1 May 2024 Articles

Opinion Piece -From Junior Consultant to aspiring Director at Apira


Newly promoted Managing Consultant Rupal Thakarshi shares with us her career journey which led her to her new role plus she gives an insight into her travels and how Apira supported her dreams of seeing the world.

Growing up I envisaged my life as a film maker, drawn to the thrill of capturing moments behind the lens.  Yet, it wasn’t just the artistry that captivated me; it was the meticulous planning, the orchestration of every detail, and the collaborative spirit of filmmaking that fuelled my passion.

I loved the adrenaline I got from being on set, all the planning involved from set to costume, hardware to software and not to forget the team involved in making it all happen.  Little did I know that this love for coordination and teamwork would lead me on an unexpected journey into the healthcare sector.  Each time I am in the middle of a Project Go-Live, all the planning coming together in one final outcome and for everyone involved to feel like it’s been a huge achievement, I am reminded of the younger me who never thought she would be working within the NHS but has now carved out a successful career in a sector.

Despite not expecting a career in the NHS, my experience began when I was studying film. I began my NHS career working within various GP surgeries around West London, scanning Lloyd George envelopes, page by page with a plug-in scanner! As you can imagine, this didn’t spark a huge amount of joy within me, but it gave me the drive to find a more efficient way to digitise records as I knew there had to be a better and quicker way of doing this.

I then moved from GP land to an Acute hospital and found myself doing odd jobs through the Trust Bank System taking on miscellaneous tasks, across the hospital, including the Education Centre and Medical Records Department. However, this journey led me to a pivotal opportunity with the American University of the Caribbean (AUC), where I gained invaluable experience that has profoundly influenced my career trajectory. This role not only satisfied my wanderlust but also provided insights into medical education and the clinical pathway. Now, this may shock some that know me, but I actually got bored of travelling in a “Business Trip” setting and craved some stability. So, I made the transition to digital services, where I played a key role in supporting the implementation of TPP SystmOne and it was during this time that I had the pleasure of meeting Apira’s Executive Chair, Mark Jones.

When I met Mark, I was a training administrator for the SystmOne implementation across 3 London Boroughs and the mysterious project executive whom I never really had a chance to chat with. When I started working on this project I was only working 4 hours a week as it was supposed to be a part time job whilst I started my own business (I basically was building my own Etsy but that is a story for another time) but by the end I was working almost 10 hours a day and I was thriving. Interacting with front end staff, working within tech and developing people within the industry and feeling like I was making a difference felt sensational . As the project wrapped up and success was in the air, I figured it was time to ask for a reference from Mark. But instead of just scribbling a few lines, he gave me something even better and invited me to meet his business partner (and Apira founder), Geoff Broome, over at Apira’s London office.

Fast forward to one week later and I rocked up to a London office in my jeans and hoodie expecting to be given the reference I had asked for and that being that. What I actually got was an offer to be involved in a new project with Indo UK Institute of Health (IUIH). IUIH were looking to undertake an ambitious plan to construct eleven public hospitals across eleven states in India which piqued my interest, and Mark believed I could play a vital role in procuring equipment for these facilities from scratch. Despite my initial reservations—balancing my entrepreneurial aspirations with the prospect of joining Apira, a relatively small team with limited female representation — I was swayed by Mark and Geoff’s persuasive offer. Their promise of flexible hours, remote work options, and a review of my role after a couple of months ultimately convinced me to take a leap of faith and embrace the position of Junior Consultant at Apira. And as they say, the rest is history.  Now, seven and a half years later, I look back on my journey and am amazed at how far I have come personally and at how far Apira has come as an organisation.

One of the most significant learning experiences during my last few years with Apira was when I was entrusted with the role of Product Manager with Apira’s sister company Flowz. This opportunity allowed me to delve into building a product brand  from scratch, and learn about all the aspects of building a successful business.    It also thrust me into a position of considerable responsibility early on, overseeing training, attending conferences, and spearheading the project’s marketing efforts. Learning and understanding the fundamentals of Sales, Marketing and Account Management provided me with invaluable skills which further allowed me to progress through business development and communication. Balancing these tasks, all while continuing to fulfil my consulting duties, taught me invaluable lessons in time management and self-discipline. The trust Apira placed in me instilled a profound sense of self-confidence and contributed significantly to my growth into my current senior role in the company.


My journey from a Junior Consultant to a Senior Consultant at Apira has been made possible by invaluable support and guidance every step of the way. From the outset, I had the privilege of working closely with senior members of Apira on procurement development, receiving hands-on mentorship that bolstered my understanding of procurement processes within the organisation. Undertaking Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner training further enriched my skill set, equipping me with the knowledge to navigate projects within controlled environments, aligning with best practice government standards for project management. Additionally, Apira’s commitment to continuous improvement saw me undergoing Better Business Case training, essential for meeting NHS requirements in constructing robust structured business cases aligned to the HM Treasury 5 case model. Through involvement in the Flowz project, I received comprehensive training in Information Governance and GDPR compliance, essential components of modern business operations. Moreover, Apira fostered my growth through exposure to managing multiple projects concurrently, providing invaluable experiential learning opportunities. Their encouragement to engage in business development activities and contribute to significant company decisions empowered me to expand my horizons and evolve into a senior consultant poised to make impactful contributions to the organisation’s success.

