‘I thought to myself—Hey if they can do it why not me’

By Our Reporter
Deepak Namjoshi with his family

Deepak Namjoshi talks to Namrata Thakker about his journey as a doctor-entrepreneur

Tell us a bit about your background.

I come from a simple middle-class family. I excelled in my education right from kindergarten till my postgraduate master’s in exams. I got a gold medal in my MD exam. Initially, the enthusiasm was towards doing engineering, but I changed track to medicine.

What appeals to you most about being a doctor?

When a doctor is working at 2am, it’s not only about money but service. Not many people are ready to pick up their phones at two o’clock at night and listen to people who have problems and try and sort it out.

What sparked the entrepreneur in you?

While studying to be a doctor, I taught at educational institutes to earn my own money. That’s when I thought—“Hey, if these guys can do it why can’t I”. So, I started an institute while studying medicine. It was called “Elite Tutorials”, and was a correspondence course for students of class 10 and 12, and preparing for professional courses.

We made a decent amount of money at the time and that gave me confidence. At the time, we were handling 4,000 students in tutorials, and had 400 school teachers enrolled with us who were helping us to do the paper setting, paper checking, etc. So handling a staff of 400 when you hadn’t even graduated gives you a lot of confidence.

By the time I entered my postgraduate, I bought a Maruti 1000 with my own money. So the journey of entrepreneurship started when I was studying to be a doctor.

“The other challenge I feel is labour. Labour laws are complicated, so there are many legal hassles to face”

Could you chart your career path as a doctor?

My first job was at Lilavati Hospital as an intensivist in the ICU, where I was paid on an hourly basis. I migrated to giving lectures in medical college. Then came the opportunity to start my private practice by renting polyclinic rooms in various hospitals.

Around that time I met a doctor who wanted younger shoulders to run his hospital so that is where the opportunity came to start a 20 bedded nursing home. It was the least place to start off with. The hospital started doing phenomenally well and as the number of patients grew, the OPD consulting rooms were also converted into patient care rooms. The popularity of the hospital became so high after that there was no looking back. Before I knew it I was running 100 bed hospitals. Today we have 210 beds and are looking at more opportunities to expand.

What are hardships you faced in order to reach where you are today?

I believe the biggest challenge is money. When I wanted to buy a hospital of my own, it cost a bomb, like a million Australian dollars. So when I approached banks for a loan, they wouldn’t believe that I’d be able to repay such a huge amount. Ultimately one of the cooperative banks agreed to give me a part of the money. I was determined to prove myself.

The other challenge I feel is labour. Labour laws are complicated, so there are many legal hassles to face.

What is your mantra for success?

Integrity in what you’re doing is what makes the difference. It is important to stay rooted. The dedication towards dreams not your dedication to academics that decides your future.

Watch the full video here.

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