Reinventing Yourself on the Journey to Scale with Sathy Rajasekharan of Jacaranda Health

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Reinventing Yourself on the Journey to Scale with Sathy Rajasekharan of Jacaranda Health

Sathy Rajasekharan is the co-Executive Director of Jacaranda Health. Frustrated with the speed of change within larger institutions, Sathy joined Jacaranda to be part of a small, agile, and experimental team. His mission was to lead the charge on local innovation. He joined at a pivotal time, when Jacaranda Health was transforming beyond its origins as a private healthcare provider to create a digital health non-profit. At the helm of Jacaranda’s operations in Africa today, Sathy is committed to Jacaranda’s work to generate rapid, grounded innovation. This means he needs to make tough choices on what experiments to keep, and what to cut. Even today he’s constantly asking the question of how to incubate new ideas, through what team and what structure. As he seeks to expand their influence across Kenya, he also comes head to head with the practical and policy gaps of scale. For example: Jacaranda strives to adopt the highest standards of data protection, but what happens when this approach collides with common practice in Kenya?

Show Notes

  • Jacaranda Maternity is a set of private clinics in Nairobi, Kenya, with a strong focus on innovation and learning. This is the sister organization of Jacaranda Health.
  • Jacaranda Health is the non-profit is the non-profit that Sathy leads, with a mission to scale successful innovations from Jacaranda Maternity across Kenya through the public sector.
  • Kenya’s Data Protection Act: Kenya adopted its Data Protection Act in XXX. It draws much inspiration from the rigorous principles of the GDPR in Europe. Highlights of this act can be found here.
  • Rippleworks: Sathy’s shoutout goes to Rippleworks. Rippleworks has helped Jacaranda build connections to a variety of global technology initiatives. It is an organization that supports impactful ventures to thrive through mentorship, capital, and connections.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir: For fun, Sathy recommends this easy read about a man stuck on the planet Mars who struggles to survive. It captures the spirit of “try and fail” that has informed many of Sathy’s experiments.
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Sathy’s recommended reading for when “you’re really stuck”, particularly as an organizational leader.
  • Reasons to be Cheerful Podcast is Sathy’s last recommendation. He describes it as a “refreshing change” to all the doomsday news we often hear.

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If you enjoyed hearing Sathy’s experience of innovating and growing a technology nonprofit in Africa, you might enjoy these other conversations with African-based founders: