Get frustrated? Or move forward!!

I took this picture on March 19. 


Less than 2 weeks to the launch, and only 4 days to the start of the training, our control and dispatch center (CDC) looked like this.  No desk, no chair, not even a ceiling!! We’ve planned, started working on it way in advance… yet, this is the reality in front of me.

On March 22, it looks slightly better, yet far from completion….

The next day is the scheduled 1st day of training. 50 CDC executives are waiting for the training!
A few of my colleagues and I literally held our head down, held our hands up, walked around the room restlessly.

… And came up with an idea!

The solution is this…

25 people in one small room where previously only 5 of us were sitting. 3 people share one PC and one chair (bench).  Temperature was above 30 Celsius, no AC, only with fans. Someone described this looks like sardines!
Although the room was not perfect, hardware is brand new, software is also new, developed based on Ziqitza’s expertise. I guess it would not have worked in the places like U.S. or Japan where people are used to more spacious, well-prepared office space. Thanks to our patient colleagues at Ziqitza, it worked!

There is no doubt that a plan is essential in a project.
At the same time, there is no doubt (especially in a place like India) that the plan does not go as planned!

It is frustrating to see things are not moving and time is running out. But, you cannot stand still and remain frustrated. Then your frustration simply goes up. Rather, what I can do is to keep moving forward. The result may not look as elegant as planned, but as long as one takes one or even half step, the project will move forward. 

And finally.... on the due date, the place looked like this.

Things do happen, if we keep moving forward.Right?


Ambulance crew training in full scale

At 8:45am, a little bit anxious and very much curious, I reached a training center.

Today almost 200 people gathered at our temporary training center in Amritsar, Punjab, India.  Medical training has been going on for EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) since January, and finally this week drivers and call center personnel have joined for their operational training. By the end of this week, the number will go up to 450.
I have been coordinating with concerned departments, instructors and other experts to prepare for all the training programs that were scheduled to happen in the next 10 days.

In the afternoon, I stopped by at a driver’s session.  The room was hot partly due to strong sunlight from outside and partly due to the enthusiastic energy emitted from 60 drivers.

As in other states where Ziqitza operates, all ambulances in Punjab will also be equipped with GPS and mobile data terminal. This will be a major tool of communication between ambulance crew and CDC (control and dispatch center).

My colleague and I gave a series of training sessions to our field managers for operation and IT on previous days. Today, they are the teachers who would give training to drivers.  As I sat in the room and observed the session, I felt excited and confident. With the world class IT infrastructure and the power of the people, we will make this operation the best in the country... and in the developing world (as Ziqitza's mission statement claims!).


Doctor's inspection

This afternoon, our doctors conducted an inspection on our newly arrived ambulances.

All ambulances are inspected by us, and by the state government.

In addition, just before the launch date, we will have our final inspection.


Ambulance on its way

90 basic life support ambulances are on their way to people of Punjab.

I have come to Amritsar, Punjab, India, to prepare for the launch of 90 ambulances on 31 March.

Not all of the ambulances are ready yet, but some are standing in front of our office, waiting for the time to come!

They are not yellow ambulances which people in Mumbai and in the Acumen community are familiar with.
The phone number you should call will also be not 1298, but 108 as the sticker on the side of ambulance says.

It is the initiative by the Punjab State Government. Under the public private partnership, Ziqitza Health Care is undertaking the operation of emergency ambulance services for next five years. The project will start with 90 ambulances at the end of this month, then increase the number of ambulances up to 240.

For a person like me who come from the place where emergency ambulance service is already available, it  is an amazing experience to go through the process of setting up one from scratch. So many pieces of puzzle has to come together in the next few weeks!