After a stint of two years as the chief executive officer of Royal Enfield, Vinod K Dasari has announced his stepping down from the post to chase his ‘passion’ – affordable healthcare and skill development.
However, not much was discussed in public about what his future passion is all about, other than letting the media know that it will be a ‘not for profit’ venture. “It is still in a nascent stage. After being a business leader for several years, I wanted to give something back to society. The plan is to go ahead with the healthcare venture founded by my wife Sarita, who is a doctor,” Dasari told Business Standard. Before joining Royal Enfield, he was the managing director and chief executive officer of another major automaker Ashok Leyland since 2011.
On August 4, a new building of a 40-bed multi-speciality hospital in Nungambakkam in Chennai under Vijay Ganga Specialty Care Ltd (VGSC) and owned by Dasari’s family was inaugurated. Dasari said the hospital will start operations within the next 15 days.
“We will come up with more facilities depending on its success. We have invested only around Rs 75 crore for this facility. In the corporate world, what we have invested in this new venture may be a small amount,” he said. VSGC was established by Dr Sarita in 2009 and started as a small clinic in Mylapore in 2013. The new hospital would offer a network of comprehensive services that include primarily prevention and wellness, vascular services, nephrological services, urological services, general specialties, hospital care, diagnostic and treatment services.
“One out of five people in India is diabetic, one out of three have hypertension and my wife is an expert in that field. So how can we leverage her skill and my skill to build something together,” he added. Dr Sarita is a graduate of Karnataka Medical College, Hubli and did her specialisation in Internal Medicine from Aultman Hospital and super specialisation in nephrology from Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) in Ohio, United States.
The couple is also planning to expand VGSC’s dialysis technologist training academy, also known as Train4Life, to develop skills of students, nursing attendants, and current practicing dialysis technologists. “Why not provide training to people and help them build their careers, it will be part of the venture. We will be looking at any skill base that is required in the segment,” he said.
When asked about the not-for-profit model, Dasari said that for those who cannot afford treatment, a trust will take care of the expenses. Though moving on as a helping hand in VGSC, Dasari considers the success of his son Sanjay Dasari (and partner’s) agri-commerce venture WayCool Foods as one of the reasons behind his decision to give something back to the society. Chennai-based WayCool Foods is one of the fastest growing agri-commerce companies focussed on food development and distribution, and is expected to touch revenues of Rs 1,000 crore this fiscal.
When asked about his decision to quit the corporate world, Dasari turned philosophical. “My passion or gift is to create investor businesses. The meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give it away. How do I give it away. I can’t give it away to some NGOs. The best way to do it is to start something that grows. To give something back to the community, including employment,” he said.
Dasari will be replaced by B Govindarajan, the current chief operating officer of Royal Enfield as its CEO.