InPicture: The GCC’s 100 Most Powerful Indians 2014 - Healthcare and Education
We present the most influential men and women of Indian origin who are making a difference in the GCC’s business and industry today.
5. BR Shetty
\nBR Shetty made the headlines again with his eye-catching takeover of exchange giant Travelex this year. If anything, the deal proves Shetty’s determination to keep on building what is already an impressive portfolio of businesses. Shetty is pretty much an institution in his own right having created one of the UAE’s best known medical outfits. He is considering opening hospitals in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with further expansion across the MENA region once political stability returns.
\nIn an interview with Arabian Business recently, the chairman of the group said the company could use cash generated from the business, or else it has the option of bond issuances and additional loans. “In about three years’ time, we plan to open one hospital in Doha and one in Saudi [Arabia]. In Saudi they give the land but also give some money. We have been approached by so many people, but we don’t have anything planned yet. When the political situation improves we might look at the MENA region,” he said.
20. Dr Pramod Warhekar
\nDr Warhekar has gained a reputation as one the planet’s finest eye surgeons. He specialises in a range of techniques and procedures including Lasik eye surgery. Warhekar trained in cataract surgery, glaucoma and laser surgeries in various hospitals in the UK, India and Canada and has recently worked as a consultant in Riyadh. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.
22. Azad Moopen
\nThe story continues for Azad Moopen, founder and chairman of DM Healthcare, who is looking at listing one of the UAE’s biggest private healthcare providers in the next two to three years. He’s also in the middle of financing a $300m expansion drive across the Gulf, with a similar amount set aside for growth into India. It’s all a far cry from 1987, when Moopen came to Dubai and set up his own clinic.
\nOver the next 20 years, he established a chain of healthcare facilities across Asia and the Gulf, under DM Healthcare (Dr Moopen Healthcare), which today employs about 2,000 people in the Gulf, and serves more than 3 million patients a year.
\nElsewhere, DM Healthcare is also working on a project to provide 3,100 hospital beds in Kerala via eight different projects. One of the projects is Aster Medcity, a hi-tech healthcare destination being developed in over 40 acres of land in Kochi.
30. Dr Shamsheer Vayalil
\nLifeline Hospital Group
\nShamsheer Vayalil Parambath could have been just a doctor, though a good one at that.\nHaving pursued his medical degree at the prestigious Sri Ramachandra Medical College in his native India and completed training in radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, he started his career as a radiologist at Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi.
\nAged 30, he set out to establish a truly integrated healthcare organisation. From just one hospital in Abu Dhabi in 2007 to eight operational hospitals in 2013 across UAE and Oman to industrial medicine for over 250,000 workers; from pharmaceutical manufacturing to a pharmacy retail chain; he has founded and heads more than ten organisations.
33. Thumbay Moideen
\nBy 1997, Thumbay Moideen had been travelling to the UAE on business for five years. A third-generation businessman, he was well aware of the Gulf state’s growing acumen for money-making opportunities.
\nBut it was not until a chance meeting with the ruler of Ajman, Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, that the middle-aged father of two decided it was time to move.\n“It was an accidental meeting \nwith His Highness,” Moideen told us last year.
\nThat meeting resulted in Moideen setting up the Gulf Medical University. Nowadays, the group employs more than 1,500 staff, and is hoping to hire more than 7,000 in the next five years.
18. Sunny Varkey
\nSunny Varkey is the brains behind GEMS Education, one of the largest private school operators in the world for students from kindergarten to grade 12. Under Varkey’s leadership the group morphed from a single school, Our Own English High School — which he established in Dubai in 1980 — to an operator that oversees 50 schools across 19 countries in the Middle East, North America, Africa, Europe and Asia.
\nHe established the Varkey GEMS Foundation, a philanthropic trust — which is chaired by former US president Bill Clinton — and introduced the Guruvar Awards in India, which honours over 144,000 teachers in around 3,000 schools across 45 cities in India.
\nEarlier this month, Varkey sold a “significant minority stake” in GEMS to a group including Blackstone, Fajr Capital and Mumtalakat for an undisclosed sum.
35. Tidu Maini
\nQatar Science and Technology Park
\nIt’s been another good year for the diamond expert Harshad Mehta, who has more than 40 years experience in the jewellery industry. Born in 1947, his understanding of the diamond industry has allowed him to build a huge network of companies in 15 countries employing more than 15,000 people.
\nMehta is also the vice chairman of Dubai Diamond Exchange, chairman of the Governing Council of LIFE, an organisation comprising Saurashtra Medical and Charitable Trust and the Indian Medical Scientific Research Foundation.
51. Kamal Puri
\nSkyline University College
\nKamal Puri, the president of Skyline University College in the UAE’s cultural capital, Sharjah, actually began his journey to contribute to the region’s education sector with the launch of the Skyline Institute in Kuwait.
\nWith Puri’s leadership and more than 20 years of operation, the Skyline University College in Sharjah is now one of the finest colleges in the Northern Emirates.
\nEstablished in 1990, SUC was established under the patronage of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, the member of the UAE Supreme Council and the ruler of Sharjah.
60. Poonam Bhojani
\nPoonam Bhojani is fast becoming known as the top education boss in the Dubai, with Raffles International School, Dubai International Academy and Collegiate American School all performing hugely well under her guidance.
\nShe also currently serves as the president of the Middle East IB Association of Schools and the Secretary of the Dubai Private Schools Group.
\nPoonam Bhojani is an Economics Honours graduate with an MBA from India’s premier business school, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.