Influential Leaders

Sibongile Manganyi-Rath

CEO and co-founder, Alma Clinic
Recognition Year(s): 2022
Area of Impact: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
School: IMD Business School
Location: Switzerland

Sibongile Manganyi-Rath is an award-winning social entrepreneur based in South Africa who works with various African governments to deliver healthcare infrastructure projects from small community clinics to large hospitals. She has launched numerous startups and developed them into leading corporations that have created substantial impact on infrastructure across Sub-Sharan Africa.

After completing her EMBA at IMD in 2018, Manganyi-Rath co-founded Alma Clinic, a nurse-led medical clinic that leverages innovative technology solutions to increase primary care services to low-income communities in South African townships.

The startup empowers local communities through ABEOCARE, a software application that allows patients to own their health data. Manganyi-Rath’s dream is for young girls in South African communities to take control of their health—particularly their reproductive health—through reduction of teenage pregnancy and by committing long term to education and self-reliance.

Because women can spend a quarter of their monthly salaries on health services, Alma Clinic’s 50-percent cost reduction benefits thousands of women while allowing them to take preventative health measures and address reproductive health and child mortality. Manganyi-Rath also aims to empower women who are often underrepresented and face limited career growth in the nursing profession with opportunities to lead their own clinics via a franchising model. 

Upon completing her studies at IMD, Manganyi-Rath had an opportunity to rethink how she could treat communities as active partners and how technology could create new business opportunities that generate not only monetary value but social and environmental value, as well.

With Alma Clinics and ABEOCARE, Manganyi-Rath transformed a B2B to a B2C, where she achieved her lifelong dream of connecting health services directly with patients. Through her leadership, the Alma Clinics educate communities about life-threating but preventable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. Many patients with previously unmanaged chronic conditions have improved their health because of the clinics’ technological innovations and health interventions that align with cultural conditions. 

Manganyi-Rath’s mission was to start a business that would enable young South Africans could find a learning environment while working and serving their communities. More than 55 percent of South Africa’s population is under the age of 30 and is confronted by an economy that has been in decline for the past decade, leaving many young graduates hopeless about their future and finding good, satisfying jobs. The business model Manganyi-Rath created allows each clinic to employ eight skilled young people. These professionals have the opportunity to learn from each other with a coach who supports them in their role and with leadership development.

Many of the principles applied in the Alma Clinics business model were acquired through Manganyi-Rath’s entrepreneurial journey and EMBA training at IMD. Future plans include expansion to seven other African countries, with 45 clinic outlets empowering more than 500 young healthcare leaders by 2026.