What skills do you prepare the students for? And how many people are looking to upgrade themselves and find employment in the health sector?
What we are seeing is more and more technologies coming into the hospital. For example, 20 years ago, there were very few MRI machines and even dialysis machines. And now they are needed at the district level. As the technology inside the hospital is increasing, there’s a need for technicians to work with the improving technologies. With the short supply of doctors in India, technicians need to be super specialised who can take away the burden from the doctor for all the supplementary work. There is this big opportunity for the new generation who are familiar with technology to learn about equipment and the interface between the patient and technology. These technicians have a full-time job in a hospital and need to know how to take the readings on certain parameters, and help doctors to increase their output.
What is the demand for these skills?
To be honest, there is no real data available, but let’s look at it this way. Even in the existing hospitals, a lot of these people are not certified. And many new hospitals are coming up, so they also need more people. In the last five years, the number of beds in India has doubled and this trend will continue. So, the demand for trained people will increase and the fact that hospitals will have no choice but to use technology. Most disruptive technologies in the future will come in healthcare. Telemedicine is already gaining momentum, which basically means that there’s only one doctor who can manage all the patients alone. India is going in a big way for ‘Make in India’, and companies have started making healthcare equipment in India itself, which will also need people for production, sales and everything. Eventually, people with relevant skills can grow. Lastly, there are lots of jobs outside of the hospital. Some of the jobs outside can be in school, trains, in RWAs and highways. People can be multi-skilled and multitasking, which can change with acceptance in the community, where people don’t know about the careers in healthcare.
What is the requirement and how many people are actually coming to learn the skills?
There is a huge requirement for trained people not only in India but overseas as well. Indian doctors and nurses are everywhere in the world, and so the technicians will follow. They just need to be thoroughly skilled and knowledgeable, and follow the guidelines in all the countries, which includes an entrance exam. If they are trained properly and have some work experience, they will have the confidence to get jobs overseas.
What are the employment prospects in India as well as abroad?
Hospitals in India need to be accredited with NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals). As they need to get accredited, they need staff which is trained and certified. The need for trained people will increase as 50-60 per cent of existing technicians in hospitals are not certified. The existing people will need to be certified and the demand for new people will increase. There is a demand-supply gap, with an immediate need for 60 lakh to 1 crore trained people in India. What made you decide on skills that you will help the candidates with? Our motivation is that lives must be saved. So, hence we are doing training only in the healthcare sector. We started with one course but now we are offering 12 to 13 courses, because the hospitals are asking us for skills.
There is demand for dental assistants, an x-ray persons and phlebotomists. The smaller cities lack proper hospitals. So there is good demand in tier-2 and tier-3 cities and opportunity to learn the skills and become entrepreneurs. If somebody becomes a paramedic, s/he can buy an ambulance and start their own ambulance service.
What is the adoption ratio of students who go through the skilling process through Vivo Healthcare?
And what is the average compensation they get? We have a deal with over 1,100 hospital across the country. So whenever there is a requirement, we become the default option for anybody who is looking for people in the healthcare sector. Even currently, there is a requirement for paramedics from overseas. Anybody going through the skilling process through Vivo Healthcare and wants to do a job gets multiple job offers. Candidates generally get Rs 8,000 to Rs 18,000 depending on the course they have done, but they have an opportunity to go from Rs 3,0,000 to 35,000 in two to three years as they gain experience and progress.
How important is lifelong learning for candidates to keep progressing?
New technologies and changes in the system will come up in the healthcare sector every two to three years. And it will be very important for them to constantly upgrade their skills every 2-3 years, which will help them. Apart from that, proficiency in English and soft skills will always play a very important role. So apart from technical skills, soft skills are very important for technicians in the healthcare sector because you need some passion and you need to be able to care.