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Krishnamurthy Venkateswaran

Krishnamurthy Venkateswaran

Founder & CEO
Sanitas
 
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Handling Grievances
  • First I ensure that all my staff and management are paid above industry average money and provided with an environment that is motivational and inspiring to work in
  • Each employee is free to air their views, suggestions, ideas, grievances – what have you – without any fear to their department heads
  • Often they are resolved, nine times out of ten in the favor of the person with the grievance, at department level itself
  • If it is more serious than that it comes to me and I listen to the grievance and find a way to settle it fairly.  We have, so far, not had to engage any arbitrator for any grievance.  However, this does not mean that at all times everyone will be fair.  At the moment we are a young company with a close-knit team of just over 100 people. We are growing and soon there will be more people.  Conflicts are bound to arise.  We must be careful at the recruitment stage.  I select people who get a tick for all three points: “can do; will do; will fit”.  So far, I have been fortunate.  Let us see!
Family background
  • Born in a very humble middle class Tamil Brahmin (Iyer) family that struggled to make ends meet
  • Migrated to New Zealand twenty years ago and married a New Zealand girl
  • Both me and my wife are passionate wildlife and environment enthusiasts
Important career decisions
I am more a man of destiny.  I cannot claim to have planned any career for myself.  I am more of an adventurer.  I accepted whatever challenges came my way and made sure that I was the best man for the job.  In each assignment I identified core problem areas and fixed them to make my organization the best in the industry.  By the way, I have led a several firms in a variety of industries all over the world to excellence in their fields
Managing personal and professional life
  • I don’t.  Most people would claim to bring their “wealth of experience” to their work and, therefore, avoid mistakes and so on. I do not bring anything from the past to anything in the present.  I live in this moment and deal with the job at hand largely intuitively
  • I have made several mistakes both personally and professionally and continue to do so.  There is nothing wrong in that and one cannot consciously avoid them.  I do not look for perfection in my staff either.  I just look for talent, ambition, curiosity, honesty and a permanently positive nature.  These are enough traits to make any organization successful
  • I am a naturally creative, passionate and highly articulate human being who is incapable of keeping a secret. From childhood, I have been a natural leader in that people automatically looked to me for guidance.  They still do
Awards and Recognitions
  • Awards – none
  • Recognition – several media articles and accolades
Influenced by
Too many to name here.  But the House of Tata ranks very high. Then there is the philosopher J Krishnamurthi; Vandana Shiva; David Lange; Bill Gates; Mahatma Gandhi; Winston Churchill; Roosevelt, Rudyard Kipling and many more - for having inspired me to dream against all odds
My views on India Technical development
Indians are after quick rewards.  They do not have the patience for research and development.  How many companies invest in R&D and wait years and years with no guarantee of success?
Team Management
  • At the top of Sanitas we are just three people: myself (CEO), the CFO (a Tanzanian) and an Administrator (New Zealander). So we are very lean
  • Reporting to us we have department heads – Medical Officer in-charge; Matron; Lab In-charge; pharmacy in-charge; radiology in-charge; theatre in-charge; floor manager; IT head; housekeeping in-charge and so on
  • Every week we have CME (continuous medical education) sessions for all medical personnel
  • We hold regular staff meetings
  • We have a sports club; a reading club; a social club
Ensuring Growth
  • I begin by keeping fit (I am 58 years old) in body and mind and well informed in whatever industry I am engaged in
  • I am a master at recruiting people better than myself at all levels and in delegating responsibilities to the right people to allow me room to focus on growth for Sanitas.  There are several projects planned for the near and short term future
  • I am an ideas man and have just recruited a very talented researcher from New Zealand to study these ideas, do sufficient research and draw up business plans to bring ideas that are feasible into reality

My advice
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it” – Goethe
Current Job description
  • I am the founder and the CEO of a young hospital called Sanitas in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  Please visit www.sanitasmedics.com
  • I started this venture after understanding the needs of the nation and what gap I could fill.  Sanitas is a European Standards Hospital that offers world class medical services to the people in Tanzania at Tanzanian prices
  • I am also trying to stem the outflow of people to medical tourism overseas, costing enormous money to the local people and government, by regularly bringing the best brains from overseas to Dar to perform surgeries right here with the patients’ local doctor and family present
Tech Management matters more on
By and large they enjoy new toys and tools.  At Sanitas we have just installed new hospital management software that keeps our IT team occupied and out of mischief!
Excellence in Management
  • In the last one year Sanitas has become a reality from just a concept in the drawing boards
  • From starting as just a dispensary, we graduated to becoming a health centre and finally to a full-fledged hospital – all within the year
  • All the insurance companies have accredited us in this time and we have treated over 25,000 patients in the year
  • We are still some distance from breaking even but our revenues have grown and are growing very nicely
Leadership qualities
  • Integrity is the number one requirement
  • Vision is the next important requirement
  • A good leader should be like JRD Tata.  S/he should recruit people better qualified and able than themselves and delegate responsibilities
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