Business management

Dr Indy Johal: Renew Dental Clinic

As part of our campaign with Getty Images to change the image of female-led entrepreneurship, the owner of Renew Dental Clinic tells her business story.

“Showcasing women and their efforts in business will encourage other women to pursue their business goals.”

She says: “We want to help our patients make empowered decisions about their oral health. We work hard behind the scenes to create a seamless journey, keeping our patients’ very best interests at heart from start to finish.”

The launch of the practice was delayed when the UK’s first lockdown was imposed in March 2020. “Of course, with any new business that has taken such time, grit and determination to create, we wanted nothing more than to have a big celebratory party,” says Johal. “Fate however, had other plans, and I quietly opened amidst a pandemic, welcoming only one patient at a time.”

Having her own practice was not something Johal had aimed towards – but providing the best care and treatment possible for her patients has always been central to her work. “Over time, I realised I wanted to not only create beautiful smiles but also curate my environment to ensure each patient felt looked after and cared for,” she says.

It was this drive that ultimately led her to take the leap and design her own practice, carving out Renew Dental from a vacant rundown retail space. Treating her first patient – her father – was a very proud moment for Johal. “It was truly heart-warming to be able to repay him for all his efforts in helping me get the practice off the ground by finally starting his smile journey,” she says.

This past year, with all its trials and tribulations has given me the gift of knowing that by pulling together and working as a strong team can get you through even the toughest of times.

Dr Indy Johal
Owner, Renew Dental

Though dental clinics adhere to strict infection control procedures as a matter of course, the outbreak of Covid-19 has led to even stricter guidelines. “As a new practice owner, this has been a significant challenge to overcome,” says Johal. “From the opening of my practice being pushed back due to worldwide PPE shortages, to having to keep up to date with all new operating procedures as well as government guidelines, all while trying to keep patients and staff safe – it has been a huge learning curve. But the ethos of my practice – honesty, inclusivity, kindness and excellence (HIKE) – and the vision of the type of environment I am trying to cultivate for both patients and staff members has kept me going.”

And while the past 12 months might have been a “baptism of fire” for the business, Johal feels they have laid a strong foundation for the future. “This past year, with all its trials and tribulations has given me the gift of knowing that by pulling together and working as a strong team can get you through even the toughest of times.”

Looking ahead, Johal hopes that the practice will continue to grow organically from word-of-mouth referrals. “One of my patients said that having a good relationship with your dentist is like having a good relationship with your hairdresser – once you find one you like, you never let them go,” she says. “I truly hope my team and I can work to build a safe space where patients feel valued and cared for so that we can continue to provide them with the best service possible.”

For Johal, the events of the past year or so have also served to drive home the power of community. “Now that the practice has been established and we have started to come through these trying times, I hope to carry this spirit of community forward,” she says. “My aim for the coming year outside of the practice will be to work with other local businesses to create a local network of business owners that can be there for each other in hard times. Having started this initiative when I first opened, I would like to establish a safe space where other like-minded business owners can share their troubles and learn from each other’s stories.”

Johal says that while starting a business is “tough for anyone”, she believes women do have some obstacles to overcome that don’t surface for men quite so often. “I’ve personally suffered my fair share of imposter syndrome, and I often wondered if I would be found out for not knowing enough or being business savvy enough. It wasn’t until I accepted that everyone has these fears, and that these thoughts shouldn’t stop us from pursuing our dreams, that I truly leaned into my journey as a practice owner.

“My advice for other women who may find themselves spiralling as I did is simple: keep going! There will be tough days and days that you feel like giving up, but I promise when it’s all said and done, you will be so glad that you gave it your all and kept going through it all. We got this.”

On being featured in the Female Focus #BeTheRoleModel initiative, Johal says: “Being recognised for all your efforts is always a great feeling, but to have a platform such as this, geared towards making women feel empowered, is amazing.

“Professionally, having an accolade such as this is a great benchmark for my practice in its very first year. And personally, I feel showcasing women and their efforts in business will encourage other women to pursue their business goals and lead to more diversity in business, which can only be a good thing.”

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