Global Business School for Health


From Dentist to Entrepreneur: Sanjana Harlalka's Journey of Innovation and Impact

11 March 2024

Follow Sanjana Harlalka's inspiring journey from dentist to entrepreneur, driven by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Discover her passion for innovation in healthcare, from winning hackathons to founding a startup aimed at improving women's safety.


Driven by the passion for innovation and desire to make a positive impact to society, Sanjana Harlalka, a dentist hailing from India, has embarked on a remarkable journey into the world of entrepreneurship. Her path to entrepreneurship began with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led her university to adopt online training and programs focused on fostering innovation.  

Innovation became the central theme of Sanjana's university, with a particular emphasis on the healthcare sector due to the pandemic's impact and the shortcomings of India's healthcare infrastructure. Eager to explore this newfound avenue, Sanjana participated in a hackathon, an intense competition where she proposed a novel solution—a modified dental mouth block device. This initial attempt into innovation ignited her passion for problem-solving and product development. Sanjana's innovative solution garnered recognition, winning several competitions and providing her with seed funding to develop a prototype. Collaborating with engineers, she transformed her concept into a tangible product, culminating in a patent application with the Indian Patent Office. This experience marked her entry into the world of entrepreneurship, where she discovered her ability for building something from scratch. 

Furthering her entrepreneurial journey, Sanjana joined a four-month training program with the Manipal Incubator, a collaboration between her university and the Government of India Startup Services. Immersed in the intricacies of the startup ecosystem, she improved her skills in ideation and product development, collaborating virtually with students worldwide. Together, they delved into social entrepreneurship, founding a company aimed at improving women's safety at night. 

Then, Sanjana joined the Global Business School for Health, determined to explore the intersection of business and healthcare. Recognizing the potential for post-pandemic innovation in healthcare, she embarked on a dual path, balancing her social venture with a personal interest in healthcare innovation. Through a business project module, she aims to develop a medical device and bring it to market, aligning with her vision of creating meaningful change. 

Looking ahead, Sanjana is committed to realizing her entrepreneurial aspirations. With a focus on social impact and healthcare innovation, she seeks to mold her ideas into tangible solutions that address global challenges.