Medically, we did very well because a large part of my team of about 150-odd people, comprising doctors, nurses and technicians, moved with me from Escorts to Apollo. Patients also followed very quickly. At the same time, Medanta was being built so there was a lot of excitement all around.
I would say that the move from Escorts was undoubtedly a displacement, but we survived it with a smile. I and my team came out only stronger. We didnt feel the transition to be tough. Maybe we were too busy and optimistic. But on the whole, it worked out well for all of us. I am thankful to God and to Dr Reddy for giving us a home for the period that we were in transition.
You spent 20 years at Escorts. What was the rationale behind moving out and establishing Medanta
I went to the US in 1989 with the belief that whatever the new frontiers of medicine are, I want to learn them and come back to India. That was the stated goal of going there. But there everybody said why was the technology not available in India. Thats when I and Hari Nanda decided that we will build a heart institute. I moved back to India and we built Escorts Heart Institute and grew it as everybody knows. In 2003-2004 I felt the need to build an institution that is a leader in technology, methodology and research, which is what Medanta represents.
But the parting from Escorts was far from cordial...
The idea was not to leave Escorts. The idea was to create the next standard and perhaps Escorts and Medanta can work together. But at some point, when Rajan Nanda got into trouble, he sold it overnight. The new owners felt there was a conflict of interest between Escorts and Medanta. In my mind, I didnt see any conflict. But, unfortunately, there was disagreement on that.
What are the values on which Medanta is established
I wanted to build an institute that cut across all specialties and was led by the worlds best doctors. The desire to teach and do research and the best ethics was a condition. Collectively, I cannot think of any other institution that has so much brain power and skills to be able to deliver healthcare at the highest level.
How do you ensure that your employees stick to the values
There are three things to it. First, the idea is to find the right kind of people. One can serve people and still make a very good living. Thats the wisdom. The second thing is to put the right kind of systems and processes in place so that people do their respective jobs in the right manner. Third, monitoring them, which is a daily event.
If you look at Medanta, we are all like a family. We are in touch with each other and see each other all the time. Nothing is hidden, everything is in the open and transparent. This leads us to the most principled and ethical way in which medicine can be practiced. So far from that point, everything looks very good.