The last few years have been witness to the growth of a number of world class organizations in India. In technology, services, manufacturing and online commerce, the Indian entrepreneurial spirit has scaled new heights. While the starting point is to build a good product or service that is welcomed by customers, long term success has and will always come from an unwavering focus on quality, strong governance and ability to create an uncompromising culture.
Drawing inspiration from the millions of Indians who are helping build these new age organizations, we have set for ourselves the task to build a healthcare enterprise that will reinforce the quality obsession and organizational discipline that we want the modern day India to be representative of.
On the evening of 31st August, 2014 our maiden center off Bannerghatta Road in South Bangalore was formally inaugurated.
An eminent panel comprising of thought and action leaders from Public service, IT industry, Clinical ophthalmology and Enterprise management sciences graced the event as guests of honor and delivered their messages to a packed audience comprising members from the general public, media representatives, hospital management, staff and their families. The thoughts shared by the chief guests and our management during this landmark event, very neatly sums up the character of this organization and our aspirations. Transcripts of the same have been reproduced below for all our patrons who wish to know more about the promise this organization holds.
"The organization will focus on patient-centric initiatives, strong governance, clinical research, social outreach and employee career management in positioning for long term success."
We, at Akshara Eye Hospitals, are honored to welcome you to our new state of the art eye care facility.
The hospital has been conceived as a tertiary care center for Ophthalmology with the latest technology in place for the diagnoses and treatment of various eye diseases. It has been built with the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) guidelines in mind for infrastructure, work flow processes and operations management. The operation theatre complex is modular with laminar air flow and is fully equipped to perform advanced micro surgery.
As an organization we have given thought to what is it that we want to achieve and how do we go about doing it. We can see the vision and mission statements that we have set for ourselves.
Our vision is that we aspire to be an institution respected for our value systems and excellence in healthcare delivery. We want each patient who walks in to inherently expect highly involved and discerning care in a way that maximizes clinical outcomes.
And there are multiple areas that we have to focus on, to get where we want to.
We feel that one of the gaps in today’s healthcare delivery system is that patients are not sure they are getting the right treatment, and ONLY what is required.
A lot of this happens because they are inadequately informed about their condition and the available options.
Our patient centric initiatives would include explaining the disease and treatment options to patients, thus making them a part of the decision making process. This will help reduce information asymmetry to the extent required to bring in transparency in the relationship.
We want to develop processes and governance structure to ensure there is no incentive for anybody within the organization to act against the spirit of care giving.
Research will be our big focus area. We wish to be a research oriented organization in terms of clinical research and also partnering with individuals/firms developing indigenous devices which would reduce healthcare costs at all levels.
An objective that is very close to our heart is to be able to reach out to and provide quality eye care services to remote corners of the state. As part of this initiative, we are conducting a screening programme in Udupi district in the month of October 2014. And we are also in talks with some institutions in Bangalore to partner in reaching out to the disadvantaged people in nearby localities.
There are only a few professions in this world that are as noble as teaching. Not only does it add to the talent pool of the country, it also helps institutions ensure they share their learnings and vast knowledge developed experientially and academically. We intend to eventually embark upon the journey of educating post graduates in the medicine and surgery of Ophthalmology.
As you can see, we have set ourselves some very challenging goals, and key to executing our plans will be the single minded focus and participation from all our employees. We understand that they need to be equipped and empowered to help this organization achieve its goals. And this will happen only when we invest in them, when we create an ecosystem for them to learn, grow and perform. In summary, we need to be an equal opportunity, outstanding employer.
"Government is open to supporting new initiatives and ideas in making high quality healthcare available for people."
The Honorable Health Minister touched upon a number of important points while delivering his keynote address during the inauguration event. Some of his key messages have been mentioned below.
He highlighted the importance of establishing high quality eye care centers since eye problems are age related and prevalence can be high despite preventive programs. The Minister talked about how it was equally important to screen children as well as senior citizens regularly for vision related problems.
He mentioned there was paucity of high quality institutions who reach out to the society and conduct large scale screening programs. In that regard he assured the government was open to supporting and working with institutions like Akshara Eye Hospital to reach out to the society and eradicate preventable blindness.
The Minister talked about the importance of care giving with love and affection. He added that clinical perfection can only be completed when it is delivered with affection.
He concluded by wishing the Akshara team well and declaring it ready to serve the people.
"Personalized care giving and inclusive decision making is the differentiator for this hospital"
I would like to start by congratulating Dr.Ashish and the team who have got together here to create this wonderful facility. I know this is a big entrepreneurial venture for them and am sure all of us will be wishing them great success and there’s no question that this will be a grand success.
I got to know Dr.Ashish in context of the fact that I visited him as a patient. And I can share one thing about myself, when I go to see a doctor I probably ask more questions than any other doctor would face from any other patient..and I really got to see that he got involved with my issues and I came away feeling that he was genuinely concerned. A few months after that, Dr.Ashish got back in touch with me and this time he had a few questions. He came by and said, ‘How do you think I could make my life more meaningful? How can I create a greater impact?’ Sometimes, than answers are in the person’s own mind but you just want to bounce things off. And I could see that his dream was to create a facility and today he has made that dream come true. I was really delighted to see that as you start this hospital, you have already from the word go, decided to give back something. You know one thing about entrepreneurship is that people look for a purpose beyond just creating a business to create more wealth. And when you’re in a profession like this, you’re always giving back. But you have gone one step ahead from the word go saying that you will work with the underprivileged. That’s a commendable objective.
