The Reddy Sisters: Four Pillars of Apollo


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India got its first corporate hospital, Apollo in 1983, which is popularly renowned as an architect of modern healthcare in India for revolutionizing the sector. Although Dr.Prathap C Reddy has established it, his four daughters Preetha Reddy, Sangita Reddy, Suneeta Kamineni, and Shobana Reddy stood as a pillar of support in building the $2 billion worth empire. The four sisters jointly assisted their father in every aspect of the business, from marketing to project management to fundraising. Being part of every operation and micro-managing certainly them has indeed aided the hospital to emerge as one of Asia's largest chains. Initiating with just 150 beds back in the 1980s, it now has evolved to 8,420 beds across 51 hospitals all over the nation. Also, owns 100 neighborhood clinics and 1,500 pharmacies.

Over the years, the ambitious daughters of the medical maven have taken responsibility among themselves that would feed their passion award them their desired designation. Preetha, the eldest of all, serves as the Executive Vice Chairperson, manages the company day-to-day. Second daughter Suneeta serves as the Joint Managing Director handling finance. Shobana Kamineni serves as the Executive Vice-Chairperson and monitors pharmacies and insurance, while Sangita is also a Joint Managing Director who oversees clinics, education and telemedicine.

Apollo Hospitals' revenues have almost doubled and approximate to $691 million as of 2013, and the profits have tripled to $56 million. Consequently, market capitalization had touched $1.9 billion. Father and daughters together own about 34%.

Speaking about his daughters, Dr. Prathap Reddy is known to often remark, "In earlier days, people used to say, 'Poor Reddy has four daughters and no son to help run his company'. Today, I proudly say that it is my four daughters who run the entire group and it is growing fast. Each of them has performed outstandingly in her respective field."

Scions Take Charge 

Being the firstborn, it was obvious she lead the corporate hospital. Stepping into the venture as joint managing director in 1989, she swiftly gained control and got promoted as managing director, solely responsible for planning, designing, and funding the hospital's new projects. While serving as the managing director, the hospital witnessed a sizeable growth. Under Preetha and her sisters' leadership, the company's profit grew from 110 crore to 3,861.6 crore. They have played a vital role in pushing to the group to qualify for ISO 14001 and 0991 certification. Also, it is notable under their administration, Apollo's five hospitals located in Chennai, Delhi, Dhaka, Hyderabad, and Ludhiana obtained the Joint Commission International accreditation, which is a gold standard in global healthcare.

The Reddy sisters got the opportunity to be trained into the family occupation early in life. Right after school, the sisters went to HM Hospital, where their father served, observed him closely, and gained insights into how healthcare was managed. The four daughters stepped in to help their father by monitoring work at construction sites and discussing with doctors and other hospital staff.

Preetha had always dreamt of being a doctor. However, destiny had different plans for her when she went to the US with her father. Eventually, she ventured into a research position. Later, she chose a course in chemistry, married industrialist Vijay Kumar Reddy at the age of 19, and pursued a master's course in public administration from Madras University. At the same time, when Preetha was a raw recruit. She was requested to help resolve a strike called by the employees and she succeeded in doing so swiftly. 

Shobana has been monitoring the group's pharmacy and insurance businesses and spearheading Apollo Pharmacy. She would monitor the planning, design and execution of new projects and the Apollo Global Projects Consultancy, its hospital consultancy division. She would also endure to be the whole-time director of Apollo Munich Health Insurance, a partnership between Apollo Hospitals Group and Munich Health.

Likewise, Suneeta is handling the day-to-day business of the hospitals and continues to manage the company's financial facet. She heads corporate strategy, finance, funding, and investment and leverage mergers and take overs to optimize profitability. She navigates the hospital vertical and handles the brand and marketing of Apollo Hospitals.

On the other hand, Sangita has been supervising the company's IT initiatives and the clinics network. Her role also includes developing an IT-enabled patient-centric operation across the Apollo network. She continues to play a vital role in the company's research, innovation and healthcare initiatives. She would also forefront retail health, including health and lifestyle under Apollo Health and Lifestyle, which runs the clinics and mother and baby care brand Cradles. She also heads the human resource department and IT functions across all divisions and will continue to be the chairperson of Apollo Knowledge, the group's education vertical.

Rekha Shetty, the former vice-president, Apollo Hospitals, said, All four sisters are hardworking and seldom take any time off. They are very good friends and very close to one another.

Rafeeque Ahamed, a board member, Apollo stated, "More than sisters, they are very good friends." They are uncompromisingly close and influence one another in every possible way. 

Indeed, the Reddy sisters are an ideal example of unity in integrity. Apollo's epitome clearly describes the sisters' hard work and perseverance.