In an exclusive conversation with NewsX in a special segment, NewsX A-list, Dr Peddireddy Sridhar, CEO of the Omega Hospitals group catches up with us. With 20 plus years of service in Oncology, Dr Sridhar shares his experience in healthcare and his leadership journey.

Describing the unique leadership skills that he has acquired over the years, Dr Sridhar shares, “It’s very important to lead from the front. That’s what I’ve always done. I am an extremely aggressive and tough leader when it comes to deadlines, but still if one sees my core team they have been with me for the last 18 years. The reason is though I am tough when it comes to work,  I’m also very compassionate to make sure I’ve had them like hold their hands in all their ups and downs and that’s what actually matters.”

“They need the support of their leader from the back, which I believe I have done really good all these years apart from that it’s very important to understand people in your team, see what abilities they have which might encourage them to become leaders, to pull them into good managers because money is not always the motivator. But we need to give them the scope to grow in their careers.”

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Opening about his journey and a high point in career, Dr Sridhar said, “People should always know when to enter and exit so I will tell my two high points. To start with the exit high point, I started my career in 1998 with probably one of the largest tertiary semi-government hospital, and during that period, I had a permanent job, and increment every year. But what happened is, after working for five to six years in the organisation I understood that this is not going to give me a platform to really show showcase my talent and potential.”

“So one fine day I decided to quit and joined a very small NGO with less than 40 employees. My reason for joining it was because it had some great potential and projects, which I thought will help me to really strengthen my grassroots knowledge of healthcare which would be important for me later in the career. That decision really changed my perspective towards healthcare and I learnt a lot of things during that period.”

With 20 plus years in Oncology, Dr Shridhar mentions how he decided to come back to mainstream administration in 2002 and took up oncology, “The reason is, I was sure that oncology is one sector which is going to grow leaps and bounds in next 30 years. And also when one see any cancer patients, they come with a lot of trauma both mentally and physically so apart from making a good career, I also could get a platform to help people and therefore I took the decision of entering into oncology as an administrator.”

Sharing his overall mantra as an expert in setting up new companies and taking them to new heights, Dr Sridhar says, “ It’s not a mantra but there is a particular bug in my mind where I can’t keep myself free, I need to have hands-on work on a regular basis, but what happens is when starting a new brand there is a lot of work in the first three or four years in terms of  establishing service in place and financial issues are too up there so you’re owning a lot of risks.”

“Now I am associated with three major brands, Omega hospitals, Renova Hospital and Ziva IVF. Omega hospitals are like my mother organisation. I have been here for the last 10 years though the team has been working together for the last 16 years. After five to six years of starting Omega, I felt I’m getting a little free. Then I got this idea of Midland Multispeciality brand.”

Public Healthcare in India especially in tier 2 and smaller cities made him realise the importance of multi specialities and that idea motivated him to set up small Midland Hospitals on the periphery of Hyderabad. “Most of the major healthcare providers are located in major metros or cities, for example in Hyderabad where I come from, most of the major corporate hospitals are located in two major locations. If a patient comes from the periphery of the city to a big corporate hospital it will be taking more than two hours. In case of emergency, the treatment outcome changes because one is losing the golden time so that is when I thought I should start a model where I put small hospitals and multi-speciality hospitals and on the periphery of a big city. In just one year, I have already started four hospitals and I’m in the process of setting up another  three hospitals.”

The doctor believes that health care should be available within five to 10 kilometres. The general public should not be forced to travel so much. “I started this model for the public and  probably by adding another three to four hospitals I will try to cover the entire peripheries of Hyderabad and following which will try to reach out to another tier 2-3 cities and If I can succeed, then I will take this model to different cities of India.”

Touching on the importance of corporate social responsibility, Dr Sridhar in a very inspiring way says, “It should come from your heart and not be forced by the government in terms of policies.” On an ending note, the doctor says CSR is extremely crucial and when one is settled at a particular level in life they should look back and give back to the society. “As a part of that, I’ve started my own foundation one year back through which we’re trying to help underprivileged people in areas of health, education and sports.”

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