NEW DELHI, Dec. 7 -- After a long career with McKinsey, I jumped into the world of public health 15 years ago. Since then, I have been working in sectors as varied as HIV, maternal and child health, and nutrition. Throughout, my focus has been health delivery at the grass roots, at scale, incorporating learnings from business. These are the perspectives I'll try and bring to this new column.

Public health is the aggregate health status of large populations - as opposed to clinical health, which deals with the health of individuals. Today, India's public health status is difficult to decipher. There are frequent announcements of new programmes; both jubilation and lamentation around India's health performance; angst about inadequate nationa...