The Visionary who Created Opportunity

April, 30th, 2009

Today marks the 111th Birth anniversary of the ‘founder of Manipal’. It is said the name ‘Manipal’ came from Manu-pala – small muddy pool. Others refer to it as a barren land of laterite stones in the 40’s. Today there seems nothing muddy or barren about Manipal as more than 12,000 young men and women train themselves at an internationally recognized University so as to lead professional lives in the future . The first step towards that transformation was taken by a doctor who on his mother’s insistence dropped plans to go to Hong Kong and instead set up Udipi’s first nursing home by 1925 and opened a school for the town by 1942. Not just that.


His entrepreneurship-driven mind and visionary efforts gave birth to the ‘Syndicate Bank’. It was with these achievements in his pockets that he desired to train aspiring doctors. It is documented that people of great stature scoffed and ridiculed him, but the man wanted to realise his dreams. His unbreakable spirit gave birth to India’s first ever self-financing, non-missionary private medical college on the laterite stones of the hilltop that came to be known as Manipal. Free India was 6 years old and like many other states of today, the state of Karnataka was not even formed. Infact by the time the state of Karnataka was born, the energetic man, then 58 years old, had begun an engineering college. The speed with which he was transforming the world around him made it obvious there was no stopping him. People who have been in his presence swear by the enigmatic aura that surrounded him –him, the Late Dr Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai.

Today the journey he started is passing through a destination which is called the Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG). It overlooks running of three well established Universities, close to 20 Super specialty hospitals, more than 1.5 Lakh students and 50,000 employees.

Exactly four decades after India’s first private medical college was established, Dr TMA Pai’s son Dr Ramdas Pai put in his might and efforts to give shape to India’s first Private University. Today the university has 21 institutions, some of them top ranked in the country. He also set up and pushed his group’s flagship hospital in Bangalore apart from hospitals in Mangalore and Udipi. Dr Ramdas Pai’s Son – Dr Ranjan Pai assisted and learnt from Dad’s first global footsteps. The ‘brick and mortar’ campuses apart from India have been established in Dubai, Malaysia, Nepal and Antigua. The Distance Education mode serves several centers across the Globe.

Dr TMA Pai -the grandfather, concerned about the ‘future’ set up a school in 1942- at a time when the voice of ‘Quit India’ was echoing the British-ruled Nation. The grandson-Dr Ranjan Pai’s latest venture – ‘Manipal K-12’ is preparing to set up 5 hi-tech schools by early next year and another 50 by 2015 – a time when India is considered to be one of the fastest growing economies. If the grandfather built an entire medical college and hospital in the middle of no-where, the grandson has set up India’s first retail healthcare business – outlets promoting health and wellness in the middle of ultra-modern shopping malls in metro-cities.

The middle class is apparently concerned over the rising cost of education in India. Among their kids- the younger- often rebellious crowd, Manipal is spelt as Money-pal. From Manu-palla to Money-Pal, the laterite stones have been resiliently holding fort. There is hardly anyone on this earth who is not pinched while setting loose his or her purse strings. Arguably, the government’s socialistic outlook has regrettably promoted such heavy subsidies that common man fails to realise the actual cost of education. Even those who pay their taxes and rightfully demand provision of higher education know that the government’s performance for the billion-strong crowd from a bird’s eye view – is least said-dismal. Thus the grudge when he or she uses the ‘opportunity’ provided by Private colleges at the actual cost of education. Deep down every student who has come to Manipal over the last 56 years knows that he or she could somehow afford and thus used the ‘opportunity’.
There is little doubt that men like Dr TMA Pai were visionaries who thought much ahead of their time.

What else would you like to say if a young doctor worked with grit and courage towards innovative solutions for high-intensity problems like illiteracy, ill-health and poverty. It speaks tons about the wisdom of an entrepreneur who advocated Public Private Partnerships and Women Empowerment at a time when the nation had begun its tryst with destiny with more than half its population struggling to survive. Perhaps, even today all this nation needs is Opportunity-creators to create opportunities; millions are readily and expectedly waiting to grab them.

Divvy Kant Upadhyay - Daijiworld Media Network Manipal
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Raj Sarkar, Denmark

    Wed, May 18 2011

    Words are not enough to describe what he did...
    I am a graduate from Manipal.. all I can say is 'HATS OFF' to this legend!

  • Richard DMello, Kinnigoli DK, Arizona USA

    Sun, Apr 17 2011

    I had the opportunity to meet Dr.Pai at Sanquelim GOA on 1st April 1963 which happened to be the day of inauguration of Syndicate Bank's first branch in GOA accompanied by Shri T A Pai another great visionary. Owesome to hear that catering for the inaugural function guests was personally ordered by Dr.Pai and it was limited to one fried snack and coffee so that no money is wasted. Probably he was the Chairman of the Bank at that time.What a foresight. What a Great Soul

  • Narayan Das, Thrissur

    Mon, May 03 2010

    On my own volition, 'I love Manipal'!

    and so naturally the man who built it.


