Championing Special Initiatives for over seven years, Shobana now steers the organization’s emergence as a proponent of integrated digital first healthcare services in India through Apollo 24/7. She was founder and chairperson of Apollo Munich Health Insurance, acknowledged as India’s best specialized Health Insurance company for 9 years, consecutively and now merged with HDFC ERGO. In addition, Shobana is the Vice-Chairperson of the KEI Group, a diversified logistics, leisure & infrastructure business, that she founded with her husband.
As lead Director in Apollo’s research and innovation activities, and cognizant of the convergence between healthcare, pharmaceutical & biotech industries and the academia, Shobana championed the creation and Incubation of a Biobank – a catalogued library of ethically consented, anonymised bio-samples. The Biobank was recognized as one of the top 10 ideas of the decade in Life Sciences by the Time Magazine.
An active member of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Shobana’s appointment as its President in 2017- 18 created history, as she was the first ever woman to hold the position since its inception in 1895. Dedicated to ensuring that more women enter the workforce, she launched the Power of Parity Initiative.
Alongside, in keeping with her keen interest to participate in Public Health, Shobana accepted a Board and Audit committee position in FIND (Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics), a Geneva based, international non-profit organization that enables the development and delivery of much-needed diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases. Since its inception, FIND partnered in the delivery of 21 new diagnostic tools and has active collaborations with more than 200 partners.
Passionate about inculcating a culture of wellness, Shobana had championed the establishment of ‘Billion Hearts Beating’ – an NGO dedicated to educating fellow Indians about preventing heart disease and staying heart-healthy. In 2018, she was invited by the Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs to be member of the National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NGFC) Trust. In addition, since January 2020, Shobana is the Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Health and Healthcare Industry Governors Community. Further, in her capacity as the Co-Chair of the WEF’s Closing the Skills Gap Taskforce in India, she has steered focused action on human capital development and in preparing India’s workforce for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and future of work.
Shobana has been a recipient of prestigious national awards for Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The Women Economic Forum conferred upon her the award of ‘Businesswomen of the Decade’ in recognition of her work in healthcare and empowerment of women. She was conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Science by the prestigious Bryant University, USA, recognition of her life’s work in healthcare & pharmaceuticals and her leadership role in business expansion in India.