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Women on Top in Tech – Grace Park, Co-Founder/President at DocDoc

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(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Here is my interview with Grace Park, Co-Founder and President at DocDoc. Grace Park is a professional with +19 years of experience, 12 of which have been spent in the Asia Pacific region leading pharmaceutical, medical device and digital health companies. She began her career as a Military Intelligence Officer after graduating with Honors from the US Military Academy at West Point and held various posts over her five years of military service. She left the Army with the rank of Captain. Grace has dual degrees from Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

 



What makes you do what you do?

“From pain, comes purpose.” This saying rings true to DocDoc’s mission. When the head liver surgeon at a respectable hospital in Singapore broke the news that our ‘healthy’ 3-month old daughter needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately for surgery because her liver was failing, my husband, Cole Sirucek, and I had so many questions. How many times did he do a liver transplant? How much will it cost? What were his outcomes? The doctor was visibly uncomfortable to answer any of these questions. My instinct – and having +10 years of experience of working closely with doctors from the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors – led me to believe that he was not the right doctor for our daughter. Our search for the right doctor began. We found a liver surgeon who is one of the pioneers of live liver transplants, and he had the highest volume worldwide as he did thousands of these procedures over decades. Plus, he was 40% less expensive than what the first surgeon was quoting us!

We had turned around from having the worst customer experience at a most vulnerable time in finding the right doctor. What we do at DocDoc is to help other patients in the doctor discovery process by providing meaningful data points so that they can make informed decisions.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?

I started on the corporate side of healthcare with my CEO of a top 10 global pharmaceutical company as a sponsor. He was a former military officer and hired me as a Marketing Manager. Unlike many others, he translated my five years of service as a military officer after graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point as valuable operational experience to contribute and lead in his organization. That belief in me was incredibly motivating and kept me focused and disciplined throughout the years. In looking back, there are so many factors that contributed to my journey from Marketing Manager to Managing Director.

The short list would include:
1) Being in a sector in which there are tremendous opportunities to make a significant impact.
2) Working with talented colleagues to create high performing teams.
3) Aiming to set the example of never giving up.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you? (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)

Firstly, I would say that there is no “usual” entrepreneur. The virtue of entrepreneurship is that anybody is welcomed to try.

The lack of transparency in healthcare is not a local issue but a universal problem. The world needed a solution and Cole, as DocDoc’s other co-founder, and I found us at a place and time to make it happen as he has a background in technology investments and I have a background in healthcare.

We could have just waited for someone else to do something about this problem. We were asking ourselves the questions, “If not now, when? If not us, who?”

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?

There are many mentors whom I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to learn from throughout my professional life.

One of note is Bob McDonald, who was the Chairman and CEO of Proctor & Gamble. He most recently served as President Obama’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs, which arguably manages the world’s largest health system.

How did you make a match and how did you end up being mentored by him?

We met in Singapore several years ago as he served on the Singapore International Advisory Council.

There is some luck to it – being at the right place at the right time. Once there, it is about having the courage to speak to such a luminary!

We seem to have some commonalities that connected us: a belief in God which shapes our values; a personal mission to develop as leaders of character; and a hope to use our talents to the fullest to make a significant and positive impact in our societies. It’s been wonderful to call Bob a friend and a mentor.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?

There are many articles and books about each of these skill sets but I believe that the principles that I learned as a young 21-year-old platoon leader has applied well when I led teams in my corporate role and continues to do so in the start-up realm. As a leader, it is important to understand what makes your employees tick and what are their aspirations and to develop plans on how you can help them reach their goals.

Do you consciously or unconsciously support diversity and why?

I support diversity and thankfully without requiring a quota, DocDoc is evenly split between male and female employees based on merit. We are present in multiple countries throughout Asia so by default, we are diverse based not only on gender but also on many other dimensions. Healthcare is an attractive sector for women so it is wonderful to have a sizeable talent pool.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?

Distilling down to the top three, firstly it is about servant leadership. The leader’s primary role is to serve others – customers, employees, and any other stakeholders. The converse to this are those with overinflated egos and from what I’ve seen first-hand, they tend to blow up. Secondly, the great ones have more courage than fear in taking big risks especially in an industry that is highly entrenched in traditional and conservative ways. It does take guts to challenge the powerful groups that have kept the sector opaque and allergic to any transparency. Lastly, the digital health start-up world is equivalent to the “ultra” in ultramarathons so perseverance matters. Believe in your purpose, your team, and your good self.

Advice for others?

My belief is that when you fall in love with a mission that is far greater than yourself, you tap into a deeper, more profound source of motivation. There you will find what is worth fighting for!


To learn more about DocDoc, please see https://www.docdoc.com.

I am a huge fan and cheerleader of Women Leaders — If you know of an AMAZING Woman Founder, CEO, Leader in Tech or you are one yourself — Write me here.
AMPLIFY Conscious Business Leadership with me.

Callum Connects

Clairine Runtung, Investment Manager of Convergence Ventures

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Early-stage venture capitalist, Clairine Runtung, shares her story and passion for helping build Indonesia’s technology ecosystem. In her role, she helps local entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, while also finding time to coach and mentor young women in venture capital through an organisation she co-founded in early 2017.

What’s your story?
Having lived in 4 different cities within 3 different countries throughout my career working in finance, I had always been drawn to not only numbers but also diversity, people and their stories. When an opportunity came about for me to join a tech VC firm in Jakarta, I jumped at the chance, after working for a number of years in a boutique investment consulting firm, a global asset management firm and a non-profit foundation.

