Home Away From Home: St. Jude India Child Care Centers Bring Cancer Care to Rural Communities

Industry Healthcare

Induction into Scale-Up 2020


About St. Jude India ChildCare Centers

With 70% of India’s population residing in rural areas, yet over 95% of Cancer care centres located in urban areas*, children from rural backgrounds often face daunting challenges accessing quality Cancer treatment. St. Jude India ChildCare Centers address this disparity by operating free childcare centres where children battling Cancer and their families—particularly those from small towns and villages—can avail free services and support, critical to Cancer treatment. This includes clean, cost-free accommodation, value-based education and recreational activities, transportation to and from treatment, cooking facilities and nutritious ration, and counselling services.

Currently operating 43 centres across 11 cities, St. Jude has served over 6,776 children since its inception in 2006.

*Source: Open access article by Thieme Medical Publishers, 12 July 2021

St. Jude India ChildCare Centers at MIF’s Scale-Up

One significant challenge that St. Jude faced was high operational costs, hindering its ability to scale effectively. Scale-Up mentors collaborated closely with St. Jude for 12 months to pinpoint gaps in its internal controls, and opportunities for enhancing efficiencies. A comprehensive cost optimisation strategy was devised and implemented, encompassing a centralised ration procurement process, transitioning to wholesale vendors over local retailers, and fortifying internal controls and audit procedures. Mentors who helped St Jude with cost optimization throughout their journey were Rohit Dodeja, Supply Planning Manager at Marico Ltd and Marico’s Former Head of Manufacturing (Commercial) Mandeep Singh. 

St. Jude also received support from Former Company Secretary and Compliance Officer at Marico, Hemangi Ghag, in establishing monthly Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all employees, aimed at improving productivity, pay, and performance. With the help of former Vice President and Head of Human Resources & Training at Kaya, Poonam Ghosh, two employees from St. Jude seized secondment opportunities at Kaya, a Marico company, to acquire new skills and enhance efficiencies.

Since MIF has now narrowed down its focus to innovations in Agriculture, Plastics Waste, and Clean Technology, St. Jude India ChildCare Centers has graduated from the Scale-Up program.

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