Team Spotlight : Vivek Ramjee
"Young, vibrant, and energetic are the three words that first come to mind when asked about the culture here at Daniels"
Vivek Ramjee, Daniels’ commercial finance analyst for the mid-west, spent some time with me talking about his move from our Australian-based operations to the US and the impact he feels it has had on his career.
Could you talk about the start of your career at Daniels and your move from Australia to the U.S.?
I always had aspirations of working overseas. 6 months after starting working at Daniels Health’ Melbourne office, the opportunity presented itself to move to Chicago. By having experience in both cultures, I have been able to grow laterally. I’ve immersed myself in both cultures so that I am learning as much as possible. Work-life balance has remained important to me throughout my time with the company, and I have made it a priority to maintain it.
What would you say surprised you the most from a cultural and business standpoint in your move from Australia to the United States?
I still have the same responsibilities that I had in Australia, with an emphasis on a larger region. There is a lot more sales contact in the United States, so that was a bit of a change. The medical waste disposal market landscape is different here from what I came from; Australia was a much more mature market than Daniels has in the US so I now deal with customer setups and pricing more often.
From a cultural point of view, I think the biggest difference with life in Chicago is that I’m working downtown rather than in an urban area, and working with a much younger team.
How do you feel your perspective on business and the healthcare service industry has changed in the last two years?
Since starting at Daniels, my view on the medical waste and sharps container industry has slightly changed. As a company we’re moving towards more integrated solutions; with such a strong service infrastructure, we have the ability to provide a complete medical waste management package to hospitals. Having one vendor rather than multiple is also a preferred trend for most facilities.
Daniels has always been at the forefront of innovation and this continues in the products we offer and the level of engagement we have with our customers to ensure that our solutions meet their direct needs.
Why did you pursue a career in commercial finance?
I started a career in auditing at Ernst & Young, which was heavily focused on standards and core accounting. It was a reactive business model, and through this experience I was drawn to commercial finance because I enjoy the ability to be proactive and influence change. I’m also naturally passionate about people, and my role gives me the opportunity to constantly interact with different people and see my work have a contribution to the bottom line.
How would you describe the culture of Daniels Health and how it can be used as an opportunity?
Young, vibrant, and energetic are the three words that first come to mind when asked about the culture here at Daniels. The teams have grown since I have been at Daniels and I truly sense the camaraderie. I also appreciate the open space in the office, as it allows us all to collaborate and communicate face-to-face.
Increasing the intensity by partnering the operations and finance teams is very important. We cannot be strictly sales or only operations focused; we have to be both. By bridging the gaps between the different divisions of our business, we can seize the opportunities that are presented to us.
What's most exciting about the future? What challenges do you think we may encounter during this growth period?
I'm very excited for the future of our business because of the growth potential. Especially in the United States, as the market gets bigger, we will see an acceleration of growth. I'm also looking forward to working with new people that we bring on board. The biggest challenge in my opinion are economies of scale. Since we are in a competitive market, being able to convince hospital staff of our value is not as simple as if we were a bigger company. However, I believe this is equally our greatest opportunity.
What is the most rewarding part of your job/working at Daniels? (aside from your Aussie Rules Football)
The most rewarding part of my role so far has been seeing all of the hard work within the results. Recognizing the P&L statements positively impacted by our team's work is incredibly fulfilling.
Aussie Rules, well… I continue to play because it keeps the American food down. Just kidding, it mainly brings back memories of home and I use it as a networking opportunity. I enjoy meeting those who share a similar interest!
What advice would you give to those who are considering a role on the finance team at Daniels?
If you want to be a part of a dynamic and exciting career, then Daniels is the place for you. You're going to have your good days and bad days, but in the end, its all worth it when you see the positive results from working with great people.