Dr. Upasana Arora: A Woman of Substance Redefining Leadership in the Healthcare Industry

Dr. Upasana Arora

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Overview :

In today’s world, where gender equality is gaining momentum, women are stepping up and taking the reins of leadership across all industries. Among these trailblazers is Dr. Upasana Arora, the Managing Director of Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals. Her story is one of inspiration and innovation, as she operates a world-class healthcare facility with cutting-edge technology and compassionate patient care.

Dr. Upasana’s leadership skills are unparalleled, and she is a true woman of substance who has made significant contributions to society. Her relentless efforts toward her career have paved the way for her success, and she serves as a beacon of hope and motivation for aspiring businesswomen worldwide.

Through an engaging tete-a-tete, this narrative delves into the many dimensions of Dr. Upasana’s leadership. Her unwavering commitment to excellence resulted in the creation of a comprehensive and integrated healthcare facility that stands as a shining example of her business acumen and leadership prowess.

A Look into Dr. Upasana’s Professional Journey

Dr. Upasana’s educational and professional journey is a remarkable one, marked by a deep commitment to patient safety and a passion for entrepreneurship. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in arts and political science. However, her passion for patient safety and her willingness to contribute to society led her to pursue a Fellowship from ISQua in 2015, making her the first Indian to be awarded this honor in India. She also completed a Quality Leadership Program from Harvard Medical School, USA, and various management programs from IIM Ahmedabad, India, to enhance her leadership abilities and stay abreast of the latest healthcare trends.

Dr. Upasana’s interest in serving society began at a young age when she was the school captain and class representative in her high school and college. Her natural inclination to help others led her to aspire to join the Indian Administrative Services. Unfortunately, her parents’ untimely demise prevented her from pursuing this dream. However, her desire to serve society never wavered. When her husband, Dr. P.N. Arora (Chairman, Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals), expressed his interest in starting a hospital, she was quick to support and encourage him. Together, they embarked on the exciting journey of entrepreneurship.

Apart from her leadership position in her hospital, Dr. Arora is also a member of various healthcare committees. Her colleagues look to her to resolve the challenges in the healthcare scenario, and she has been an inspiration to many aspiring healthcare leaders.

Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals: A Journey of Compassionate Patient Care and Cutting-Edge Technology

Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals was established in 1990 in memory of the late Yashoda Ji, a cancer patient, and Dr. Upasana’s mother-in-law. The hospital started with a 100-bed secondary care hospital in 1990, which gradually expanded to a 300-bed facility in 2000 to reduce the suffering of patients and provide them with state-of-the-art healthcare facilities close to their homes. In 2006, the company established a tertiary care hospital, and in 2017, it opened a quaternary care hospital in another location. The hospital currently has four running facilities and is in the process of commissioning a 1200-bed medical facility and a 300-bed research hospital/biotech facility.

Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals’ mission is to deliver world-class patient services comprehensively to every individual with an emphasis on quality, service excellence, empathy, and respect. Their vision is to create a comprehensive and integrated world-class healthcare facility with the best clinical practices and cutting-edge technology, along with compassionate patient care.

What sets the hospital apart from others in the market is its culture and values. Dr. Upasana believes in providing personal care, and respect for all, creating a homely atmosphere for staff and parents and connecting with them to share their concerns and views to improve patient care and provide a better working environment for her staff.

Heading with Progressive Growth and Patient-Centered Care

As the Managing Director, Dr. Upasana’s primary roles and responsibilities include overseeing the administration and strategic growth of the hospital. One of the key qualities that have helped her lead her team and conquer all the problems the organization faces is her belief in progressive growth and continuing education. She has been a forerunner for excellence in healthcare, evident from her hospital being the first NABH-accredited hospital in Ghaziabad in 2010. Her primary focus is on the safety and privacy of her patients, which she reviews regularly on her hospital rounds.

Dr. Upasana strongly believes in the philosophy of reaching the patient before the patient reaches them. She has instilled this philosophy in her team, making them humble and considerate towards patients and their needs during their visits to the hospital. Her connectivity with all members of her staff, including clinicians and non-clinicians, and the open-door policy that allows anyone to meet her in her office without an appointment, regardless of their designation or role, have made her a respected leader in the industry.

In addition, Dr. Upasana presides over meetings and continuing education events within her organization and finalizes the policies and procedures of Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals before implementing them.

Empowering Patients Through Informed Consent

Dr. Upasana targets the entire community and society with her solutions and services. The hospital provides services to all strata of patients, regardless of their caste, creed, culture, or country, aligning with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji’s G-20 mantra of One Earth, One Family, One Future“I love the healthcare industry because we are helping people when they are sick and troubled and have lost hope,” adds Dr. Upasana.

While serving a diverse patient base, Dr. Upasana and her team are aware of the common pain points that their clients face. The most prevalent issue is the lack of information sharing on the treatment process, particularly for invasive procedures. However, Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals has a robust Informed Consent process to educate patients about their treatment options and help them make informed decisions.

To further support their patients, the hospital also conducts daily counseling sessions for all patients, with additional twice-daily sessions for those in intensive care areas. These sessions are closely monitored by the hospital’s Medical Superintendent and Director of Clinical Services, ensuring that patients receive the attention they need.

