BY GARY THANDI
Revolutionizing access to healthcare in Canada, Juggy Sihota, Vice-president of Consumer Health at TELUS, leads a team responsible for developing and delivering important services that improve the health of Canadians, including Canada’s fastest growing and highest customer rated virtual care service TELUS Health MyCare and personal emergency response service TELUS LivingWell Companion for vulnerable seniors.
Juggy credits her family who has always been supportive in both her personal and professional life. “I feel really blessed to have the family I have and we’re all really close. I’m the youngest of four kids. My mom, dad, my siblings, they’ve all been unconditionally supportive.
My mom, in particular, has always been a great source of inspiration to me. She built a core foundation of empathy, bravery, and optimism in us kids, and I leverage that every day as an adult and am grateful for it. In my opinion, it’s extremely difficult to become a leader of consequence without that type of foundation.
Now everybody’s married, families are extended, and that theme has continued. My husband Dwayne has also always been a constant source of support and encouragement for me, challenging me to be the best that I can be, so I’m very grateful for that too. Any win or loss that we individually may have, it’s felt collectively as a family.”
She’s also had many mentors and champions along the way, including her close friend Jill Schnarr, TELUS Chief Communications Officer, who started championing her early in her career. “She was the one who mentioned my name in a room full of opportunities–champions like her are exemplary, and acts like that are the ones you always want to pay forward.”
In over 20 years at TELUS, Juggy advises that she has “had the great opportunity to lead across the company in marketing, strategy, technology development, product management, and operations. I’ve done this for the wireline and wireless sides of our business. Probably most importantly though, I’ve spent the better part of this last decade leading healthcare transformation.”
According to its website, TELUS’ Consumer Health division “brings products to market that address many of the pressing health needs of Canadians. TELUS aims at empowering Canadians to take control of their health and the health of their loved ones with the right information, tools, and support they need to live healthier and happier lives.”
Juggy is incredibly passionate about her current role in health as she has experienced firsthand the need for a more responsive health care system. “My mom experienced challenges in our healthcare system at one point,” she explains. “She lives a very healthy life, but had a heart attack at a young age.” Her mom was initially misdiagnosed in the ER at hospital, and when eventually correctly diagnosed, faced a long wait for surgery. It was only through advocacy, persistence and leveraging the power of networks that her mom eventually received treatment. “She is alive and well thank god, and after that ordeal, I made a commitment to her that I would do whatever I could to make healthcare better for all Canadians.”
“And who better to do that with than TELUS, an organization that has the infrastructure, the technology, the will and the resources.” Juggy says. “We are already in the business of securely moving information through our broadband wireless and wireline networks, and getting it to the right place at the right time. We are doing that for healthcare now too. We are revolutionizing access to healthcare by leveraging our technology – all made possible through the vision and decision of our CEO, Darren Entwistle over a decade ago.”
Juggy holds an MBA from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and has completed Executive Development programs at Harvard and INSEAD. She received the Leadership Excellence Trailblazer Award by Canadian Women in Communications and Technology (WCT), as well as the Forty Under 40 award in BC by Business in Vancouver for her business achievements, inspirational leadership and community contributions. In 2019, Vancouver Magazine recognized her as one of the most powerful 50 people in BC. She also received the Influential Women in Business Award and the WeQual Business Transformation Leadership Award in 2021.
Juggy is an active community leader – with community leadership being a critical component of her leadership story. She is currently the Vice Chair for the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Board; Director for the Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVR); the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation. She previously served as a Director on the Justice Institute of British Columbia, the Vancouver Community Board and the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Women’s Leadership Council.
Juggy also currently serves as an Advisor to the City of Vancouver on racial and social justice issues. “I live in Vancouver, but I grew up in Port Coquitlam, and at that time, there were few minorities, and it was difficult dealing with racism. My parents wanted us to preserve our Indian culture while also trying to integrate. I always felt social causes were fundamental to me, partly because of that upbringing and because I have always felt that we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves. I have this fundamental belief that we can each play a role in making society better, collectively. And if we can, then we should.”
In addition to her family, Juggy credits her success to the team she works with. “I am privileged to work with many smart, value-based leaders. They roll up their sleeves and work together to do whatever it takes to achieve our mission. A lot of growth comes through hard times and for me, the hard times have offered many learning opportunities. I have a motto: you have to face it to fix it. So, when there’s a challenge, I try to face it and fix it. But what I’ve also come to realize and learn is that if you ask for help and share the challenge, the process can be better and you don’t have to do it alone. I think people have a genuine interest in helping, but the more they’re aware that help is needed, the more likely they are to help. So don’t suffer in silence in either your business or personal life for that matter. I am always inspired by the incredible outcomes our team has been able to achieve together by helping one another along the way.”