Adopt values, not shortcuts: Dr. B.S. Ajaikumar’s clarion call to entrepreneurs
Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Abbas Vagh, K.B. Ganapathy, B.R. Pai
Mysore/Mysuru: Dr. B.S. Ajaikumar, Executive Chairman, Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd., has given a clarion call for the entrepreneurs to stick to values than taking shortcuts, to stay afloat in the realm.
Delivering the keynote address on the topic ‘Excellence Has No Borders’ during the inauguration of two-day TiECON Mysuru 2023, the annual flagship event of TiE Mysuru organised at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in the city last evening, Dr. Ajaikumar recalled some of the instances in his life, where there were compelling situations to get the job done at ease by greasing the palms of others, but he was firm never to indulge in such practices, by telling unto himself — Not Over My Dead Body. If one takes shortcut for success, there will be a day again, when we will be back to square one, he underlined.
TiECon Mysuru, one of the largest entrepreneurial conferences with the theme ‘Business Scalability and Sustainability,’ aims to bring together all stakeholders on a single platform.
Dr. Ajaikumar also gave a call to stop following the west including in the health sector, as there is a set notion to follow the foreign protocol. We have better infrastructure and laboratories, Indian genomic data, but still we wait to ape the west. We can’t be the followers everytime as we are capable to compete with the rest of the world. We have enormous life in health sector and can be a totally developed country in the realm, he added.
Cutting back to the year 1975, Dr. Ajaikumar said, “The situation in India then was different, as we never had knowledge of what it is to be an entrepreneur and the commitment of giving back to society. But, we had a compulsion to learn and the lure of a green card was very tempting to go (abroad).”
Before returning to India (from USA), Dr. Ajaikumar said, “I started practicing in Chicago and was attending to 150 patients daily. I later opened the door to partnership (with other doctors), to handle the rush. While it was in 80s, I started looking at India and announced the plan to my family members, who too came along with me. The cancer then was being treated using cobalt therapy. A 12-year-old boy at a hospital in Madhya Pradesh had to wait for hours to take the treatment. It acted as a spur to start Bharath Hospital and Institute of Oncology, famously known as Bharath Cancer Hospital, in Mysuru during 1986-87.”
He also remarked that “Whatever progress the country has achieved, it is mainly due to the private sector.”
Strongly denouncing multi-specialities in health sector, Dr. Ajaikumar said, “According to my personal point of view, we have to practice what we are good at and hence I continued to focus on cancer treatment, and turned down many such suggestions on incorporating multi-speciality facilities that came in.”
He also cited the example of Wipro Chairman Azim Premji who way back in the year 2007 had called expressing his interest to invest in healthcare, despite having everything at his disposal to venture on his own. Likewise, we should look at bolstering other ventures, he said.
As an entrepreneur, especially those in health sector, nobody can be perfect. The oncology care is changing rapidly at every 26 days. Even though Artificial Intelligence (AI) is much talked about, with an entrepreneur once making tall claims about machines replacing manpower in health sector, it’s not that easy, as nowadays cancer is diagnosed even among those sans vices that cause the disease, he asserted.
Before summing up, Dr. Ajaikumar told the wannabe entrepreneurs to never get bogged down by failures. The failures teach a lesson to ponder over the mistakes and sharpen the nuances to stay on the course. Better, one should learn to love failures, he said.
TiE Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony
On the occasion, TiE Lifetime Achievement Awards were conferred on Abbas S. Vagh, Managing Director, The Decorative Laminates India Pvt. Ltd.; K.B. Ganapathy, Founder-Editor, Star of Mysore and Mysuru Mithra and B.R. Pai, Chairman and Managing Director, VWF Industries Pvt. Ltd.
The awardees also shared their journey, which was full of hurdles, but the perseverance to achieve, gave the strength to brave odds, making them stand among the league of achievers.
Nagarajan Srinivasan, Chair, TiECon Mysuru 2023, delivered the opening remarks, followed by welcome address by Sudhanva Dhananjaya, President of TiE Mysuru Chapter.
Dr. Mahesh Rao, Co-chair, TiECON Mysuru 2023; C.K. Sabareeshan, Chairman of TiE Lifetime Achievement Award Committee; B.N. Pramodh, Chairman of TiECON Mysuru Media and Publicity Committee and other office-bearers were present on the occasion.