We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashvin Dewan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashvin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I firmly believe the biggest risk is not taking any risk at all… in an ever-changing world, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. When assuming risk, we force ourselves to question the status quo and the assumptions behind it. While the outcome may not always be pleasant, the lessons learned are invaluable and give us the perspective and experience to help shape our path forward. I truly think the best comes out when we put ourselves in vulnerable risky situations that require us to learn and adapt.
Risk is why I became an entrepreneur. I began questioning why things were done a certain way in my surgical practice. My colleagues accepted many shortcomings, but I was restless, and could not accept the status quo. This organic drive ultimately led me to co-found my company CaseCTRL- a cloud-based surgical management platform that uses AI and automation to streamline the surgery scheduling process.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
After finishing my orthopedic surgical training, I took a position working at a community hospital in my hometown of Sugar Land. It was the culmination of years of education and hard work. Once I settled into my new practice, I began to yearn for a new challenge and learning. I noticed an unmet clinical need in my practice where patients preparing for surgery were getting mismanaged. With a background in software development from my undergraduate days, I began tinkering with ways to enhance the patient experience in my practice. Soon, my surgical scheduler was leveraging a library of tools I crafted to streamline the surgical scheduling process. Eventually, my practice administrator noticed the efficiency in my practice and asked whether other surgeons could benefit from the same, and that’s when the commercialization potential for the software came to light. I teamed up with my wife, and we went all-in on creating CaseCTRL, AI-powered surgical scheduling.
Little did I know what we were getting into! We learned real quick that taking an idea, funding it, marketing it, selling it, and servicing it, are all very different challenges. The first lesson we learned was how to articulate the vision. If you cannot excite customers, employees, partners, investors, etc about what you are building, then the sad reality is no one is going to join you for the ride. We sought help from our local entrepreneur community and very soon learned how to sell our vision.
Once we had our core team assembled, we had to learn how to manage our customers. We were devastated when we lost our first customer. We were even more crushed when it happened again a second time. Each time though we learned something important and took those lessons to heart on our journey forward. Listen closely to your customers, and they will tell you what they want.
There were many points where we were close to giving up and virtually out of money, but our belief in our vision propelled us forward. We have found advocates in unexpected places. Today CaseCTRL is off and running in several practices, and looking back, had we not stood by our conviction, we could have easily given up. We owe a lot of our success to the faith our earliest customers placed in us, and the vision they shared with us to make surgical scheduling seamless and effortless.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Definitely would spend some time in the museum district- the Museum of Natural Science is my all-time favorite– but that’s because I am a bit of a science nerd.
NASA visit is a must for the same aforementioned reasons.
I would spend an evening in Buffalo Bayou Park
I would show them uptown and galleria area
I would show them the beer gardens in EADO and the heights
I would spend an evening dining in Rice Villiage, and also show my alma matter Rice Univerity’s campus
I would show them the variety of International tastes in Houston including Indian food on Hilcroft, Chinese food in Chinatown, and Mediterranean food off Westheimer.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A lot of my success can be attributed to the support from my loving wife. She has not only embraced my passion for entrepreneurship but has fully committed to helping me succeed in these endeavors as the co-founder at my company. She has given me the courage to take risks that I probably otherwise might have shied away from. She has also helped me recognize my weaknesses and work on improving them. Through her support, I made it through a grueling Orthopedic Surgical Residency training. She has time and time again sacrificed her needs to help me accomplish my own. I am grateful for her steadfast presence and guidance.