Half way down the curving road in Chennai’s upmarket bishop’s garden is a modest bungalow where the most powerful man in India’s healthcare industry has been living for the past several years. In the narrow porch, a Rolls Royce is parked bumper-to bumper with a BMW; one of the few trappings of affluence that Prathap Reddy, founder-chairman, Apollo Hospital enterprises ltd (Ahel), has allowed himself.
The household itself is bustling with activity, as the wedding of Reddy’s grandson (the son of his eldest daughter, Preetha Reddy) is just days away. Just before noon, Reddy appears from his Puja room, fully dressed for his working day. Though he completed 84 years earlier this month, he looks at least a decade younger.
A few minutes later, the rolls Royce sweeps out as Reddy heads for Sunnyside, the block of offices located just next to the Apollo main hospital, from where he runs his cradle to cremation ghat healthcare empire. Over the years, as the apollo hospitals group grew in strength and influence, Reddy has been variously described as the ‘Ambani of Indian healthcare’, the patriarch of India’s private healthcare sector and the man who single-handedly redefined hospitals and healthcare in the country. Given that Apollo was the first hospital company to be listed in the country’s stock exchanges, the fact that at least a dozen healthcare companies are now publicly held is clearly a vindication of Reddy’s e