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Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali of Aire SkinStore: “Put yourself in the customer’s position”

Put yourself in the customer’s position. I think anyone who builds anything will always make mistakes. They may not be intentional and may even be with the best of intention but sometimes we lose perspective. Try to see things from all sides before making decisions. And if you make a mistake? Own up to it […]

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Put yourself in the customer’s position. I think anyone who builds anything will always make mistakes. They may not be intentional and may even be with the best of intention but sometimes we lose perspective. Try to see things from all sides before making decisions. And if you make a mistake? Own up to it and improve.


As part of my series about the “How To Take Your Company From Good To Great”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali.

Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, MD FAAD is a leading Dermatologist, digital health entrepreneur, researcher, and laser surgeon based out of New York City in private practice at the Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery. He specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology and looks to bridge the gap between innovative technologies and established paradigms. Dr. Bhanusali along with other top dermatologists across the country recently introduced, AIRE SkinStore to remove the inflated pricing and sceptics of dealing with mass pharma companies and trend-driven skincare brands. Dr. Bhanusali believes being able to work in such a remarkable field is a privilege and continues to push Dermatology forward.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I grew up in New York and at the age of 17, was lucky enough to be accepted into the Medical Scholars program at Michigan State University (where you are accepted into medical school early). After completing medical school in the Midwest, I came back home to New York to complete my training and start practicing as a Dermatologist.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Dermatology is quite a competitive specialty and to gain a position, you essentially need to be top of your class and from one of the top schools. Having come from a state school with no Dermatology department, it was certainly a humbling experience. That being said, when you have a dream, you do what it takes to get there and the sleepless nights, hundreds (thousands?) of hours in the library, the missed family functions…they were all worth it in the end.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Once I was fortunate enough to get into the field of Dermatology, my eyes opened up to the bigger possibilities. While I loved helping the people I saw in the office, I often thought of the millions of people that I couldn’t see and care for. It got me more into digital health and from there I started working on projects that explored providing care or help for those around the country. They included tele-dermatology systems, EMRs, and one of most recent projects, Skin Medicinals. What started as a small idea, using technology to help create more affordable compounded medications, has ballooned into a platform that has served almost 150,000 patients around the country and being used by over 4,500 Dermatologists nationwide.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Do everything with purpose. Sometimes you get stuck in the same rut and unable to shake what you see in front of you. If you don’t wake up every morning excited, you shouldn’t do it. It’s ok to have hobbies or alternative passions and the trick is finding a way to incorporate them as part of your normal life so each day feels exciting. If this pandemic taught us anything, it is that life is short and nothing is guaranteed. We must do what we are passionate about because if not now, then when?

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There are too many to count but I would have to say my father. He is a successful Orthopedic Surgeon but his story was never simple or straightforward. When he moved to this country, they didn’t accept foreign medical graduates into Orthopedics. That didn’t stop him. It took him four tries but he finally was able to secure a spot at St. Vincent’s in NYC (the first orthopedic resident there ever!). When I asked him why he persisted, he told me “I rather do something I love for 36 years than something I don’t for 40 years. If you really want something, go and get it.” That was the mindset I’ve had at each stage of my journey and what I hope to continue with to bring change.

How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?

A good company is one that can be financially stable and creates something good for you. A great company can change the world for the better.

Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Build with purpose.
  2. Don’t chase money, chase change.
  3. Make sure you reward those that help you grow and improve.
  4. Remember you don’t know everything. Humility is the key to growth.
  5. Remember your Why. You will face challenges, intimidation, and more if you build anything.
  6. Remember WHY you are building something and it will help elevate you from any difficult position or mindset you are in.

In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?

Time. I run multiple companies in between seeing patients. We sometimes feel like Superman and that we can do anything but things take time. They take patience. You also need to give yourself time to get away.

Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?

Put yourself in the customer’s position. I think anyone who builds anything will always make mistakes. They may not be intentional and may even be with the best of intention but sometimes we lose perspective. Try to see things from all sides before making decisions. And if you make a mistake? Own up to it and improve.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

The inability to delegate. Again, it’s impossible to know everything. Hire people who have unique skillsets that complement you. Learn from them. If you try to do everything yourself, you will inevitably fail but if you can do it together? That’s where you can create something beautiful.

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