Trailblazing business leader

Ranjna Patel has developed a successful healthcare business, built a Hindu temple and created a ground-breaking domestic violence programme for Kiwis.

In 2016 she was named the winner of the Deloitte Top 200 Visionary Leader award - one award on her long list of achievements, and has a rich history running various teams and businesses in South Auckland with her husband Dr Kantilal Patel.

Patel, a third-generation New Zealand Indian, set out wanting to improve Kiwis' access to healthcare in lower socio-economic groups. Fast forward 40 years, she is now director of East Tamaki Healthcare and New Zealand's largest independent healthcare company Nirvana Health Group, which operates around 35 doctors clinics, 29 pharmacies and a call centre.

The Group conducts more than 1.2 million consultations a year or around 4000 consultations a day.

Patel sits on numerous advisory boards including the National Ethnic Forum for NZ Police, CM Police, Middlemore Foundation, Mental Health Foundation, Diversity Works, Global Women and Co Of Women.

In 2008 Patel and her husband completed the construction of the International Swaminarayan Satsang Organisation Temple in Papatoetoe. They funded the ornate Hindu temple which has become a community meeting place for all sects.

Every Sunday Patel organises a team to prepare meals for up to 500 people at the temple. She has even conducted a marriage at the temple.

In 2014 Patel established the Nirvana Foundation, the charitable arm of Nirvana Health Group, which has since gone on to create the Gandhi Nivas programme, which focuses on ending domestic violence, delivered by Sahaayta Counselling Services in conjunction with the police.

Four out of 14 women killed in New Zealand are Indian, and 55 per cent of breaches of domestic violence orders are by Indian men. Patel decided to turn an empty medical clinic in Otahuhu into early-intervention accommodation for perpetrators of domestic violence. The initiative has received a lot of praise for the work it does in educating families and perpetrators.