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Agents of Change: Ankesh Arora

As the coronavirus upends the economy, healthcare systems and global order, entrepreneurs must reinvent themselves, their industries — and the world at large.

The serial entrepreneur from New York has all the trappings of a change agent: He has navigated through different industries, innovated to grow and is bold to a fault.

As the world’s attention in summer of 2020 was fixated on coronavirus, and the world economy was reeling, one of Manhattan’s prominent entrepreneurs, Ankesh Arora, boarded a flight to Asia. In a world packed with challenges – climate change, income inequality, government accountability, not to mention the effects of Covid-19 – relatively few solutions will come from “business as usual” approaches. What we need are people who will look at the world with fresh eyes and find things they can disrupt or re-invent. Arora is one such agent of change.

A distinguished alumnus of Dartmouth College and Binghamton University, Arora holds a master’s degree in biomedical engineering and has served in healthcare management at United Health Services Hospitals, the largest healthcare provider in the Southern Tier of the State of New York. Arora is the author of the book “Parallel Patient Flow to Reduce Length of Stay in Emergency Departments.” The book addresses the problem of patient length of stay (PLOS) in emergency departments (ED). In the book, Arora provides a new design of patient flow in EDs, reducing the PLOS and increasing ED throughput. He has also co-authored several papers on “Mobile Intensive-Care Units” and “Operating Room Productivity”.

Arora has contributed to the development of notable companies in healthcare and advertising, and has been an integral part of New York City’s digital and technology ecosystem responsible for “City’s High-Tech Renaissance”. He is a member of Made in NY, an incentive program and marketing campaign of the City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) started by Michael Bloomberg. The MOME agency works to support New York City’s thriving creative economy and make it accessible to all. It comprises NYC Media, the largest municipal television and radio broadcasting entity in the country with a reach of 18 million viewers within a 50-mile radius; and workforce and educational initiatives in film, television, publishing, advertising and digital content to support the development of NYC’s creative industries.

Arora has an uncanny ability to understand cultural trends and investments from a diversity of perspectives. It is as if he sees life as a game of chess, where he plays against himself and simultaneously switches from black, to white, and back again. By playing both sides of the board with the rigor of a Dostoyevsky novel, he sees with crystal clarity what others tend to miss.

The 33-year old entrepreneur from New York possesses enriched perspectives having worked in different industries. He currently heads ARORA New York, a privately held real estate investment and acquisition firm focused on acquiring residential and commercial properties. It recently expanded internationally and now sources luxury real estate investments for global clients, helping them achieve capital appreciation goals.  The company invests thematically in high-quality assets, where it sees outsized growth potential driven by global economic and demographic trends. The company’s portfolio provides proprietary information across major real estate asset classes in major markets in Americas and Asia, allowing it to identify themes and invest capital with conviction.

He also serves as the director of A Square Group, a global branding and advertising agency. The company creates advertising at the intersection of technology, design, culture, and brand stories. A Square Group was established in 2011 and is headquartered in Gurugram, India and New York, USA.

For new opportunities to flourish, one needs to be open to change and dream up the next big thing. “We don’t want incremental improvements but a whole new way of solving problems. A fundamental tenet for me is to pursue a market where there is no comparable competitor for how we define the solution”, Arora reckons. “When you have an innovation in white space, your assumptions on many aspects are going to be all wrong. Learning fast and acting quickly is required to keep adjusting the product, technology and go-to-market since it is brand new in how the product is developed, used and sold.”

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