Lessons from a winning woman – Ranjna Patel

With the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards fast approaching, EY is on the lookout for inspiring women to throw their hat in the ring.

Launched in New Zealand in 1998, Entrepreneur of the Year is an annual national awards programme, culminating with the overall winner representing New Zealand at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year™ Awards in Monte Carlo.

As the only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates those who are leading successful, sustainable and dynamic businesses, recognising them through award programmes in 145 cities across 60 countries.

It is six years since a woman, namely Diane Foreman CMNZ – a Global Women member, won the title and represented New Zealand at the world event. EY is hoping to see another woman take the mantle.

Ranjna Patel

Guests at the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Programme in Auckland, an initiative to support female entrepreneurs, were privy to valuable insight from successful business owner Ranjna Patel.

A third generation Kiwi, Ranjna grew up in Herne Bay and says being a businesswoman was never on her horizon.

“I wanted to do medicine, but that was back in the sixties and money was tight. My parents wanted the boys to have an education and I would be married soon.

“My mother and father sought out some prospects for me and off I flew to India. I arrived on November 27th, met my husband on the 30th and was married on December 8th.”

Together with her husband, Ranjna founded the Executive Committee of the East Tamaki Healthcare Group of Companies, of which she remains a director and member.

When it comes to business, Ranjna says it’s not the endorsements or testimonials that people take most notice of, it’s your actions.

The East Tamaki Healthcare Group of Companies operates 30 clinics across Auckland, employs 800 staff and has just under 200,000 registered patients.

Ranjna’s advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs is:

  • Take opportunities when they come along
  • Often your lowest paid staff are your most valuable marketing tools.

“I developed my vision and my mission statement from my receptionists – they’re the ones that hear the complaints and the praises about your organisation.”

  • Be mindful that you can’t do everything, but be wary of inserting too much middle management
  • Accept that there’s no such thing as work-life balance when you’re starting a business
  • Tackle everything with a clear head and turn every obstacle into an opportunity.
  • Women are the true architects of society.

“What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us,” Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Nominate A Winning Woman Now

Applications are open for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards to be held on Thursday, October 31.

Nominate yourself, or nominate someone you know and follow in Diane’s steps.

For more information contact Susan Doughty, EY Partner and Global Women member, on 0275 447 237 or at  susan.doughty@nz.ey.com.


Download the Exceptional NZ app to your mobile device (Apple and Android) to read more about the programme and share with your networks on Linkedin.



Submit a registration of interest to entrepreneur@nz.ey.com.

Click here for more information.