Trust is the most important emotion you you build when you visit a medical professional. Dr. Vandana S Thakran is one such professional who has infinite testimonials from her patients. She has ensured that her clinics run ethically. But she is not just about teeth !! There is so much more to her.
Lets hear it from Dr. Vandana S Thakran –
When did you realise that you wanted to start your own dental clinic?
Mint Leaf Dental Pvt Ltd is my most important future contribution. It was never planned but yes, I NOW realize it was the need of the hour and I am the chosen one to bring it forth. Dental treatment in private sector is not organized mainly because there is a lack of awareness. People do not know that there are 9 specialized fields in dentistry. Everybody knows that an orthopedic surgeon cannot do a cardiac surgery, but they still visit a single dentist for all their dental treatment. When I ventured into private sector after spending more than 10 years in India’s best government dental institutions which include PGIMS Rohtak and Maulana Azad medical college new Delhi I tried to adjust in this private sector, but the things were beyond tolerance. I am a surgeon and can never do justice to a root canal treatment or a braces treatment for that matter.
I was aghast and wanted a change in the system. As Gandhi ji said, “Be the change   you want to see in others.” I decided to take a plunge and Mint Leaf Dental was born in 2014 with a vision to provide very ethical, most specialized and affordable dental treatment to one and all. We started with one clinic and today we are everywhere in Delhi NCR. Every day we educate our patients about the right treatment to all and execute all treatments as they should be without any biases.
What kind of challenges did you face?
We begin with a simple idea which had two aspects (READ MAIN CHALLENGES) to it. One as a clinician I wanted to treat according to my specialization only, because I love my field of expertise and can-do justice to patient only when I practice it exclusively, whereas the market practice was one dentist doing every dental treatment.
Second aspect was general people were not getting the right treatment. If they are paying for a particular doctor and the treatment rendered by him/her than the services should be provided ethically.
So, the idea behind starting Mint Leaf Dental five years back was to merge these two aspects of a problem into one and bring a simple solution which can be brought into action as simply as possible. We started by providing very specialized, ethical and affordable dental treatment to one and all. I am happy to state that till date the response is very heartwarming. My team of specialist dentists are happy because they are getting to do what they studied for, what they love to do and our patients are happy because they are getting the right treatment which they deserve, at a center near their home or office.
I consider the other things like being a first-generation entrepreneur and learning about marketing and finance a hard way or networking with wide range of people while being an introvert myself as minor road bumps in front of the major challenge of not diverting from the idea with which we began 8 years ago.
The challenge to not go backward, as everyday should be a step ahead even if its a small one.
What were your goals twenty years ago and what are your goals now?
My goal twenty years back and now are the same, but the paths have changed as compared to what I anticipated at that time. I always wanted to be a surgeon and always wanted to serve. That time I used to think that only few professions like civil services and judiciary can give you that opportunity but later I realized we can do whatever we want, from wherever we stand. I very much believe in being the change that I want to see in society. So we can always move slow every day, fearlessly and your life’s path will become clearer with every step
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Tell us about ‘Bargad’, ‘Karma’ and ‘Kitaboo’.
We were giving right treatment but only to those who were visiting our clinics but what about those who could not visit us due to lack of money? Pain does not differentiate between rich and poor and as a doctor it is our duty to provide treatment irrespective of caste, color, creed and social status. Hence, we brought another simple idea into action, and we came up with our project KARMA- An initiative by Mint Leaf Dental wherein we provide Privileged dental treatment to the under privileged nearly free of cost without compromising on the quality of our services. This is done at all our clinics in Delhi NCR, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday. As Mother Teressa said,” if you can’t feed hundred, then feed one”. The response is overwhelming, and it gives us satisfaction and encouragement to see their smiles after relieved from pain.
This all was done in capacity of being a doctor and looking at the environmental upheaval we thought of doing something as residents of this planet Earth and we acted on another simple idea of planting trees but how many can one plant? We need more trees to prevent global warming because not only it’s real, but the situation is alarming. Hence, we started a project BARGAD – A green initiative by Mint Leaf Dental wherein we gift a plant to every patient who visit any of our clinics. We have gifted nearly 10,000 plants till now and we look forward to continuing this endeavor.
Trust me when I say that if I would not have been a surgeon then more likely I would have been a librarian!! My love for reading introduced me to brilliant book clubs both national and international and equally beautiful and passionate readers. So, around the end of January this year, there was a post on GurgaonMoms Book Club social media page that showed a small shopkeeper in a village in south India keeping books stacked in the corner, available to read for people waiting for their turn to buy groceries. As I came across this, I was blown away by the efforts a book reader is putting to make people read. And just then an idea clicked in my mind, and I asked for an opinion in the group that if I do something similar at our clinics how would that be? The member ladies were ecstatic with their encouragements and that was it, I promised it will be done!! I nurtured this idea for a few days, of course, I had made a tall claim, but I really wanted to make it a reality because I very much wanted to include books in my working space, let my patients read during the waiting time, and of course, help fellow citizens to read and evolve. In this rapidly evolving digital world We want men , women and kids to read, respect books, utilize time efficiently, and change their views about life, the world, and the whole universe.
After KARMA and BARGAD Mint leaf Dental brings to you KITABO- for the love of books!!
One can just walk in, read, keep the book back and walk out. No, your tooth will not be forcefully plucked in lieu of reading in the clinic!!
How has your journey been with GurgaonMoms?
I joined GurgaonMoms after setting up my second clinic in sec 52. That was the year they were organizing their first Mom Achievers Summit. I so very much wanted to join that, but the work and home commitments kept popping up and I just envisioned and promised myself to work hard and then next summit whenever it will be, GurgaonMoms should invite me as a guest. So, it became a target, a goal to be called by this organization and that added fuel to my passion. Every day I used to read about these strong ladies of all ages who would do anything to live their passion and help each other selflessly. I never left this group unattended and trust me, universe conspired, and I was selected for top 5 mompreuners to be mentored by industry giants and present my business pitch at summit in 2018. I was finally an entrepreneur courtesy GurgaonMoms. After that I have interacted with such beautiful, strong, independent and self-sufficient ladies both as a doctor and as a friend that the whole journey feels so very personal and overwhelming. I have found such good friends here in Upasana, Neela, Anshu and many many more that we are always just a call away.
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You strongly believe in upliftment of the society as a whole. You believe in saving the planet. You believe in books!! – how should one instil these values in children?
By volunteering for all these things in your own capacity, as kids only follow actions, they get inspired by what they see happening, words just fall on dumb ears of ever logical little beings. If you want kids to do something, start doing it yourself and keep emphasizing the importance and results of your actions.
Which is your favourite part of the day and why?
Anytime of the day when I am doing surgeries (oh! I just love it! It’s a meditation for me) and I look forward to my evenings when I talk to my girls, read, or just sit with myself.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self today?
Be you the world will adjust!! It’s your life, no one has the right to decide your path except you yourself. And You cannot keep everyone happy; world will judge in any way so chase your dreams and do whatever makes your soul happy.
What/who inspires you the most?
My mother and my mother-in-law. My mom has been a housewife but her will power, and determination is something I have imbibed genetically as well as by being with her. My mother-in-law is an epitome of foresightedness, ethics, hard work and taking life as it comes. She practiced as a physician for 40 years, survived many personal tragedies, retired gracefully and still at the age of 70, she keeps bucking us up and is ever excited about life, she keeps telling me the importance of being independent and instills the charm of working hard, living stress-free, being responsible, yet enjoying life to the fullest. Last 15 years with her has been a fabulous journey.
What is your stress buster?
Stress busters – Reading/ travelling/ meditation …in that order!