I currently lead the investment team at Convergence Ventures, an Indonesia-based early-stage venture capital fund. My work includes sourcing deals, conducting due diligence, reviewing legal documents and most importantly, working with my colleagues in Investment, HR and Business Development teams to support our founders. My job requires relentless intellectual curiosity, analytical and communication skills, and ultimately passion to help the shaping and building of Indonesia’s tech ecosystem.

Early in 2017, I co-founded a Young Women in VC (renamed SheVC Indonesia in September 2017, as part of the global Pan-Asian SheVC network), focused on networking, mentoring and building a community for junior to mid-level female VCs. Our local membership grew to over 20 people within 6 months, and I personally mentored 3 young women just joining the industry. Aside from tech VC, I am also involved in being a Council for Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa, a non-profit organization focusing on youth and education, as well as being a mentor and a judge to a number of local tech startup events and competition. Beginning September, I will be attending Yale School of Management to pursue a 2-year MBA program.

What excites you most about your industry?
The never-ending learning, rapid progress, and people attempting to solve real problems through technology. I cannot wait to see what will unfold within tech-VC space in Indonesia in the next 5-10 years. My team and I think we are following China’s growth trajectory though to get there we need major support from the Government and foreign investors.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I worked for 2.5 years in Singapore. I was educated in the United States and lived there but I am still very much deeply-rooted in Asia. After grad school, I plan on moving back to Asia for sure.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Jakarta and Singapore for two extremely different reasons.
Jakarta, because the city’s urban challenge actually shapes you to become a resilient hustler. Not to mention the fact that the city has a dynamic tech VC landscape that’s rapidly evolving year by year.
Singapore, because I take pleasure in how efficient, effective and structured the city state is!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The only way out is through”
“Leave your mark, build a legacy, no matter how tiny you think it is.”

Who inspires you?
My dad and everyone around me who was not born with silver spoons in their mouth.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It’s amazing how your body can truly adjust to the power of your mind. I have recently increased the frequency of my Intermittent Fasting routine, from only once a week to twice a week. Essentially, twice in a week I’d fast between 22-24 hours. Though skeptical and challenging at first, after a month, I rarely feel hungry/starving on those two scheduled fasting days. Interestingly, I also feel the most productive at work on days that I am fasting.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. If there is anything I’d like to tell myself over and over again, is to never regret and to look only forward.

How do you unwind?
Take a hot shower, drink a cup of tea and read a book (I alternate between fiction and non-fiction) or watch videos (I also alternate between entertaining and educating videos). On some days, you can find me winding down over a nice dinner with friends or family.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, Jogjakarta and Manado. All cities are in Indonesia.
Bali for its beaches, sunshine and the feeling of being surrounded by carefree people. Jogjakarta for its Javanese cultural and heritage. Manado because it’s where my dad was born and where my grandparents live. In my opinion, each city has something different to offer that contributes to my way of relaxing.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Golden Passport – Duff McDonald

Shameless plug for your business:
Instagram Story and straight up telling friends, acquaintances and even strangers about how awesome the work that I do is.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clairineruntung/
Personal email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@clairineruntung though I have been inactive for years. I am much more active on LinkedIn these days. Find me on IG @clairineruntung as well.

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Rishabh Singhvi & Varun Saraf, Co-Founders of Why Q

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Surprised by the lack of delivery services available for local Singaporean hawker stall foods, Rishabh and Varun started their own delivery service.

What’s your story?
Varun and I moved to Singapore in 2008 and soon turned into foodies. After completing our studies at SMU, we worked in corporate offices in the Singapore CBD for 4 years. Here, we faced the problem of long queues and found it hard to find feasible delivery options on a day to day basis. We made it our goal to help others like us, so they don’t face the same problem of finding affordable yet tasty options to eat their daily meal. The name asks all those queuing up at food courts and hawker centres a simple question – Why Queue … when we can bring Singapore’s favorite hawker food to you?

What excites you most about your industry?
The Hawker culture is the most exciting and intriguing part of the food industry in Singapore. It is deep-rooted in the local Singapore culture. There is rich variety of cuisines available under one roof, food is delicious and very affordable. We were very surprised how this part of the food industry was completely ignored by other food deliveries.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and brought up in India and have been staying in Singapore for the past 10 years.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
The ease of running a start-up and the professionalism makes Singapore my favourite city for business. It has the most business-friendly regulations, low start-up costs and takes only a week to register and get your business going.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” – Jeff Bezos

Who inspires you?
Hawker Uncle and Aunties are our Hawker Heroes. Most of the stalls are family-run businesses. The dedication and hard-work that they put in is commendable. They come to the hawker centre at 3am to start preparing food for the day and leave only in the evening after cleaning and washing everything.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
We are leaning so much about our hawker partners through our #HawkersOfSG series, inspired by #HumansOfNewYork. For example, one of our hawker partners was into advertising (until the 2008 recession started, after which he started one of the most popular hawker stalls in the country) while the other used to sell and ride Harley Davidson bikes (and now sells black pepper rice bowls). Their stories and how they turned into our Hawker Heroes continues to inspire us and blow us away.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I think I haven’t reached that stage in life yet where I look back and want to do things differently.

How do you unwind?
Watching and playing football 🙂

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, definitely. One of the most beautiful and chill places.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Shameless plug for your business:
Cheapest and largest Hawker Food delivery in Singapore.

How can people connect with you?
On whatsapp at 90268776 or email at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
We’re on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/whyqsg/ and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/whyqsg/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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