An accidental entrepreneur

Over the years, Dr Reddy has strived hard to build a company with a strong team along with Dr G.V. Rao.

A third generation doctor in his family, and Chairman of the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, one of the biggest gastroenterology hospitals in the world, Dr Nageshwar Reddy knew at a very early age that he would join the medical profession.

“I am not a true entrepreneur but an accidental one. I come from a family of professionals. Both my father and grandfather were doctors — eminent professors of pathology. My father ultimately retired as the Vice Chancellor of Kurnool Medical College and Director of Medical Services,” says Padmabhushan Dr Nageshwar Reddy.

Over the years, Dr Reddy has strived hard to build a company with a strong team along with Dr G.V. Rao. Today, AIG prides itself in “delivering affordable treatment” for millions across India and the world. “It is with the support of many friends and liberal donations that we started the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology,” says the doctor, who received the IMA Dr M.G. Garg All Time Achievement Award and Dhanvantri Award this year.

Talking about his journey in healthcare, Dr Nageshwar Reddy says, “During my MD at Madras Medical College, I got very interested in the field of gastroenterology and liver diseases. At that time, a new virus called Hepatitis B was discovered along with a vaccine for treating liver diseases, which would ultimately change the fate of millions of people. Similarly, gastrointestinal endoscopes came into existence. With these fascinating tubes, we could do major surgeries in the intestine without actually opening the abdomen. This was revolutionary for treating many gastrointestinal diseases, including early cancers.”

When Dr Nageshwar Reddy came back to India from Germany after receiving specialty training in gastroenterology, he joined the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences and later, the State Government services in 1984. “At that time, I realised gastroenterology was not given enough importance both by institutions and the society, unlike other specialities. Many felt that gastroenterology and liver diseases didn’t warrant a separate institution. But today, nearly 30 percent of the population suffers from gastrointestinal diseases like ulcers, cancers, chronic liver and pancreatic diseases. So, I decided to quit the government services and start a gastroenterology hospital catering to this large mass of patients,” says Dr Nageshwar, who credits his wife and daughter as being his greatest strengths.

“We have to make many sacrifices during this journey. Fortunately, I have an extremely understanding wife and daughter who have willingly given me time to create this outstanding institution,” he says.

An avid sportsperson who played cricket and tennis when he was a student, Dr Reddy admits that he misses playing sports. However, despite his busy schedule, he never fails to hit the gym. The fitness freak says, “However busy one is, one can easily squeeze in an hour for one’s health and well being.” Sharing his fitness regime, the 61-year-old says with a smile, “It’s 40-45 minutes of cardio while the rest is for muscle building.”

Under his leadership, AIG was established to ensure that everyone gets low cost treatment at a world-class facility. Having spent three decades in the medical sector, Dr Reddy admits that there are several challenges in this domain. “We wanted a low cost, high value business model which caters to all segments of the population and have been extremely successful in doing this in the last 15 years,” explains Dr Reddy, adding, “There are, of course, many challenges, including the need to consistently deliver high quality care at minimal cost and to continuously motivate the team to produce these results.”

Since its inception, the hospital has grown in strength and each team member has become nationally and internationally famous in their subspecialties. “With the help of our friends, we will soon open AIG in Gachibowli in early 2018,” shares Dr Nageshwar Reddy, adding that a dream has come true. AIG has been ranked as one world’s top five institutions by the World Endoscopy Organisation in Germany.

When I was seven or eight years old, my brothers and I were curious to know how a car runs on petrol. So we went inside the garage, took out some petrol and lit a matchstick... the whole garage went up in flames!

Another time, one sunny afternoon, I locked my brother inside the fridge! My father became very upset with me following these two incidents and put me in the hostel at Hyderabad Public School

USP: A large amount of research work is being done at AIG. More than 400 world class papers have been written and published in journals. Of course, some challenges still have to be met before AIG fulfills its promise of delivering high quality care to all sections of the population irrespective of their social or financial status

Passion: Dr Nageshwar Reddy likes to read books on philosophy. He is currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story