A journey isn’t always filled with rainbows, but also we need to remember, there’s a rainbow after rain, akin to the story of Dr. Snehal Deshpande who had to struggle and make hard decisions at each step of her life as a pediatric physiotherapist as well as an entrepreneur. With HerMoneyTalks, she shares her dream journey of how it went from one patient at home to ten centers of Sneh (Rehabilitation, Educational and Research center) across cities.

Dr. Snehal always dreamt of becoming a doctor while her mother wanted her to pursue commerce. When the time came, she decided to choose her passion and pursued physiotherapy, becoming one of the torchbearers in the field of pediatric physiotherapy.

Building blocks of Sneh

For a pediatric physiotherapist like Dr. Snehal Deshpande, entrepreneurship was never on the cards. “My friend’s son had hypotonia and she requested me for help. Since my mother’s house was empty, I started treating him there in that small hall and that’s how it started. As the goodwill started, it went from one kid to two and three, and eventually that’s where I set up my first center,” exclaims Dr. Snehal.

In the morning, I used to treat a couple of patients at my home. I used to then travel to Chembur center in public transport and then travel again for around 35 kms to Wadia hospital where I used to work part-time.

In the early beginnings of Sneh, it was a roller coaster ride for Dr. Snehal. Being a mother of a toddler and without an own vehicle, the initial years were filled with struggle. “In the morning, I used to treat a couple of patients at my home. I used to then travel to Chembur center in public transport and then travel again for around 35 kms to Wadia hospital where I used to work part-time. I’d then go back to Chembur clinic to see patients before going back home. Between taking care of my kid and my work, it was difficult to manage,” confides Dr. Snehal.

Due to these, she had to make a hard decision of leaving her alma mater – Wadia Hospital – and give up her center because of her neighbours’ complaints and running to the police station every day for practicing at home, to start her private practices in Sneh. Looking back, today with around 10 centers across the country, she feels it was all worth it.

Fortune favors the passionate and strong-willed

Even though there weren’t a huge number of patients in the initial days, Dr. Snehal was encouraged and motivated by her mentor and friend Dr. Patwardan to visit her clinic every day and not to lose hope.

With recognition of my work, we started growing and setting up centers in different locations to help and treat more number of kids with difficulties.

Eventually, with goodwill, the number of patients grew even though the clinic was located in a remote area. Her mother was a strong pillar of support and mentor who helped her juggle between work and family and handled her accounts to make sure she followed her dreams.

“With recognition of my work, we started growing and setting up centers in different locations to help and treat more number of kids with difficulties. Within no time, I had formed a team and unknowingly I had set my foot in the business sector”, adds the jovial pediatric physiotherapist.

Health sector to Social Entrepreneurship

Her purpose was well defined since day one. She wanted to work and treat premature babies but not as a business but when her daughter joined MBA and wanted to improve her venture.

“Later, Dr. Seema Mahajan heard my story and involved me in women empowerment programs etc. This gave me a boost and I started researching and learning about entrepreneurship and start building it.”

Dr. Seema Mahajan heard my story and involved me in women empowerment programs etc. This gave me a boost.

Dr. Snehal believes that when you step forward to help people, money follows you and you need not chase it.

Hacks to balancing finances for women

Dr. Snehal believes Finance is a learning journey and it is necessary for every woman to learn and manage their finances. She shares 3 money lessons that she learnt in her journey of entrepreneurship:

(1) Having a budget and a clear picture of your incomes and expenditure is important

(2) Develop communications in the field; try to communicate and gain knowledge and insights

(3) Educate yourselves and read about finances to learn about it

Even in these times of distress, she is conducting online sessions and providing services to help the kids. Apart from being a top notch pediatric physiotherapist, in the next 5 years, Dr. Snehal Deshpande is looking at reaching out to to-be-mothers with programs on parenting.