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Sushant Kumar

Alumni Story

Sushant Kumar is a visionary entrepreneur, innovator, and inventor who believes that a curious and inquisitive mindset is what will drive a person to create value for others. He is an alumnus of IE Business School, has held leadership positions for two decades in the field of corporate finance and strategy, and built businesses in healthcare and financial services in the past.
POSITION

Founder and CEO at Genefitletics

Nationality

Indian

Program studied

IMBA 2013

Current Location

New Delhi, India

Q&A WITH SUSHANT

Define your experience in the IMBA in one word.
Transformational

What were some of the main challenges that you encountered on your way? How did your master program and IE help you through these challenges?
Having worked on traditional business models before starting the IE IMBA, I lacked exposure to business networking and the understanding of innovative business models.

The MBA at IE helped augment my strategic communication skills and gave me the opportunity to enhance my practical insight into real-time business scenarios across various industries and hone my strategic acumen. Overall, the IE IMBA was a life-changing experience for me and transformed me into a leader.

How did your experience at IE prepare you for your professional career? In what ways do you think program has changed your life professionally and personally?
IE reshaped my career and helped me find my true objective for my life. IE has helped me on the following fronts:

Entrepreneurship: The program at IE helped me look at various aspects of life and business from a holistic mindset. I developed a deep sense of ownership and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Global network and friends for life: IE provided a global platform, which helped me build a global professional network as well as a great circle of friends for life, the two biggest resources at my disposal.

What was networking like in the program?
For me, networking was one of the most rewarding tools at IE. It went beyond just a strategy for job search and provided me a wider perspective of leveraging the strengths of an international and global network which IE offers. I loved meeting others from diverse fields and geographies, and I remember how several long conversations at different IE networking events converted into lifelong friendships.

What was your favorite memory from your time at IE?
I still remember the final presentation for the Entrepreneurial Management class, where our group’s project was setting up a micro-finance company in India.

If someone was considering going to IE, what would you tell them?
Consider the program at IE as a long-term investment. Believe in yourself, pursue your dreams, and focus on creating a positive impact on the lives of people around you.

What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student? What advice would you give to students who are about to begin the program?
As a student, I always wished that I had access to global resources and an ecosystem to augment my learning.

My advice to students about to join the program would be to:

  • Focus on networking
  • Be part of immersion labs that aligns with your interests
  • Join IE clubs of your interest
  • Spend at least 2 to 3 hours per week on perfecting your cover letter and CV

Tell us about the IE alumni community and the impact they have had in your life and/or career. Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IE alumni community?
I have considered IE alumni community as my second family. The access to a global IE alumni community has always helped me in building relevant business and career connections, both when I was scouting for jobs in India and the Middle East as well as expanding international footprints for my venture.

The IE alumni community offers exceptional networking opportunities through various clubs and events. Regular engagement with the community helps us connect with new folks, augment our learning, make new friends, help and support each other (especially during COVID times), as well as help build and augment the IE brand internationally.

Can you tell us more about Genefitletics?
Genefitletics is a biotech company pioneering application of human genes and gut bacteria to intercept and reverse chronic diseases.

Genefitletics sequences and analyses human genes and gut microbiome to translate complex biological data into Artificial Intelligence led personalized dietary and lifestyle recommendations and offers unprecedented visibility into an individual’s body to create a unique profile of biochemistry inside of an individual to empower them to optimize and improve their health.

The company was founded in 2019 by a group of researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who wanted to alter the understanding of the human micro-biome and harness its power to radically improve wellness of its clients.

Genefitletics is not just a genetic sequencing test, but your true health mascot. It adapts its recommendations to your changing microbial profile and examines it regularly to empower you to improve your health-span and buoyancy.

Some exceptional and awesome insights one can learn from Genefitletics’ comprehensive bio intelligence solutions include:

  • If eating green vegetables such as Spinach, Broccoli, and Peas are causing digestive issues
  • If your gut bacteria are not able to digest the protein and is causing inflammation
  • If high consumption of iron is promoting growth of opportunistic pathogens in the body

How did you come up with the idea of analyzing biological data to create personalized dietary recommendations?
My own suffering
Having seen pre-mature deaths of my close ones due to the current flawed disease-based model of medicine, coupled with my own transformation struggle from an obese nerd to a fit soul, I decided to embark on a journey to help people improve their health span.

Postmortem of current healthcare model
When I started researching about current health care model, I could figure out that stakeholders operating in healthcare have been focusing on solving the wrong thing – symptom management. “This is a symptom, here is a drug for that.” It’s like in any e-commerce or marketplace model – you have everything available at one place. Therefore, healthcare companies, whether it’s pharmaceutical companies or hospitals, everyone in healthcare makes money when people are sick. They don’t make money when people are healthy.

This is a flawed business model, as the healthcare market is considered to be a money printing machine where they make money only when people are sick. 80% of healthcare dollars are spent on managing chronic health conditions and chronic diseases.

From a pharmaceutical perspective, it is a subscription business
If an individual is under 30 and develops diabetes, there is a financial gain to pharma companies, as this individual will become a lifetime subscription for them.

Instead of understanding the root cause, pharmaceutical companies focus on pain management and suppression of symptoms. As some medications can cause side effects, this can turn into a continuous cycle of taking medications instead of truly understanding how to treat the issue at the source.

In order to create a disease free world, there is a need to replace the current healthcare model with a new human biology-based model to learn how our body works, how to run it optimally, and fix issues sustainably without any collateral damage when something goes wrong.

Pharma companies never focus on the root cause of diseases, they focus on how to suppress symptoms. They don’t say, “hey let’s focus on what is causing your diabetes!” They say, “let’s try to manage your diabetes and suppress symptoms.” Excuse me for a second, but if you suppress diabetes, don’t you think it will attract other diseases! They say, “Possibly, but we have medications for that.” Taking more medications can lead to more side effects. However, there are medications available to treat those side effects, as well. And by the time a person turns 50 they are popping more pills than blueberries!

The solution
Our body has outsourced most of the biological functions to 38 trillion bacteria living in our gut. By genes count, we are only 1% humans. They perform all essential functions such as training the immune system, regulating metabolism and digestion, and synthesizing neurotransmitters. The bacteria, depending on dietary choices, may negatively impact biological functions inside our body causing chronic sickness. Therefore, by learning about bacteria living in our gut: what they are, which are active, what functions they perform, and by analyzing their chemical reactions, we can leverage huge biological datasets that can help us predict the advent of diseases and use Artificial Intelligence to provide dietary interventions.

For more information about the gut works in the human body, read these two articles:
We have been at war with bacteria over last 100 years…
Why gut can be cure for all chronic diseases

What has been your favourite moment of your career so far?
The moment when I decided to pick up entrepreneurship and venture out to Genefitletics.

What’s a valuable lesson you have learned throughout your career?
All businesses revolve around three pillars: customer, customer, and customer. Solving customers’ problem and providing delightful experiences is the key to success.

Are there any daily habits that you attribute to your success that you’d like to share, especially now with COVID-19?
Following a healthy discipline: I get up at 4 in the morning, exercise for 3 hours daily, have an early dinner, and ending my day with 8 hours of sleep. This has been key to my success.

What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?
Instead of spending your whole life working for others, create something which can bring positive impact to the lives of people.

If you had a billboard you could display to the entire world, what would you put on it?
Never lose your intellectual curiosity.

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