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BW Businessworld

The Healthcare Leader

Ayushman Baruah profiles Suneeta Reddy, the dynamic MD of Apollo Hospitals

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Suneeta Reddy is the second among the four daughters of medical maven Dr. Prathap Reddy who built Apollo Hospitals, the country's first corporate hospital in India in the 1980s. Over the years, the hospital went to become one of the largest healthcare chains in the country. During 2015-16, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai completed the highest number of Combined Heart and Double Lung Transplants in India and also successfully performed a Combined Heart and Lung Transplant on the second oldest patient in the world.

Today, Suneeta is the Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals, one of Asia's most popular and largest healthcare providers. A member of the founding family, Suneeta started working with Apollo Hospitals in 1989. Under her stewardship, Apollo Hospitals has emerged as a forerunner of integrated healthcare and it has a robust presence across the healthcare spectrum; the group has touched the lives of over 45 million patients who have come from 121 countries.

Last year, Suneeta said that Apollo currently has about 7,000 operating beds and the challenge is to fill up the 1,600 beds that have been added at a cost of Rs 1,300 crore. "But we are seeing a positive trend here, where we have moved from a loss of Rs 8 crore to a profit situation where we are now showing Rs 4 crore profit. We have really shown some traction in the new facilities and I believe that in the next quarter it can only get better as more move towards becoming EBITDA positive," she said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

Spearheading the finance and strategy functions, Suneeta was instrumental in bringing the first FDI (Foreign Direct investment) into healthcare in India and subsequently in taking the organisation to the international equity markets through a successful GDR (Global Depository Receipt). It has been her deep domain knowledge and foresight that has guided Apollo's emergence as a formidable, financially sound hospital enterprise. In her extensive career, she has overseen several greenfield and brownfield projects. She steered the Apollo Reach Hospitals model to fruition and this was commended by World Bank as an innovation redefining both healthcare and healthcare design. Now, with a clear focus in making the company future ready, Suneeta is heading efforts to move Apollo Hospitals into a digitally enabled organisation.

In addition to her responsibilities at Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd (AHEL), she is a Director on the Board of Apollo Munich-Re Health Insurance Company Ltd. She also serves on the board of several Apollo Hospitals' Group companies. Through her close involvement, effort and patience, she has guided these companies on a path of growth and profitability. She is also the Chairperson of Aircel Cellular Ltd.

A key influencer in the Indian healthcare industry, Suneeta is widely recognised for her contributions. She has held leadership positions including as co-Chairperson of Healthcare Sub Committee - Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and is a member in National Committee on Healthcare. She is also a member of the Harvard Business School India Advisory Board (IAB) and the Harvard Medical School Advisory Board.
Suneeta received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations, Economics and Marketing from Stella Maris College in Chennai. She holds a Diploma in Financial Management from the Institute of Financial Management and Research, Chennai and has completed the Owner / President Management Program at Harvard Business School (HBS), Boston, USA.

An avid fitness enthusiast, she is very mindful about healthy living and following a balanced diet. A compassionate and caring individual, Suneeta has provided financial aid to innumerable underprivileged patients, especially to children ailing with thalassemia.