Recently named one of the nation’s Top 100 Influential Thinkers by Upstart Business Journal, Tanveer Patel is a global entrepreneur who is putting Birmingham on the map in telemedicine and innovation.Patel is a lifelong thinker, having moved to the United States at 19, she founded and led CircleSource, a healthcare software company until is acquisition in 2010. In 2012, she co-founded ConcertCare, which uses integrate solutions to connect patients with their healthcare providers along with Birmingham-based cofounders James Childs and David Marshall.
For her many accomplishments, savvy business practices and community impact, Patel is passionate about what she does and how she can make a difference. In a world of constant distractions, commitments and networks, Patel has mastered how to be a well-respected leader in her industry, community and network. She recently shared how she has developed her approach.
For Patel, managing time in zones, helps her balance the constancy of owning and growing a business, learning, giving back to the community and recharging.
Patel is quick to note that for many entrepreneurs, working can feel like playing due to the passion they have for their work or company. Her strategy is simple when it comes to business: building new ventures, growing them until they are healthy and profitable, and moving to the next challenge when the time is right. She has found the driver for her endeavors by finding a pain point in an industry and addressing it. For Patel, this has been healthcare focused.
“Work from your strengths,” Patel explains. When looking to expand ConcertCare globally, Patel turned to India. “I grew up in India, I know the culture. And because of this, taking the business into India made sense for us.”
Patel works efficiently and is keenly aware of time management skills – both for the team but for the company. When identifying areas of company growth, she weighs the benefits and costs of developing internally or acquiring a company or partnering with someone who can provide the service. ConcertCare’s global acquisitions, which include teams in India and Liverpool, have strengthened both its portfolio and global customer base.
“Timing is everything. Find a team that is cultural and willing to grow,” says Patel.
Patel is an avid learner, reiterating the value in relevance for a company’s growth and survival. How does one stay relevant? Education. Patel sets aside specific time for learning.
“I read articles, listen to success stories of people in leadership, read stories about people and other companies – both their successes and their mistakes, and research the industry,” says Patel.
But more than growth of knowledge, Patel, has a separate learning zone – one that involves serving the community and learning from experience.
For ten days each year, Patel volunteers with the Society of International Business Fellows, serving as a facilitator and mentor at the organization’s leadership academies around the world.
“I gain more than I give,” explains Patel who has traveled to Bulgaria and India for the conferences. “The perspective I get from being surrounded by business leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs and career-oriented individuals in multiple parts of the world is invaluable. Moreover, I get to be an ambassador of Alabama on a global level through this involvement.”
Patel is passionate about serving the community, something that is deeply rooted in the culture at ConcertCare. “I am a giver, I want to give back,” explains Patel. “It is important that our employees see that this company value is not just something on our website. It is something we value in our daily lives.” When asked how they wanted to give back, employees have been able to have a direct role in service – whether planting trees at an orphanage, hosting blood drives and free health clinics, to serving at a low-income school in India, it is clear that Patel is teaching by example. She and her husband also fund a school in India for low-income students.
“Discipline is very important,” comments Patel when shifting to the relaxing zone. “You must have self-awareness and know what triggers you to continue to work, while also noting what makes you relax.”
Patel enjoys her work and has experienced time when it could be a challenge to “turn off.” But through self-awareness, she identifies steps she can put in place, “it can be as simple as not bringing my laptop home.”
Similarly, Patel identifies steps that help her shutdown. “Identify activities that can help you transition into relaxation. For me, it can be cooking a meal or watching a movie.”
“It takes a village,” smiles Patel when looking at her journey up until now. “It is an entire ecosystem of mentors, community members. We can’t do it alone. They are all a part of my success story.”