Apira has been more than just a professional stepping stone for me; they’ve been a cornerstone in supporting my lifelong dream of travel. After the pandemic put a halt on travelling for me and the rest of the world, I was eager to seize the opportunity to live abroad. Despite initial setbacks, my dedication and commitment to Apira and the work that we do was acknowledged and I was granted a modified arrangement which allowed me to continue working while travelling, albeit for a condensed six-month period. With six years of tenure at Apira under my belt, I had built a reputation for delivering results. This history allowed the company to understand my work ethic and capability, facilitating their decision to support my unconventional work-travel balance. Prior to embarking on my adventure, I demonstrated my ability to work remotely and to stay focused across different time zones. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to prove myself.

For six exhilarating months during 2023, I journeyed through East and Southeast Asia, immersing myself in diverse cultures while fulfilling my work commitments during weekday evenings. Balancing work and adventure required strict discipline and adherence to a meticulously planned schedule. Despite the challenges, Apira stood by me every step of the way. They provided the necessary equipment and support to ensure seamless remote work and even helped navigate tax implications associated with working abroad.

Throughout my travels, regular meetings with the Apira team kept me connected and supported. The EDM Team—including Tom, Ruairi, Geoff, and Christine—were instrumental in handling onsite tasks, ensuring our projects continued smoothly even in my absence. Their support was invaluable, and I couldn’t have succeeded without them. Apira’s encouragement and unwavering support made my dream of travel and professional growth a reality, and for that, I am truly grateful.

The latest chapter of my journey that I’m eager to share revolves around the strides we’ve made in fostering inclusion and diversity within Apira—an achievement that truly brings my journey full circle. Being an integral part of the Apira Women’s Network fills me with immense pride. It all began during the tumultuous times of the pandemic when we experienced a surge in recruitment. As we welcomed more women into the fold, I found myself exhilarated by the prospect of a more diverse team. However, when I learned that one prospective female team member almost declined the offer due to the lack of female representation, it hit close to home as it echoed my own experience when I first joined.

Determined to effect change, I spearheaded our work to enhance women’s presence within the group. From ensuring female representation during interviews to actively empowering women to represent their own interests, we initiated significant changes. Today, the Women’s Network stands as a testament to our commitment to gender diversity and inclusion. We host our own events, participate in women-centric expos and conferences, and lead the charge in advocating women in the fields of technology and healthcare, not to forget empowering and developing women within Apira to take more Senior roles. Witnessing the growth and impact of the Women’s Network fills me with immense pride, knowing that we are actively shaping a more inclusive and diverse future within Apira and beyond.

As I reflect on my journey with Apira, I’m struck by the incredible milestones and personal growth that have defined these years. What began as a passion for filmmaking has transformed into a fulfilling career in a sector, I never imagined myself in—healthcare. From humble beginnings digitising records in a GP surgery to navigating complex projects with international implications, every step has been guided by the unwavering support of Apira. They’ve not only nurtured my professional development but also facilitated my lifelong dream of travel, allowing me to work remotely while exploring the world.

But perhaps what truly brings my journey full circle is the journey towards inclusion and diversity within Apira. As a proud member of the Women’s Network, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of diversity initiatives. What started as a response to a lack of female representation has blossomed into a vibrant community advocating for gender equality and inclusivity. Together, we’re breaking barriers, hosting events, and championing women’s voices in tech and healthcare. Our commitment to diversity within our team echoes, as it enables us to provide services that truly meet the needs of our customers and patients. Without a diverse team, we risk overlooking the perspectives and experiences of individuals from different backgrounds. By embracing diversity, we ensure that we can better understand and empathise with the varied needs of our clients, ultimately allowing us to deliver services that are truly inclusive and impactful.

As I look ahead, I’m filled with gratitude for the opportunities, challenges, and growth that Apira has afforded me. Each milestone, each triumph, and each lesson learned has shaped me into the managing consultant and advocate I am today. And as we continue to evolve and push boundaries, I’m excited to see where this journey will take us next.

When asked about Rupals journey with Apira, Mark Jones, Executive Chair at Apira said:

”I am so pleased that Rupal has become our latest Managing Consultant.  I have seen her steadily rise through the ranks from Junior Consultant in 2016, developing skills along the way, with determination, effort and good grace.  She has always represented Apira to the best of her ability and thoroughly deserves this promotion. Well done!”

Author: Rupal Thakarshi

Rupal is a seasoned product manager and managing consultant, boasting a proven track record in the IT and services sector. Proficient in Web Design, SaaS, Final Cut Pro, Business Development, Consultancy, and HIT, she is a formidable consulting professional. She holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Broadcast Media from Brunel University.