One of the significant pain points for the Indian population is the lack of medical insurance coverage. Dr. Upasana recognizes this and notes that many patients have to pay for their treatments out of pocket, which can be a significant financial burden. However, with the Indian government’s introduction of the Ayushman Bharat program, the largest social health insurance scheme in the country, patients can now access medical care without worrying about the cost.

“However, when we are losing patients despite all our efforts and providing the best treatment to them, it is a very difficult time for me as we are not able to save them,” Dr. Upasana considers it to be the most painful thing.

Dr. Upasana’s commitment to providing quality healthcare to all, along with her team’s efforts to address common pain points, makes Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals a leading healthcare provider in India.

Leading the Way in Patient-Centric Healthcare

Dr. Upasana understands the importance of staying ahead of the competition in the healthcare industry. She knows that in a highly competitive market, it is vital to differentiate yourself from others and provide patients with the best possible care.

Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals faces competition from corporate hospitals, small nursing homes, and other general and specialty hospitals. However, Dr. Upasana has taken measures to ensure that her hospital stays ahead of the curve. Yashoda was the first hospital in the region to receive NABH accreditation in 2010. This accreditation serves as a guide and referral center for other general hospitals and small nursing homes.

The hospital follows standardized processes and protocols that touch on all points of patient contact, from emergency care and admission to discharge. Yashoda is accredited by ISQua, the International Society for Quality in Health Care, which is a testament to their compliance with NABH 5th Edition accredited hospital objective elements.

Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals values feedback and has robust client feedback and complaint redressal mechanism that is both online and offline. Patients have the right to disclose or conceal their identity, and the senior management team monitors this mechanism, which affects all patient care parameters.

Moreover, the hospital is committed to a patient-centric approach, and its “NO HARM” mantra for patient safety is known to all staff members. This mantra is the hospital’s biggest branding factor, and it serves to differentiate Yashoda from corporate hospitals, which have their own ways of working and dealing with patients.

Dr. Upasana emphasizes the importance of ethics and principles in healthcare. She believes that putting the patient first and providing a personal touch with quality care that leads to good patient outcomes are what identify Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals in the healthcare space.

Setting the Standard for Ethical Healthcare in India

Dr. Upasana takes pride in being one of the few signatories to the Ethical Principles in Health Care (EPiHC) in the country. Dr. Arora and her team strictly adhere to the ten operating principles of EPiHC, which guide their approach to healthcare delivery.

  1. Respecting laws and regulations
  2. Making a positive contribution to society
  3. Promoting high-quality standards
  4. Conducting business matters responsibly
  5. Respecting the environment
  6. Upholding Patient Rights
  7. Safeguarding information and using data responsibly
  8. Preventing discrimination, harassment, and bullying
  9. Protecting and empowering staff
  10. Supporting ethical practices and preventing harm

Unlike many other hospitals, Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals does not have any private equity, which means that they face no external pressure. They regularly provide charity services, catering to patients’ economic conditions, to ensure that they can continue to serve their patient’s needs regardless of their ability to pay.

Building High-Performance Teams

Dr. Upasana believes that building a great team involves focusing on the 4 C’s: clarity, commitment, contribution, and concerns. She understands the importance of giving clear directives and encourages her team members to share their ideas and feedback openly through an open-door policy.

To keep her employees motivated, Dr. Upasana leads by example. She is open with her team members and is sensitive to their moods and feelings. Moreover, she pays close attention to how her team members work together and takes steps to improve communication, cooperation, trust, and respect in those relationships. Dr. Upasana believes that a positive work environment and good relationships among team members lead to high employee motivation and engagement.

Advocating Women in the Workplace

Looking forward, it is noticeable that women like Dr. Upasana will be changing the business world. She stands alongside other powerful businesswomen, such as Kiran Mazumdar of Biocon, Sudha Murthy of Infosys, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Leena Nair of CHANEL, and Gita Gopinath of the International Monetary Fund, who are leading companies in all sectors.

According to Dr. Upasana, women possess a unique set of skills, including high emotional intelligence and the ability to multitask effectively, which make them valuable contributors to the workplace. In her experience, successful female leaders prioritize building strong relationships with their team members. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, these leaders can create a productive and supportive work environment. This approach has been particularly effective in reducing attrition rates and increasing productivity.

Dr. Upasana asserts that women who bring value to society through their work are women of substance. Their ability to balance personal and professional responsibilities is a testament to their multitasking abilities, and their contributions to the workplace are changing the face of business leadership.

Finding Equilibrium

Dr. Upasana understands the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Being a woman and a leader in the healthcare industry, she recognizes the need to prioritize her responsibilities towards her family, her professional commitments, and her passion for social work. She contends that discipline and time management are crucial to playing all roles successfully.

Despite her busy schedule, Dr. Upasana remains flexible and gives time depending on her work priorities. She believes in being disciplined and clear about her priorities to maintain balance in her life. She is involved in various national and international social associations, such as FICCI and IACC, and delegated work that did not require her direct attention, allowing her to focus on critical tasks that needed her attention. With her commitment to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, Dr. Upasana sets an example for others to follow.


“There is no elevator to take you to the top. You need to believe in yourself, work hard consistently towards achieving your goals, and be humble.”

Also Read: The 10 Revolutionary Healthcare Leaders of 2023

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