Author and Founder of Neo Skin and Cosmetic Clinic, Dr. Narmada Matang, shares with us her experience as a Consultant Dermatologist and how she runs her clinic in this interview.
I completed my undergraduate medical and post graduate dermatology training from M P Shah Medical college in a small town called Jamnagar, Gujarat in India in 1998. I then pursued my interest in cosmetic dermatology and underwent training in the US and Europe for various minimally invasive facial rejuvenation techniques and follicular hair transplant. After relocating to Mumbai in my ten years of association with a corporate major skin care clinic, a chain of more than hundred clinics across India, I served as medical head for operations and later training head for medical and technical training across India and Middle East. During this period I was also the key member working towards accreditation from The National Accreditation Board for hospitals and health care. I have been certified trainer for minimally invasive techniques for facial rejuvenation for Allergan and Q-med earlier. I have contributed to many cosmetic dermatology text books and have co authored the book, “ How to look like a million bucks” I started as founder of Neo Skin and Cosmetic Clinic in 2013 and continue to enjoy my work.
What made you interested in pursuing aesthetic medicine?
After I finished basic medical qualification and specifically during my internship term in Surgery I was deeply concerned about the scars the patient would end up with, post surgery. I would strive to give all my patients very aesthetic surgical scars. I would use very high quality suture material to make sure all the patients have minimally visible scars and gradually this became very important aspect for me post any surgical intervention. Through my patients I realised that everything about skin was visible to the world so much so, sometimes we remember people by their scars. I wanted to make a difference in the very identity of people; this prompted me to study Dermatology and over time my interest grew in cosmetic dermatology. It is particularly intriguing to interact with my patients and understand what they are seeking beyond just healthy skin.
What can you tell us about your clinic?
My clinic is located in Powai in Mumbai, which happens to be very serene and beautiful with a famous Powai lake. Right in the heart of Powai the place is a busy commercial area with beautiful architecture around. We operate from 11 am to 8 pm, my manger Ms kavita is a very people person who is a backbone to the whole functioning of the clinic. We are small clinic with four rooms and a decent size reception. All cosmetic dermatology services are offered in the clinic. Services for Acne, Pigmentation, scars, hair reduction, hair restoration, Botullinum toxin, dermal fillers, threads, skin tightening with micro needling radio frequency, body contouring, hair transplant and vaginal tightening with lasers. Most of our patients pretty looking and healthy people from corporate profile and are well read.
How has your staff been crucial in your clinic?
Staff is very important aspect of the clinic function, I have always believed happy staff results in happy clients. Staff can be trained for technical aspects of service but they have to have an in built liking for serving and healing people. Investing in staff training and encouraging them has worked well for me to retain them. I have over some years learnt your staff imitates you just like your children so if you behave in a very professional way they follow that in the clinic. I have also had some learning experience wherein there were theft by the staff and once proven the said staff was asked to leave immediately. I do not use any commission for sale, my staff is aware that they get paid more than industry average. However they do get the yearly loyalty bonus as per no of years served.
What technologies are used and how has it helped your clinic?
I started with a platform technology which actually turned out to be an expensive affair but just worth it. It’s always a dilemma when one starts, but a hair reduction technology and a skin lightening technology was a no brainer. In India everyone wants to be a tad bit fairer! My corporate experience helped me select the technology. I had to work on the cost bit, and do the math on return on investment with respect to time. My suggestion to colleagues is to make a table of comparison on all parameters including consumables, cost, indication, certifications, dealer response time etc and check with peers before investing huge amount. Each technology however good, you will have your own learning curve. Get detailed information on maintenance of these machines.
Technology has only advanced with time, all the machines have only improved in terms of customer, experience operating experience with low down time. I do not like technology with heavy hand pieces or slow to operate. It becomes tiring for the operator.
I use Alma technology harmony Excel which is a platform for hair reduction and Q switch yag Laser. I also have Fractional CO2 Laser for management of scars this has vaginal hand piece for tightening and SUI treatment. I have Korean technology for skin tightening which is a Micro needle radio frequency and for body contouring a cryolipolysis along with RF ultrasound technology.
What marketing strategies you can divulge with us?
