Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 67

The Best Management Lesson I Learnt ‘Meet Expectations’ Every decision & investment must be dictated by the wishes of the consumer, and how our actions will deliver on his/her expectations. BY DR. PRATHAP C. REDDY Chairman, Apollo Hospitals It was the early 1980s, long be- fore the era of consumerism set in. Qual- ity healthcare in India was the privilege of a few. If you couldn’t afford to travel abroad for treatment, you would prob- ably die. The death of a 38-year old pa- tient of mine, only because he could not afford $5000 to go overseas for a coro- nary bypass surgery, galvanised me into action. I thought to myself, “How many more will lose their dear ones for mon- etary reasons, and why should they?” Only the powerful and rich had access to good healthcare. I told myself that I would build the best hospital in the country, which would have the most advanced treat- ment options, so that no Indian would have to travel abroad for treatment. I wanted to prove to the world that Indi- ans are global citizens, second to none, and that we had the potential to deliver the best clinical services possible. I t was an audacious dream, given the stark reality of the regulations in In- dia at the time, the difficulty of rais- ing capital, and the talent vacuum. Sure enough, very few people believed in my vision. I was even called crazy when I said we could bring world class health- care to India. There were reasons for the pessi- mism – regulatory and policy barriers against the notion of private, profession- ally managed corporate hospitals were strong. It took me almost three years and over 50 trips to Delhi to get the required permits, but ultimately in 1983, the then President of India, Giani Zail Singh, in- augurated our first hospital in Chennai. January 14 I 2018 I BUSINESS TODAY I 67