The doctor who’s disrupting SA’s high-income medical services industry

Dr.Nandipha Magudumana ,Chief executive of Optimum Medical Solutions.

JOHANNESBURG – A Johannesburg medical doctor-turned entrepreneur doesn’t regret dumping her cushy public sector job to disrupt South Africa’s high income medical services industry.

Dr. Nandipha Magudumana, 29, who has made this year’s prestigious list of Mail & Guardian (M&G) 200 Young South Africans, is founder and chief executive of Optimum Medical Solutions.

She established the company in 2017 a year after resigning from the Far East Rand Hospital, where she worked in the obstetrics and gynecology departments. Dr. Magudumana, who is originally from Port Edward, holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree (BHSc) in Biomedical Sciences, and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), both from Wits University.

In an interview with Business Report, Dr. Magudumana says there are two reasons why she started the company.

“I wanted and still want to further my studies. In order for me to do that I need some sort of capital to finance my studies. That’s how this entrepreneurial thing came about. I wanted to generate some capital to further my studies,” she says.

“The other reason is that I saw there was a need for African people, especially black women, to enter the medical services market. There aren’t many African black women in this industry, I thought it was important that we start entering this market and educate our people about it.”

She says they are a medical solutions company but stresses that their services are non surgical. “We are into aesthetics which deal with dermatology and plastic surgery. We are also focused on pharmaceuticals.”

Dr. Nandipha Magudumana:Image supplied

Dr. Magudumana says there are many stereotypes about dermatology as most people tend to associate it with the contentious skin lightening issue. “We try and make people understand their skin. There are lot of things that need to be addressed with regards to how aesthetics work and so on,” she says.

Their practice was this month moved from Bedfordview to the richest square mile in Africa, Sandton.

“We did so because we wanted to be more central and to appeal to the upper class market. Some of our clients come from neighbouring countries such as Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique,” says Dr. Magudumana, adding that they have managed to attract more than 500 patients since opening their doors last year.

“This has been a shock for us. I didn’t think African people were interested in these kind of medical services. But surprisingly they are and more and more people are becoming aware of them.”

As part of her growth strategy, Dr. Magudumana says she is eyeing to penetrate the Cape Town and Durban markets within the next two years. On her M&G listing, she says: “I’m extremely humbled, and very excited about it. I was not expecting it. I didn’t think anyone could recognise or acknowledge me in that way.”

She says making the list of notable and exceptional South Africans has been a huge encouragement for her. “I mean, as an entrepreneur you face a lot of challenges, but that doesn’t mean you should succumb to those challenges. Rather, they should encourage you to do more,” says Dr. Magudumana.