Gurpreet “Sunny” Singh, chairman of the board at Edifecs, said he follows a philosophy in life that stretches from his time at Montana State University in the 1980s, directly to his work today, at Edifecs, and in India to improve the lives of billions through innovative wellbeing initiatives with RoundGlass. “My father always encouraged me to pursue my passions and to dream big. He also raised me to be generous and compassionate – to honor the human spirit. This is something that I’ve carried with me for my entire life, and it’s shaped the work that I do.”
Climbing the Career Ladder: Ninth* of 10 profiles of healthcare executives and their careers.
Gurpreet “Sunny” Singh’s career has been a series of stepping stones – always improving from one entrepreneurial start-up to the next, eventually leading to the successful founding of the now leading global health IT company, Edifecs. Throughout his business ventures and education at the Indian Institute of Technology in his native country of India, Singh approached every opportunity to learn as a new attempt at innovation. With a knack for learning and creativity, Singh took his entrepreneurial spirit to the United States with only $200 in his pocket to attend Montana State University on a full-ride scholarship for industrial engineering.
It was during his time as a student at Montana State where his work ethic and unrelenting drive to succeed took root. Singh accepted as many jobs as he could to send money back home – from tutoring student-athletes, to packing and moving hay bales, and even fishing in Alaska during the summer. When it was time to begin his career in technology and innovation, he joined Expeditors International and then Microsoft, where he started narrowing in on a goal: to make electronic data more accessible, shareable, and optimized, and as a result more powerful.
Singh launched Edifecs in 1996 out of the garage of his home outside of Seattle. The company provides integrated solutions for data exchange, analysis, and insights. Today, it has more than 350 healthcare customers, serving more than 215 million people.
Not all 25 years of Edifecs’ role in healthcare have been smooth sailing The company lost a big deal, IRS notices began coming in, and it had to suspend salaries. The stress of this period was all-consuming, Singh says, but it also drove him turn things around and put Edifecs back on a path to success.
“I figured out how to hustle, to stretch a dollar, to find innovative solutions, to work hard and not accept no for an answer,” Singh sayss. “While these early trials were difficult, they ultimately strengthened the company and led us on a path of tremendous growth and resilience and a valuation of over $1.5 billion in 2020.”
Singh recently transitioned from being CEO to chairing the company’s board. He continues to serve the organization by ensuring Edifecs is on the path to produce leading health IT solutions.
When he’s not serving as chairman, Singh also leads innovative well-being initiatives for the state of Punjab by way of his next entrepreneurial venture, RoundGlass.
Singh said his previous experiences from early childhood in both India and Ghana, through school, and into the first years of his career shaped the leader that he is today. He noted there are a few principles that have been consistent throughout his career. First, would be the people.
“My early experiences gave me an appreciation for what it takes to make a company run successfully,” he says. “Edifecs would not be the outstanding company it is today without our world-class team of associates. They’ve helped build this company and continuously contribute to our growth and success.”
Second, is the importance and value of workplace wellness: “In order for your team to perform well, you need to ensure they are healthy and happy.”
“Third, you can do “good” while doing “well.” “While I’ve had the opportunity to build Edifecs into a global health IT player, our team has also been focused on giving back to our community and being strong stewards of the planet,” Singh says. “We believe wellness extends beyond the healthcare industry to the planet we all share. Since founding the company, we’ve embraced a green approach to our operations and made conservation a pillar of our culture.”
For those who may sit on full commitment toward their passions or growing their entrepreneurial ventures, Singh recommends following the advice his father passed down to himself.
“My father always encouraged me to pursue my passions and to dream big,” he said. “He also raised me to be generous and compassionate – to honor the human spirit. This is something that I’ve carried with me for my entire life, and it’s shaped the work that I do.”
He said this philosophy stretches from his time at Montana State in the 1980s, directly to his work today in India to improve the lives of billions through innovative wellbeing initiatives with RoundGlass.
*Eight of these profiles were published in our print issue. Two more were published only online.