We are living in an era of dynamic changes and innovations which mandates the necessity of not only staying current, but to have strategies which can be used to leverage the many technological and social advantages. A consulting firm in this context is of great value which can diagnose the state of a company and find suitable solutions and plans to mitigate conflicts, while promoting business growth and stability.
One of the top consulting firm giants is Boston Consulting Group which is a global consulting firm that partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. Priyanka Aggarwal, Managing Director and Partner, leads Boston Consulting Group’s India Health Care practice and has been working in the Healthcare sector for over 20 years. She also leads Women@BCG for the Asia Pacific region which is the Firm’s flagship program to recruit, retain and help women succeed in the Firm, one of the most important priorities at the Firm to make it the most exciting workplace for women; 50% of the talent pool. Her exceptional vision and stellar work have unlocked true progress for the company and the future holds many more successes.
Women Entrepreneur Magazine engages in an exclusive interaction with Priyanka Aggarwal, here’s the snippet from our interaction with Priyanka.
Take us through your early educational journey and prior industry experience that you bring to the table.
I grew up in Delhi and completed my high schooling from Delhi Public School. After high school, I joined Delhi College of Engineering, to study Electronics and Communication Engineering. In a way, it was an unconventional choice at the time – I was one of the two women in my class of almost 60. I started my journey of being very comfortable in a largely male dominated environment at the time. I learnt many things in my 4 years of college other than engineering – I learnt to speak up even when though my voice felt different in a room full of men; I learnt to be very secure in who I was and not get intimidated in face of situations which are unfamiliar. I graduated first in my university across all graduating disciplines; but also graduated with a sense of confidence and being comfortable in my skin. After that, I went on to do my MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. I also was one of the 18 girls that were in my batch at IIM but by this time; this was a non-consideration for me. I felt out of depth for the first term having to rub shoulders with economics honours students and CAs and peers with amazing talent. Once I found my feet, I can unequivocally say those 2 years were one of the my enjoyable years and also transformative in my journey. Graduating from IIM Ahmedabad gave me a platform where the world was an oyster in terms of opportunities. I walked up on stage on the Convocation Day with my family sitting in the audience to receive the Gold Medal and the Dean shared with my parents later that this was the first time that a woman had received a Gold Medal at IIM-Ahmedabad. The pride I saw in my parents faces only propelled me forward to believe that the sky was the limit. Soon after, I joined a leading consulting Firm and moved to New jersey, which is an area is surrounded by big pharma companies. That is where my tryst with Healthcare started. I haven’t looked back since.
I joined BCG about 11 years ago with the dream to build BCG’s Healthcare Practice from scratch. It seemed like an opportunity to me where I could play a very entrepreneurial role and shape my own journey while I had the support of a big firm. As I look back, its been a very rewarding journey and I haven’t looked back. The plan I wrote on a blank sheet of paper when I joined had been achieved in 3 years and we grew from strength to strength. We are now the leading healthcare consulting firm in India; with an approach that combines heart with head. We serve the leading private sector companies; but also play a very significant role in impacting healthcare outcomes in the country through our work in Public sector. Throughout this journey, I had tremendous support of many mentors who have supported me when my confidence was wavering.
“Never second guess or underestimate yourself, be bold, think bold. As long as you think bold and you're committed, you will always find a way to achieve what may seem impossible at first”
What steps are you taking to overcome the roadblocks that you eventually face?
Each client has a very unique situation and that's where they bring in BCG to help partner with them in a journey, where they know they will benefit from the expertise. They will benefit from the thought partnership and they will benefit from the overall
collaboration. So in that way, each project throws up a unique challenge and we work in a manner so as to incorporate the company’s unique context. into the solutions. We work as a team, we challenge conventional thinking, we bring the ‘art of the possible’, we act as change agents, we bring objectivity and then magic happens.
What has been the driving force behind your success?
I have always been very self-motivated. I don't think anyone really pushed me even when I was a very young child, but somehow I kept challenging myself with new goals. I think even today I have a huge curiosity and a hunger to learn more and to continue to keep learning from the various people, clients and interactions I have. This curiosity keeps me going – its an ongoing process where I keep evolving and learn newer things.
What advice would you give to the budding entrepreneurs?
Never second guess or underestimate yourself – be bold, think bold. As long as you think bold and you are committed, you will always find a way to achieve what may seem impossible at first. Don't carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, reach out, create a team, collaborate, seek a mentor. Help comes in many, many different ways when you are ready to reach out and be proactive. Actively seek out what you want, and be unafraid to have big dreams. It is these dreams that make us – and if we adhere to our passions, it can lead us to where we want to reach.
Priyanka Aggarwal, Managing Director & Partner, Leader India Healthcare Practice
Priyanka advises a range of clients in health care—both pharmaceutical players and hospitals—and helps them chart their growth strategy, improve operational efficiency, and lead organizational change. She has worked with companies in India, Southeast Asia, and the US. Her recent experiences include digital transformation, commercial excellence, manufacturing transformation, organization restructuring, supply chain effectiveness, and operational efficiency.