Ananya Banerjee: Why I Joined Aledade
“Aledade is already the largest network of independent primary care providers in the country. What I’m looking forward to is unleashing the power of that. It’s a very compelling thing to say in and of itself, but how do we now take that network and be the source of all good? How do we make sure everyone wins?”
Growth-oriented, mission-driven and values-focused. Those are three key words that fundamentally capture who I am as well as who Aledade is. And I am thrilled to join a company that not only shares these traits with me but also a commitment to solving the biggest problems in U.S. health care.
When I think about this opportunity as well as where I am in life, I just feel very blessed. I’m a first generation immigrant - so my family literally came to the U.S. with two suitcases in hand. And while there are many stories of immigrants coming here with $2 or $3 in their pocket, I came in with a negative balance - about $100,000 of debt, all so I could get my MBA here. To make matters more challenging, I came in 2008 and was working in financial services at the time. I had a front row seat to the economy crashing, and my student loans were nearly jeopardized as a result. Thankfully, I had met my husband Saurabh Kumar in undergrad, and he was with me - but besides that, I didn’t have much. Neither of us had family in the country nor a social security number. While our timing seemed completely off, in many ways it led us to where we are today. We were both working in health care then, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was just entering the scene - and with it came great energy and hope that drew me right in.
After business school, most of my work centered on ACA innovations - and from there, I’ve been committed to finding ways to simplify health care and benefit design and product work so we can get to a point where we can truly drive change in health care. As with everything, the devil is always in the details - and that’s where I found myself alternating between big-picture health care strategy and policy and then oscillating to the other side of very niche payment integrity and risk adjustment. There are a ton of LEGO© pieces that have gone into building what the health care system is today - so to change the system and get it to a better place, you have to move all of those pieces. It’s challenging work, but Aledade is doing the right things with the right set of people. And I believe whole-heartedly that positive change is in our future.
Aside from work, I am very passionate about spending time with my family. Saurabh and I have been married for 17 years now, and we have two children - our son Atharv (10) and our daughter Aarya (7). We live in Houston, Texas, and while I love being home, I also love to travel. So far, I’ve been to six continents, including Antarctica. I was supposed to go to Australia - my seventh continent - in 2020, but instead, I ended up refining my skills as a baker. While my creations aren’t quite Instagram-ready, they have improved greatly (And my kids have really enjoyed the extra sweets!).
Additionally, I am both a trained classical dancer as well as an industrial engineer. While I don’t actively practice either skill anymore, they are both very much with me for life. I’m always strategizing, always seeking continuous improvements in my day-to-day routine or with my kids or with my eating or what have you, and I certainly bring that trait to my work. That’s the engineer in me. I am also a very people-oriented leader, always looking to bring out the best in those around me and ensure my direct reports and colleagues are engaged in work that brings them joy and energy. I think that speaks to my inner dancer. Those roles combined with my experiences over the years make me who I am today as well as the new - and very excited - Chief Commercial Officer here at Aledade.
I’m incredibly honored to join this remarkable team and advance one of the most meaningful missions imaginable. Let’s get to it!