5 Questions with Sajal Marwaha
Our monthly check-in with staff from around the world. Learn more about the people who work at CHAI.
Please tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to CHAI.
After getting my engineering degree, I worked with J.P. Morgan – Mumbai in their investment banking arm for three years. At J.P. Morgan, I worked with the corporate derivatives and structuring team aligned with the Asia Pacific market and spent around four months in Hong Kong. I then did a stint at the company’s London office where I was involved in mergers and acquisitions advisory, focusing on the healthcare industry. Later, I was involved in healthcare investment banking across different geographies providing financial services to pharma, hospitals, and medtech clients.
I stumbled upon CHAI when I was looking to create a tangible impact in public health in India. CHAI’s hepatitis program was expanding in Punjab, my home state, and I decided it was the right time to be a part of an organization making huge strides to bring positive change to millions of lives.
1. What does a typical day at CHAI look like for you?
Our team supports national and state governments in strengthening healthcare systems to increase access to hepatitis treatment and diagnostics. We work closely with them to pursue the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating hepatitis by 2030. A typical day involves brainstorming with the governments on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks, hepatitis diagnostic strategies, and working on creating interventions based on the evidence generated by our M&E systems.
2. What has been one of your proudest moments working at CHAI?
Leading the design and launch of India’s first patient management system for hepatitis B. There is not enough research and data on hepatitis B to have a complete understanding of the epidemiology of the disease, which hampers the designing of interventions. The system provides meaningful disease data such as demographic and risk factors to the government, which will ultimately improve our knowledge about hepatitis B and give us better opportunities to tackle the disease. Presently, the system is being used in over 100 facilities across India and has the potential to impact more than 160 million lives.
3. What three words best describe you?
Three words that would describe me: innovative, persistent, and team player.
4. What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
That would be bungee jumping from the Macau Tower, the world’s highest commercial bungee jump! I was working in Hong Kong when a few of us from the office decided to visit Macau. Being into adventure sports, I was thrilled to experience one of the highest jumps in the world. I was surely having second thoughts a few seconds before the jump, but once it was over, I was determined to experience it again sometime later in my life.
5. What is your favorite holiday memory?
Exploring the Spanish culture on the streets of Barcelona while traveling solo is my favorite holiday memory. I explored Gaudí’s architecture throughout the city such as Casa Milà and Park Güell and went on a culinary tour to experience Barcelona’s street food delicacies. I also got a chance to watch a football game at the iconic Barcelona stadium, Camp Nou.
CHAI is looking for dynamic and self-motivated individuals who are committed to strengthening integrated health systems around the world and expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other illnesses. Join our team.