Dr. Sanjay Arora – a seasoned veteran in medical domain always believed that – an ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is this ethos that reflects in his entrepreneurial life who decided
to carve a niche with his creative thinking and zest to make it big. Thus, with deep ingrained passion
to serve customers he made his dream come true in the avatar of Suburban Diagnostics. Prior to
setting up his first fully automated lab in July 1994 in 800 sq.ft. space, Dr. Arora sensed the
fragmented and unregulated industry, which gave him a huge opportunity to create an impact. The
opportunity was not to make the patients feel like patients, but to make them feel like customers and
give them a superior customer experience. First of its kind, the lab was designed with lots of
transparency (inside a glass enclosure) to develop direct relationship with the customers. Suburban
Diagnostics which was founded with just two people – Dr. Arora and his better half Mrs. Anju Arora
has grown exponentially to 920 in-house employees and 150 outsourced workers. Headquartered in
Mumbai, with multi diagnostic centres across Maharashtra & Goa at strategic locations, the
organization is one of the most respected healthcare brands in India. “Transparency has been the
founding pillar for building great relationships and we continue to maintain that even today. Many of
our patients who have been with us from the beginning continued to remain with us. We were the first
two employees of the organization and continue to remain the first two employees,” proclaims Dr.
Sanjay Arora, Founder & Managing Director of Suburban Diagnostics.
Suburban Diagnostics has raised the bar to a newer height by providing a services portfolio that
includes pathology, health check-ups, diagnostics, home healthcare and corporate wellness. With
customer centricity imbibed in its DNA, the establishment made a comprehensive approach and
offered diagnostics services that are complementary to each other such as high-end complex tests
under the branch of pathology, ultrasound, sonography, mammography, bone density, stress test,
spirometry, diet consultation, basic eye & ear check-up, X-ray, ECG, 2D echo and more. The
company is also looking forward to taking a position of leadership in preventive healthcare. Today,
the organization strives to stand tall amongst competition as a one-stop shop for most of the
diagnostic needs of doctors and patients. “We started as a pathology laboratory and pathology
continues to be our core service. At the beginning we were focused doing only basic routine test for
our customers but today we cover all specialized test from molecular diagnostics, histopathology to
flow cytometry under the same roof. We encourage our customers to be more preventive and suggest
– “Don’t do a test only when you fall ill, do a test not to fall ill,” says Dr. Arora.
Suburban Diagnostics wishes to be recognized as a company that pursues ‘Precision and Care’.
Precision is having good people on-board to make the best use of excellent technology and care is
delivering best customer experience. “Our entire organization is driven towards customer centricity.
Customers could be doctors or patients. Most of the larger players today in the industry have B2B
customers. They collect samples, process it and send the reports. But, we get lot of walk-in customers
every day. We just don’t give reports to our patients rather add value by encouraging them to interact
and discuss the reports with us,” he further adds.
Heading the Game
Unlike other players in the industry who either offer pure pathology or radiology services, Suburban
Diagnostics proven mettle lies in offering larger service menu for its customers. The company is one
of the few diagnostic centres which has on its panel a large dedicated team of fully qualified
pathologists, radiologists, MD physicians, cardiologists, technologists and support staff who ensure
quick turnaround time. The organization is one of the earliest and top 100 laboratories of the country
which is NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited.
About four years ago, the organization also went for the highest-level accreditation, which is globally
known as CAP (College of American Pathologists). Today, Suburban Diagnostics central lab spread
across 8000 sq.ft. is both NABL and CAP accredited.
Suburban Diagnostics also offers the facility of sample collection at the comfort of your home. A
dedicated team of about 50 people collect close to 400 samples from home visits every day. The
company is one of the largest home service providers across the industry. Suburban Diagnostics also
offers the facility to book appointments either by directly logging to the company’s website or by
calling its customer care. What started as an opportunity to counter the competition today has become
a large segment of operations for the organization. Diagnostics is an evolving field in healthcare.
Getting quality trained manpower remains a big challenge. Thus, to cope up with this challenge,
Suburban Diagnostics two years ago started their own training institute called SCOPE (Suburban
College of Paramedical Education). The motive was to build a pipeline because there was a huge gap
between what the market needs and what Indian education equips its future employees with.
Lending a Helping Hand
It is rightly said that when a customer is wowed by the experience and has their expectations
exceeded, it increases customer satisfaction. One such example is the company’s first corporate client
– Jet Airways. When one of the senior pilots was not keeping well, he paid a visit to the lab for a
routine check-up. He was happy and satisfied with the service and approach and therefore
recommended Suburban Diagnostics to the medical division of Jet Airways. The division too
recognized the customer centric approach and service and empaneled with the organization. The
organization has become the dearest darling of several customers. Today, its clientele boasts of names
like Mahindra & Mahindra, Larsen & Toubro, ONGC, Eagleburgmann, D’Decor, Bank of Baroda,
Kanakia Spaces & Realty, to name a few.
People – The Real STARS
Suburban Diagnostics takes great prides on being an employee-friendly organization and firmly
believes that the first assets of any organization are its human assets. At the time of hiring and
induction, the organization share its core value ‘Exceed the Brief’ – Don’t just do what is expected, go
beyond that! As people at the reception have a direct point of contact with the customers, they are
trained to build a healthy rapport with them and therefore are called as STARS (Service Transaction
and Relationship). “For us, the biggest recognition is appreciation from our customers/patients, word
of mouth where our customers refer us to other people and the feedback we get from them. The
biggest feel-good factor is when a customer tells us thank you,” affirms Dr. Arora. Such is the work
milieu of Suburban Diagnostics that motivates employees to be a part of it for over decades.
Climbing the ladder of success with an unswerving 25-30 percent year-on- year growth since the last
few years, Suburban Diagnostics has become the pioneer in the healthcare domain. The company
continues to deep dive into increasing the menu of tests, which will improve lives of the patients and
add value. The organization is also looking to be at the forefront of technology and education, so it
continues to empower and share knowledge with the referring doctor community. With offices in
Pune and Goa, Suburban Diagnostics is forging ahead to grow within western India as a preventive
healthcare quality diagnostics player that continues to add value to its customers.
By Rashmisree Deb