    Sat, May 01 2010

    I am proud of mit student and a family of manipal,thanks to Dr T.M.A.Pai.Visited manipal after 30years and experienced the massive changes of manipal

  • Dr. Ranjan Upadhyaya, Village - Banasthali - Rajasthan

    Thu, Oct 01 2009

    I think the country still need more outstanding educationalist and novel to let the uptrends in basic education at the grass root level. The country is undergoing a commercialisation of the education which is not the need of an hour. The country is not able to use the young talents to merge the technology and knowledge which is the demand of the hour.

    The most scincie part of the education is that it is being doiminated by the legacy and by industrialist people who do not any touch and gripping on the subject. The world is changing fast and India can not survive without the young talent. The great thinker have to give platform to the young once so that they so there full wave in the ocean of the innovation and creation.

  • Ankur bhardwaj, Delhi/Manipal

    Sun, May 31 2009

    On this day i thank and appreciate this man of steel.....only hope that we are able to carry on his legacy...

  • donald, bangalore

    Sat, May 02 2009

     Dr TMA was a great visionary,Philanthropist,Educationist,a beacon of the whole DK fraternity and deserving candidate for Bharath Ratna.

  • Kiran, Manipal/USA

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    Excellent article and loved the old picture. Although it says Kasturba Maternity Hospital, it looks like the English Primary School which is now called Madhavakripa.

  • Victor Fernandez, Manglore / New York

    Fri, May 01 2009

    Thank You Dr. T.M.A. Pai & Family, for your wounderful work for the people of Karnataka. We are proud of you.

  • Walter Lobo, Bajpe/Boston,USA

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    Today, the vision of Dr. TMA Pai is integrating medicine and engineering around the globe. How wonderful it would have been if he were to witness the fruits of his labor. We all need to learn from him that vision is the corner stone of success.

  • vishwa, mangalore\usa

    Fri, May 01 2009

    One thing which is not written here is the constructive fight between Dr.TMA Pai and Mr.U.Srinivas Mallya. Because of this Mangalore turned to modern Mangalore. One built MIT another built KREC. Pai wanted Air port in Manipal. Mally built it in Mangalore. Both of these people's' love for their native land created two Jewels of Tulunad. Mangalore and Manipal

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    How inspiring is to read the adventure and accomplishments of a visionary! God uses ordinary people to accomplish extra-ordinary things. May God bless this institution to spread far and wide to enrich and educate millions of young people in the future.

  • S.M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, udupi

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    Dr. T.M.A Pai is a Bravo Person. When we feel to visit Manipal We always remembering him.

  • kaderashfak, mangalore/jeddah

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    Exactly four decades after India’s first private medical college was established, Dr TMA Pai’s son Dr Ramdas Pai put in his might and efforts to give shape to India’s first Private University. Today the university has 21 institutions, some of them top ranked in the country. He also set up and pushed his group’s flagship hospital in Bangalore apart from hospitals in Mangalore and Udipi. Dr Ramdas Pai’s Son – Dr Ranjan Pai assisted and learnt from Dad’s first global footsteps. The ‘brick and mortar’ campuses apart from India have been established in Dubai, Malaysia, Nepal and Antigua. The Distance Education mode serves several centers across the Globe.

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    Wish we had many TMA Pai-s in our rural India. Dr Ranjan Pai, think of the population of rural poor India. Over all development will make India a developed nation. 5% of India is enjoying everything but 60% of India is in utter disparity. Try to lift 10 to 20% of this sector, which will make a big difference.

  • Charles D''Mello, Pangala

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    Dr. T.M.A Pai is a great person. One has to visit Manipal to see the Massive buildings and quality of education and the quality of set up.

  • Navin Sinha, Patna/Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    Due to Dr.T.M.A.Pai a small town "MANIPAL" is  known  all over the India as well as in the world due to catering good Institutions, Banking and in Hospital sector. We are really proud of you Sir, for giving many opporunties for all and to learn many things.

  • Wilfred J. Lewis, Matpady-Brahmavar/ Manhattan-New York, USA

    Thu, Apr 30 2009

    Dr Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai was a visionary of exceptional intelligence and dedication. I recall grand celebrations of his 80th Birthday. In his speech Dr. T.M.A. Pai stated that his affection for India was the main reason for these educational establishments.

    He praised the leading role taken by Christian Educational Institutes in India and all over the world to educate the masses. They motivated me to serve the country in this way, Dr. Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai said addressing an open gathering at Manipal. Thanks Divvy Kant Upadhyay and daijiworld for this coverage.

Leave a Comment

Title: The Visionary who Created Opportunity

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.