay. Learning to stop overthinking.

What advice would he give anyone trying to do what he’s done? [28:51]

Invest in creating a proper growth mindset, get a mentor who can bring you up, be an industry expert, and learn digital marketing. Form a mental perspective, learn why there’s the pain and think of the solution.

Dr Sayeed answers the rapid-fire round of questions. [36:06]

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