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Metropolis: 5-point someone

Dr Shah visited several labs abroad, realised that the crucial difference was their highly streamlined process of testing and decided to replicate it here...
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 02, 2008 10:16 PM IST

Got the idea from: Shah was dismayed by the condition of the pathology labs he worked in after he graduated from medical college. He wanted to create something better. But after starting his own lab, he still felt something was lacking. So he visited several labs abroad, and realised that the crucial difference was their highly streamlined process of testing. He was determined to replicate this here and make his set-up world-class.

Starting doubts: Dr Shah's own mindset - his aversion to risk - meant that his start was tentative. Shah also feels that he should have relinquished all his other posts sooner, even the one at the prestigious Breach Candy Hospital, and concentrated fully on his business.

Money problems: In order to expand, Shah decided to acquire labs, in addition to growing organically. For that, however, he needed funds. He managed to pay for these purchases with money that the business was generating, by forgoing dividends for three years. Eventually, ICICI Venture's private equity division invested in Metropolis.

Other obstacles: Some partnerships that Shah forged to expand did not work out. He realised that before forging such ties, he should have ensured they shared his vision.

Outstanding personal qualities: Self-critical: When people told Shah his labs were not world class, he did not become defensive, but decided to see for himself what was wrong. He also realised he should have relinquished various posts and concentrated on his business. Ambitious: Shah aimed high right from the beginning, which then drove all that he did.

Democratic: Every decision Metropolis takes is the result of discussions by two separate teams of experts. Humble: He knew he needed help. For instance, he realised he was just a doctor, not a marketing expert, so he hired one - his daughter.

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