When I came to Abu Dhabi in 1973, I was in debt at home. A friend of mine urged me to go to the UAE, so I got on a plane with just a few dirhams in my pocket and started my career as the first outdoor salesman (medical representative) in the country selling products to different health institutions, which in turn helped me get to know people. There was no private medical service at that time – it was all paid for by the government – so I took the initiative to set up a diagnostic clinic in 1975. I started with one room and slowly built up from there.
I have a passion for quality healthcare and a desire to serve society, and three decades on the New Medical Clinic has flowered into a multi-activity conglomerate encompassing a diverse spectrum of businesses. I am also involved in pharmaceuticals, medical scientific equipment, cosmetics, hospitality, IT, advertising, real estate and jewellery, among other things. My nomination for the Middle East Entrepreneur Award last December was a great honour and I think my story proves how much a single person can do.
You do not need thousands of dirhams, but a great idea and a lot of determination. Being in the right place at the right time has helped me traverse the journey so far and that journey is continuing.
Loyalty, discipline, integrity and hard work are the four key words for success. But above all else, it is important to maintain a connection with public service through endeavours that will add value to people because it is they who will ultimately determine your future.
(Dr B Raghuram Shetty is the CEO and Managing Director of the NMC Group)
Ideas and determination: the winning formula