The Conversation, with Natasha Sunderji, Global Health Lead at Accenture Development Partnerships
In our blog series, “The Conversation”, we discuss how we can co-create agile and impactful interventions for a healthier world. Meet Natasha Sunderji. Natasha leads the Global Health Practice of Accenture Development Partnerships, which delivers the power of Accenture’s global capabilities and experience to address social, economic, and environmental issues improving lives around the world. Natasha leads multi-disciplinary teams as they help pharma, medtech, NGOs, donors, and multilateral agencies reshape the future of global health, and redefine their roles in it. She also acts as co-lead for Accenture’s Health Equity Center of Excellence, working across industries to transform the way underserved populations access and experience care. With more than 15 years of experience, Natasha advises organizations on growth strategy, business model design, digital health, and cross-sector partnerships.
What fuelled your interest in global health?
Long before I worked in global health, I worked on projects designed to improve the Canadian healthcare system. This sparked my interest in the role of partnerships and digital health to bring access to health and care for underserved populations.
However, it was my time working abroad that solidified my interest in global health. In 2008, I had the opportunity to travel to my parents’ homeland in East Africa. Over the course of a year, I helped a tertiary teaching hospital to better understand and address the health needs of individuals across the region. Through my time in Africa, I came to appreciate how my private sector skillset could drive even greater impact when applied to markets and populations with even greater resource constraints and needs. I joined the Accenture Development Partnerships leadership team as the Global Health Lead and have enjoyed working with leading organizations as they strive to bring equitable health and wellbeing to all.
How much do sustainability and equity weigh into your executive teams’ decisions?
The Accenture Sustainability Value Promise is to embed sustainability into everything we do, with everyone we work with, creating both business value and sustainable impact, enabled by technology and human ingenuity.
Our commitment to ethics, human rights, and strong corporate governance is a key driver of our business strategy and is essential to safeguarding our people, clients, brand, and financial performance. It is the foundation on which we build trust.
Responsibility for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters starts at the top -with our Board and our Chair and CEO- and cascades throughout the business, including our use of performance objectives relating to being a responsible company. Our Global Management Committee members sponsor our responsible company strategies. These senior leaders, spanning multiple corporate functions and geographies, engage on these topics and are responsible for making final decisions on strategies, goals, and policies recommended by various management groups. Together, they make strategic recommendations and decisions on our integrated responsible business and ESG initiatives, including sponsorship of our non-financial goals.
We approach inclusion, diversity, and equity with the same discipline and rigor as any other business priority. We set goals, share them publicly, collect data to continuously improve, and hold our leaders accountable.
Can you tell us more about the impact of COVID-19 on businesses globally?
Globally, all businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, with varying degrees of severity. Consumer demand patterns are shifting, global supply chains are disrupted and remain under pressure, and different regions, markets, and governments are responding uniquely to the COVID-19 crisis.
Why was it important for you to invest in the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund?
We have long said that our culture of shared success extends to all our stakeholders. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown that swift action can make a difference, so we continue to step up to provide funding, access to vaccines and resources, and support to those most affected by the pandemic.
We identified and supported organizations that were on the front lines, including the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization, whose objectives are in alignment with our response strategy, to address issues ranging from food insecurity and the deployment of health care equipment to lack of hospital capacity, vaccine preparedness, and vaccine equity.
How would you encourage other corporations to get involved and active in the fight against COVID-19 and pandemic response in general?
Through our partnerships and innovation, Accenture is leading the way to strengthen communities, help rewire the global economy for shared success and create a more inclusive and equitable future. With the incredible talents of our people, capabilities, experience, and the latest technology, we are creating social impact, empowering individuals around the world, and improving millions of lives. We are turning global challenges into meaningful change, including through our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.