As a person who’s had the good fortune of having created an entrepreneurial entity, built up a couple of others literally from grassroots level and now having embarked on my latest venture which is Happiest Minds, there are a few thing that I’d like to mention. Any venture must have a differentiator, and even as I was walking around the facility as I came in..obviously today everybody has access to the best equipment, but this is a place where you’re dealing with people with a lot of concerns and anxieties. And I tell you, Dr.Ashish has already got the differentiator based on my own experience. When you make the patient a part of the process, explain to them the options, explain to them the possible outcomes, and they then become a part of whatever decision needs to be taken ..now that’s a great differentiator.
Secondly, this is a services business very much like us it is a people business and a key area here is attracting and retaining the best talent. I find too many hospitals where the staff seem to be playing musical chairs, you see them at multiple places in different times. I’m sure this team will pay due attention in this regard.
The next thing I’d like to mention is ‘Build for the Future’. There will be adversities, things will go astray. The largest reason why business entities fail is a shortage of cash. And some end up selling a large part of the value they’ve created at a very low price.
And lastly, a lot of management gurus will tell you that you have to learn from your failures. But I must tell you don’t dwell on your failures, there will be plenty of them. They only create a negative mindset. Build on your successes, that’s how you make your dreams come true, and I’m sure there’ll plenty of them too.
"Journey of a thousand miles will start with this not so small step"
I must start by appreciating the founding team for taking this very bold step. When you’re in a comfortable position as a professional especially in a country like ours where we’re repeatedly told that financial security is very important, to give up the comfort of a professional life and turn to a business venture requires a lot of courage and determination.
And in starting this hospital, they’ve demonstrated the same. I think it is commendable for another reason. Mr.Soota was talking about what the differentiator is for this business. The truth is as our life gets more complex and demanding we all need the services of a healthcare professional. The sheer fact is when you look around this area there aren’t many high quality healthcare centers, tells us that there is a need for this hospital.
Another commendable aspect is that it is a normal temptation for healthcare professionals to start a 500 square feet consulting facility, but you have taken the courage to set up a hospital of this scale. Only a few months back, the team started talking to me about this venture, and now I already see the whole place up and running, I commend you for that.
I was very impressed with the Director’s inaugural speech where you’re looking far beyond the short term. You want to engage in research, in teaching, in giving back to society. As the expression goes, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a small step..and this is actually a pretty significant first step.
I wish the team and this hospital all the best.
"An 'A' class institute with 'A' class surgeon.. moment of pride for people of Bangalore"
I bring greetings from Coimbatore and wishes for great sight for all of you
A is the first letter in the English alphabet list. A stands for A class and Akshara Eye Hospital is going to be A class with A class surgeons. In Tamil language there is a saying which means ‘Numbers and letters ie Akshara are the two deciding eyes for all mankind to make the best of life’. These sayings are quite apt for this occasion on the opening of this eye hospital.
I am proud to be present during this occasion of inauguration of a high class eye hospital in Bangalore. I really appreciate Dr.Ashish and Dr.Rohitha who I had the opportunity to groom in ophthalmology during their post graduate studies.
Plan to deliver affordable eye care without compromising quality is what makes this venture a commendable initiative. The people of Bangalore should feel proud and happy that a new institution has blossomed to deliver eye care with counselling to all sections of the society. It is an enormous task to combat blindness and visual rehabilitation with low visual aids to reduce economic burden on people – this is the need of the hour in India today. India has a blindness problem of very high magnitude. A National program for blindness control in Karnataka state was started in 1978.. The idea was to reduce the instances of blindness from 1.78% to 0.3% by 2010. The main cause of blindness as quoted was cataract at 69%, refractive errors 19.7%, Glaucoma 5.8%..surgical complications 1.2% and corneal blindness 0.9%.
The population of Karnataka is roughly about 5.2 crores and instances of blindness is 1.29%. The estimated prevalence is more than 5 lacs. To tackle this a joint effort of government and non-government institutions is necessary.
Trained ophthalmic surgeons are very few and to eradicate preventable blindness many such institutions are necessary. They can deliver good healthcare at affordable cost with high class surgeons. This is a boon for Karnataka at this juncture.
Preventable loss of vision should be treated at the correct time and with correct counselling to prevent future mishaps by addressing blindness due to diabetes, hypertension, cataract, glaucoma, squint, nutritional diseases to reduce economic burden on the society.
Genetic counselling and counselling for eye diseases is an art and time consuming, but the reward is great. This new institution should help eradicate refractive errors by executing outreach programs and screening camps in schools.. in partnership with government and non-government organizations.
Many a times people above age of 40 fail to get their eyes checked up. With master health check up plans for geriatrics, this team should take care of that.
Value added services in this hospital are noteworthy.. gene therapy, stem cell transplant, genetic screening and counselling will be addressed as research projects in this institution.
I wish a bright future for this organization in eradicating blindness from Karnataka state.
Conveniently located for people in Bannerghatta Road, Bommanahalli, Electronics City, BTM Layout, J.P Nagar, Jayanagar, Kanakapura Road, Akshayanagar, Begur Road, Banashankari and Koramangala.
Guided by an unwavering focus on our core values, we will promote an organizational ecosystem where only the highest of ethical standards, quality obsession, research orientation and patient centric processes will thrive, and will be institutionalized as an integral part of the culture across all our healthcare centers. Key to our social outreach will be our focus on designing and executing programs to deliver healthcare to the needy and disadvantaged. We will invest in our employees and empower them to be drivers of scale and innovation both within the organization and outside in their personal endeavours.
We aspire to be an institution respected for its value system and excellence in healthcare delivery. We want each patient who walks in to inherently expect highly involved and discerning care in a way that maximizes clinical outcomes.