Medi Assist: Setting New Benchmark in Organizational Diversity and Inclusion

Anitha Manikantan ,Senior Vice President & Head of Human Resources

Anitha Manikantan

Senior Vice President & Head of Human Resources

what are some of the crucial factors a professional or leader should have? Put forward this question, and you’ll receive answers like honesty, integrity, open mindedness, fast decision making, hard work, teamwork, determination, dedication, and many other skills. Now pause, and think if ‘gender’ crossed your mind. The chances are high that you didn’t even think about it because it doesn’t matter. The current business world is defined by complexity, disruption, and change, which needs leaders with a holistic approach, diverse skill sets, multidimensional perspectives, and an empathetic mindset. Considering the several hats women wear in their professional and personal lives, they possess all the qualities to be a professional who integrates people and profits.

Women are now marching ahead and steering toward their dream careers, breaking the stigmas and shackles. Medi Assist has been providing equal opportunities to such ambitious and skilled women. Medi Assist, a value-based company, pledges “every employee a partner, every customer a commitment.” The company is a leading player in India’s HealthTech and InsurTech space. Founded in 2000, Medi Assist aims to simplify the healthcare experience for insurers, corporates, members, and providers through state-of-the-art technology.

At Medi Assist, diversity lies at 42 percent compared to the industry benchmark of around 30 percent. Staying true to qualities such as equal employment opportunity, people friendly policies, continuous engagement and interaction open and transparent organizational structure, flexible working, and a culture built on values, today, Medi Assist has been time and again recognized as one of the best places to work for women. “Our fundamental values include ‘Honesty, Integrity & Respect,’ 'Customer Driven' and ‘Positive Environment.’ We also place importance on clear and direct communication. These attributes reflect in the way we communicate. There is a two-way interaction between the leadership and the employees as we believe in an open door approach. There has been consistent dialogue, and the leaders make sure they go the extra mile to accommodate and make employees feel comfortable. Eating lunch together without any barriers is one way we promote this culture,” informs Anitha Manikantan, Senior Vice President & Head of Human Resources.

The launch of Medi Assist’s most recent program, called Medi Akanksha, aims to provide women designed to help women who have taken a professional sabbatical for
various reasons. The Medi Akanksha program aims at eradicating the prejudice and stigma associated with women who take a career break and call upon women to take a second career. “A lot of thought has gone into this program. When we initially pitched this to the leaders, there was no difference in opinion or apprehension; we were supported to drive this. Medi Assist is an organization that supports women all through and has taken yet another leap to come forward with this program,” said Anitha Manikantan, Head of People Practice - Medi Assist.

We want Medi Assist to become a platform that women can rely on, and women can count on

Medi Assist’s Workplace diversity strategies aim to increase the number of people of different cultures and backgrounds in terms of new hires and the existing workforce (not only for women employees but across the genders and other diversities). Our diversity strategy includes flexibility for expecting mothers (early maternity leaves, full time working from home support, hybrid working models), adoption leaves, work-life balance with 8.5-hour work time, flexible work timings, and wealth/wellness/health virtual sessions. “Apart from this, we have an option called ‘Bring your child to office’. While we have defined working from home guidelines, there could be scenarios where an employee may have to address the requirements both at the office and with family. This policy help employees balance work and parenthood simultaneously, allowing manage their children effectively without compromising the quality of work.” She adds, “While Medi Assist as an organization is continually evolving in the digitally driven market and continuous shift in the strategic focus, we, as the HR team, also relooked at our business value proposition and aligned ourselves more to the business strategy. The past three years have been an era of enormous changes to the HR organization. Our focus was more on increasing operational efficiency by bringing automation. We automated most of our manual HR process. We structured all our programs and initiatives to have the “One Medi Assist” principle.

Medi Assist has successfully managed two big acquisitions in the recent past. The Company integrated systems and processes in an orderly manner and onboarded ~ 800 employees of these companies. It has also demerged its major business division into another company as a strategic restructuring strategy. Medi Assist ensured the resultant company continues all the benefits of employees moving to the new entity.

The Prosperous Roadmap
Medi Assist is constantly improving its tech capabilities and customer experience by automating the claims process and enabling 100% cashless transactions during hospitalization.

“In addition, we wish to attract talent into the organization and work on enabling more women leaders in the organization. We are also looking to expand our providerbase and improve connectivity in remote locations to provide the best healthcare. In addition to the above, in terms of improving employee engagement and enablement,” Anitha explains.

Anitha Manikantan, Senior Vice President & Head of Human Resources
A result oriented professional with an illustrious career in prestigious companies. Anitha Manikantan holds a bachelor’s degree in arts from Bangalore University and a master’s diploma in business administration from the Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies. Her previous stint was with Cargill Business Services India Private Limited and Capgemini Business Services(India)Limited.