We invest in digital marketing which includes face book twitter Instagram, however due to paucity of time I haven't been able to manage that very effectively. I have outsourced the work and haven't been happy about the quality of work so currently am looking for a change to manage that bit. We do have an online appointment system wherein the client rates the experience and gives a feedback as well, this is visible to the clients and serves as a transparent system for clients to make their decision.
I also do educative articles for newspaper which helps client awareness. I have enjoyed training and teaching since beginning of my practice so we do local educative promotions in various events and corporate activities. We share our milestones with our clients so once in two to three years we invite them all for our anniversary function where clients take part in fashion show etc and then there are live demos or introduction of new technology etc. I personally feel one has to invest for marketing. Effects of some methods may be tangible and some may be non tangible but nevertheless helps build up your brand in the long run.
Which procedures are most popular in your practice?
Most common service that we do is Laser hair reduction and is most profitable especially in package form. Quick services like Botox and Dermal fillers also work well, however in India clients are still not very open about these services and budget is forever a constraint. We haven't dropped off any services, in fact we have only added services with time. We have added vaginal tightening with CO2 laser and were probably the first ones to offer this in Mumbai. I am looking to offer High intensity Focussed Ultra sound (HIFU) technology for skin tightening in the near future.
What anecdotes can you share in your years of practice?
Over the last 17 years its been a journey with my patients! I just have so many stories to talk about but this one particularly gives me goosebumps even today.
A young mother of four year old walked in for consultation seeking treatment for acne. I examined her took all the details and observed that she had grade three acne on the chin. I started explaining pathophysiology of acne, why it happens, what could be triggering factors and need for lifestyle changes etc I wrote down some medications for her. She looked straight into my eyes and politely asked, “ Doc, do you believe this will work?” I took back my prescription and questioned her back “Why do you think it will not?” Tears in her eyes she said “My wedding reception was cancelled because of severe acne all over my face!” I immediately looked at the four year old and started to feel her pain of living those memories even after fives years had passed! I realised how it scars you mentally, I asked her give me a chance to treat. Thankfully she responded well and till date she visits our clinic, every time, with a new patient of acne and says they don't know it can be treated.
We just smile at each other and it is very satisfying to see her belief change!
This is what I enjoy the most in our practice.
What pearls can you offer other physicians in the field?
I would like to divide this into
Man: People management skills are important, it may be your staff or patients or dealer. Remember we are physicians we heal people, be professional always. Your patients are well read they can see through things. Accept adverse events or complication that happen but make sure you treat the complication.
Machine : Invest in good technologies it will always pay off, don't compromise on equipment, training etc. Invest in knowledge for self and staff. Digital management of records, appointments eases work.
Method : Set protocols that need to be followed, keep quality control checks. Do not compromise on it with time. Set clear budget on every aspect of functioning of the clinic, marketing, maintenance of the premises the technology and people. Start with lean management, justify and expand as you grow.
Just believe in yourself and start your practice, competition is healthy! Knowledge is your power, read update on regular basis spend time and invest in yourself. Do not shy away form seeking advise from peers and colleagues.
I still consider myself ….. work in progress !!
About Dr. Matang
Dr. Narmada Matang is a well-known cosmetic dermatologist currently practices in Hiranandani gardens Powai Mumbai. She graduated from M P Shah medical college Jamnagar in Gujarat. After post graduate course in dermatology in 1998, she pursued her interest in cosmetic dermatology and underwent trainings in the US and Europe. She has been practicing dermatology and cosmetology for more than 14 Years.
She started her own Neo skin and cosmetic clinic ™ in 2013 which offers various treatments for skin hair and body. The clinic is equipped with the latest advanced and FDA approved technologies for addressing skin concerns like acne, pigmentation, scars; unwanted hair & tattoo removal through LASER. Anti-aging treatments like skin tightening with radiofrequency for face and body. Facial enhancements with Botulinum toxin, fillers and threads. Contouring and stretch marks treatment with radiofrequency. The clinic is equipped with latest solutions for hair restoration like PRP for prevention and treatment for hair loss. At Neo skin and cosmetic clinic efficacious and customized solutions are offered to harmonize and enhance your natural beauty with cutting-edge and safe techniques.