Dr Biren Valodia, Chief Marketing Officer of Mediclinic Southern Africa, explains why prioritising diversity and inclusion is not just a box-ticking exercise.

Real transformation entails a diverse workforce, led by a diverse leadership team to serve many diverse patients through the provision of diverse products and services for a world-class patient experience. This may sound like a mouthful – but this will ensure that our business is flexible, responsive, and will enjoy long-term sustainability and success.

Within the marketing sphere, we understand that the ways in which consumers engage with brands has evolved, and that the transitions across channels and technologies demand that our tools are more inclusive and responsive. We need to be clear on what our values are, and ensure they are reflected in our marketing and advertising strategies. We need to be able to listen and engage.

Biren Valodia transformation

“We are passionate about giving our patient the right treatment, at the right place and at the right time.”

Dr Biren Valodia, Chief Marketing Officer, Mediclinic Southern Africa

Diversity and inclusion should not only be reflected in our internal environment, where management, employees and other stakeholders are diverse, inclusive and engaged. These practical values must be extended to what we are offering – how we are presenting our services and how we are actively connecting with our community. We have spent time and effort ensuring that our audiences feel represented and taken into account within our offering. I want to ensure that when clients engage with content – whether it’s in person or digitally – that they feel understood and seen. Whether it’s opening our digital Mediclinic Family magazine, or visiting our social media platforms, they should identify with the stories we share.

By accounting for transformation within our marketing context, we are seeking to actively reduce the cultural and demographic distance between the community and our organisation. Mediclinic is striving to achieve a balance in how we communicate and promote our services to ensure that our patient stories reflect the diverse community we serve.

It is also very important that we successfully showcase who we are and what our goals are through our initiatives, from skills development and the pro bono surgeries we do, to the expansion of specialised skills in rural areas. By considering all of these touchpoints, the community is able to engage with us, and evaluate whether we add value to their lives and represent their values.

A more in-depth understanding of how worldwide factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing economic pressures have affected our clients has guided us to focus on a stronger mental health service offering to support a culture of prioritising mental well-being. Where are our clients, and what do they need right now?

We are not only taking the larger audience into account, but we are also looking at the ‘micro-audience’. By launching Mediclinic Precise, we are successfully tailoring the care we offer to the individual. From personal guidance for pregnant women to advice on more than 200 medications, our expertise is based on the individual’s DNA and what it can tell us about their risk profile.

These innovation drivers are also being incorporated across the business for the benefit of our diverse clients and our diverse doctor partners. Our new digital platforms allow for direct engagement with clients through secure access to client information for doctors. Digital technologies also allow us to streamline accessibility to personalised advice to provide tailored care.

We are committed to providing expertise that our clients can trust throughout their lifetime. And through publications such as this one, we demonstrate our transparent, measurable and real commitment to the diverse communities we serve.

- Extract from the Transformation Publication 2023