Best SME in North East
Person: Tonmoy Das
Turnover (2009-10): Rs 22.21 crore
PAT (2009-10): Rs 1.19 crore
Business: Health CareExcellence is often a product of disappointment. The birth of Assam Hospitals can be traced back to the frustration of a talented professor at the Guwahati Medical College. The college was the first to introduce kidney transplants in the state in 1993-94, but it suspended the project abruptly after two years of successful surgeries. The project's architect, 40-year-old surgeon Tonmoy Das, felt stifled.
Three years later, Das and five relatives, all towering personalities in their fields, put in Rs 1,00,000 each to set up a health care service company with the help of a hospitals consultancy. They called it Assam Hospitals. Das decided to run the hospital as a company with an empowered board of directors so that he would not have to bother with the headaches of administrative duties.
The BT-Yes Bank SME Survey 2009-10 jury settled for Assam Hospitals from among the region's three contenders because there are not too many organised sector health care service providers in the region. It was also impressed with the board members, most of whom are big names in the Northeast.
Apart from kidney transplants, the 170-bed facility has introduced many medical procedures in the state. Some of India's well-known specialists in neurosurgery, paediatrics and cardiac procedures freelance at Assam Hospitals, although many of them still refuse to stay overnight in Guwahati because of their worries over the law and order situation. "Even I won't go to work in Kashmir or Afghanistan," says Das.
The biggest challenge is in attracting critical manpower. But the hospital has painstakingly built up a staff of around 600. Once they do sign up, retaining staff is easy - Assam Hospitals' intensive training schedules, including the ones at medical care facilities around the world, provide them ample opportunities to grow.
Next on the cards is a massive expansion. Land for a new hospital with 24X7 back-up in every department has been identified. The finances are being worked out.