Dr Vandana S Thakran (MDS)

  •     A Rex Karamveer awardee
  • Chairman health for FII(Federation of Indian Industries)
  • A Renowned maxillofacial surgeon.
  • Founder director of Mint Leaf Dental-A well known chain of dental clinics in NCR.

She is an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon and has been practising dentistry and maxillofacial surgery since last 18 years in few of the premier institutes of INDIA which includes PGIMS ROHTAK and Maulana Azad Medical College New Delhi, ranked as the best in India. After working in country’s best governmental dental institutes, Following her dream, MINT LEAF DENTAL was born back in  2014, with one clinic with a VISION to provide Ethical, Very Specialised and Affordable dentistry to one and all.

Dr Vandana believes in women empowerment. She proudly states that she is leading a team of all lady doctors. She dreams of a mighty India as an absolute leader in affordable, quality and ethical healthcare.She aims at taking affordable healthcare to each and every person in the world BUT The first step is to educate and  empower people in our vicinity, reaching distant corners of country and making India a self sufficient nation where each and every person has an access to affordable and quality healthcare.

 Dr Vandana Thakran has been felicitated by many awards which include 

  • Best Dentist
  • Nari Shakti award
  • Best Dental clinic chain in Delhi NCR
  • Gurugram Achiever award
  • Entrepreneur excellence award 
  • Prestigious REX Karamveer award in association with United Nations 

 She is an accomplished leader with a dedicated team of lady doctors. A proud Indian, She is doing some great work of creating beautiful world by changing one smile at a time.