When Dr Matlooba al Zadjali founded and established the International Specialized Center for Heart and Vascular Disease, she knew that it will be challenging primarily because running a business wasn’t her cup of tea.
“I came from the government sector before launching this private centre and when you worked with government hospitals, you always have this sense of humanity that is quite hard to overcome when you are running a business,” she said.
“But while it’s challenging, it’s also an interesting shift and while business per se is not my cup of tea, I think I was up to it,” she said.
Dr Al Zadjali said that launching her business was prodded by the fact that working in the government sector hindered her from becoming innovative in the field. She opened the centre in June of 2018 — a specialised centre that in her words, “looks after patients with cardiovascular diseases and provide specialise care to general cardiology and heart failures.”
“I always wanted to be different in providing the service, especially in my particular speciality. I wanted to be very innovative in providing cardiology services which are a bit difficult to do in the government sector. It’s in the private sector that allows you to be more innovative in providing something new to the patients,” she said.
“This is considered to be the first private cardio-vascular specialised centre. The kind of service we offer may be found in some organised and bigger hospitals but this is the first time for a private centre,” she said.
“We provide other services as well — pre-employment check-up, periodic checkup and cardiac fitness test for people working in the oil and gas industry and banks because their jobs are very stressful and they are prone to get this kind of problems,” she explained.
After celebrating their first year, the team has quite grown with Dr Al Zadjali that they have grown to 12 team members now with two more joining very soon.
“Everyone specialises in the cardiovascular field and one of our visiting senior consultants is an Omani surgeon working in the government sector who contributes a lot to our centre,” she said.
Dr Al Zadjali said her ultimate goal is to expand the centre with more speciality and get it affiliated with different centres from around the world.
“We are already affiliated with different centres in India, the UK, Hungary and Singapore. We are planning to expand affiliation to North America and we hope to bring in more specialisation in the field of cardiovascular field,” she said.
“Our centre is located in Athaiba at 18 November Street and as the private centre specialising in cardiovascular diseases, we’d like to be the best in this field,” she said.
Prior to launching her own business, Dr Al Zadjali served as a specialist cardiologist at the Royal Hospital and the National Heart Center. She also served at the Minister of Health in its Non-Communicable Diseases Department.
Dr Al Zadjali earned in 2002 her medical degree from the Arabian Gulf Medical University in Bahrain. She also earned her Master’s in Public Health (MPH) and clinical PhD in Heart Failure from the University of Dundee and Ninewells Hospital in 2008.
Recently, Dr Al Zadjali was one of the 10 recipients of the grant given by the AL Raffd Fund and Oman Oil under the 4th edition of its Tasweik programme — a scheme that supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enhance their marketing and branding activities.
Dr Al Zadjali said that support given by Tasweik goes a long way as for her case, it allows the centre to be more effective in marketing itself and bringing the brand to a much wider audience.
David Kalife, Chief Executive Officer at Oman Oil Marketing Company shared that together with Al Raffd Fund, they are happy to extend support to SMEs like that of Dr Al Zadjali.
“Innovation is our middle name, so supporting Oman’s talented entrepreneurs through Tasweik is a natural direction for us. It also helps us build stronger connections with local SMEs, and be more aligned with their needs and challenges,” Kalife said.
“To be running the Tasweik initiative for the fourth consecutive year is a great source of pride
for Oman Oil Marketing Company and we are delighted to see how much of an impact the programme has made,” he added.