Exclusive: Dr B R Shetty opens up on Udupi hospital project, 'Mahabharata' and more

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (ANK)

Mangaluru, Jul 2: Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, popularily known as Dr B R Shetty, is the founder and non-executive chairman Abu Dhabi-based NMC Healthcare, Middle East's largest integrated private health care provider, and chairman of UAE Exchange, one of the leading money transfer, foreign exchange and payment solutions company. He was listed in Forbes Asia Magazine as one of the top business leaders in the Arab world and also as one among India's 100 richest people.

Dr B R Shetty, who hails from Kaup in Udupi, was born to Shambhu Shetty and Koosamma Shetty in a traditional Tuluva family. A rare entrepreneur who believes in giving back to society in multiple folds, Dr Shetty is now engaged in the task of providing world-class hospitals to his hometown, in the form of Koosamma Shambhu Shetty Memorial Haji Abdullah Mother and Child Hospital and Shambhu Shetty Memorial Haji Abdullah Super Speciality Hospital under BRS Health & Research Institute Pvt Ltd, the foundations for which were laid by chief minister Siddaramaiah and President Pranab Mukherjee respectively.

In a first, the well-known NRI entrepreneur spoke in an exclusive interview to editor-in-chief Walter Nandalike on Daijiworld 24X7 channel's 'Public Challenge' programme.


Q: Congratulations on the grand foundation stone laying ceremony for the super-speciality hospitality in Udupi. There was a lot of objection regarding Udupi government hospital being leased to you. Do you feel that you commenced the project in the right way?

A: I know you (Walter Nandalike) since the inauguration of the first international flight from Mangaluru airport. Only we know the efforts made to make Mangaluru airport an international one. I wished to contribute in the making of Mangaluru International Airport. But there was a lot of objection. Later, the government of Kerala approached me during the construction of Kochi airport. I wholeheartedly helped them and today it is one of the best airports in the country.

In a similar way, I am contributing towards the said hospital due to the unconditional love I have towards my home town. My father was a municipal councillor and I had served as municipality vice-chairman. We have worked towards providing proper sanitary facilities, building concrete roads, schools, underground drainage and septic tanks which would improve quality of life within the community. I received the highest votes during the election for the second time and became vice-chairman for the second time.

In the bargain, I lost all my money, I was pauper. I took a loan from the bank. In order to repay the loan, I migrated to Abu Dhabi. I did not know anyone there, but thanks to the blessing of the royal family, I soon became the first outdoor salesman, medical representative of Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the UAE, gave me an opportunity and praised me for my work. He asked me to take over his hospital and after achieving all the success, I repaid my loans. When I was the chairman of the municipality, I had visited the 20-bed Udupi Government Hospital. But now, the condition of the hospital is pathetic. I brought it to the notice of chief minister Siddaramaiah and sent him a proposal of 200-bed hospital. I wanted to make it a super-specialty hospital to offer treatment for the poorest of poor at free of cost. I am not here to convince people, but to contribute. People from my own party stood against me, but the chief minister and health minister extended full support to help me construct the super-specialty hospital.

Q: Do you feel that information about your project was not conveyed to the people in the right way?

A: Why should I convince people? Am I here to gain profits? If I had done the same thing abroad, I would have definitely gained profit. If I am doing something good for people, then why should I have to convince people? In Udupi there were not many good health facilities, so I opted to dedicate this hospital to the poor without judging anyone on the basis of religion, caste and creed.

Q: What message would you like to give to the people opposing your hospital project?

A: Just this - I am not doing for money. I want to give resources and good facilitites to the poor. There are less doctors now. We will hold talks and ensure that doctors in all specialties are available. It is my passion, and once all this is done, they will understand. I don't have to go to each house to say this.

Q: You had announced the Jog Falls project worth Rs 450 crore in August 2016. What is the current status of the project and how will it benefit people?

A: Jog Falls is a natural resource. On my last visit there, I was upset looking at the place. So I decided to take over and added it to my CSR project where we can harvest water for 365 days and utilise the resources we have got. Work is already in progress and a consultant has been appointed. Even the central government has granted permission for the project. I request the government to help me in adding cultural heritage, organic food, convention centre, hotels and villas, where a large number of tourists can visit. Rs 450 crore is set aside just to restore the water. The project cost might reach up to Rs 1,000 crore. Money does not matter, we need to give our best to the project.

Q: The Rs 1,000- crore 'Mahabarat' movie you announced ran into controversy. Some pro-Hindu outfit protested against the title of the movie in Kerala.

A: I am a blind follower of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and no doubt he is the number one Prime Minister and a leader in the entire world. He has taken India to greater heights globally. A person named Sri Kumar approached me to make a film called 'Mahabharata'. I was pretty excited and thought Modi would be happy. Sri Kumar said that the budget of the movie would be Rs 750 crore, but I increased it to Rs 1,000 crore as I felt that it should be the biggest film in the world in all terms. I dedicate this movie to Narendra Modi. I handed over the script to Modi for approval as nobody will know Mahabharata better than Modi. The movie will release in all languages including foreign ones.

Q: Before announcing the movie, you were seen in a small role in a Kannada film.

A: What is life? Life is a drama. Acting was my passion during school and college days. I have even performed female characters. Earlier, Tamil producer Bharathirajan approached me and offered me a role in his film, which I refused due to objection from my family members. Later, Harish Sherigar from Dubai asked me to play a cameo appearance in a song which was good and suitable for me.

Q: You were listed in Forbes magazine as one among the top business leaders. In terms of business, you are ranked high in the Middle East and globally. What is the difference between worldwide business and business in India?

A: There is a lot of difference. I have got 65 hospitals worldwide in Spain, Italy, Columbia, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Denmark, Brazil and other places. But people here oppose me. I should not become a victim, but go on doing my job.

Q: You had put in a lot of efforts for direct overseas flights from Mangaluru airport. The airport is developing now. The late Dr V S Acharya when he was minister had suggested that an airport should be built at Udupi under PPP model. Recently minister R V Deshpande took up the issue and said that a survey is under way regarding the airport at Udupi. Do you have any information on it?

A: R V Deshpande clearly knows that it is a B R Shetty project. Efforts are on as the land is already available for the airport at Padubidiri.

Q: Chief minister Siddaramaiah inaugurated the NRI forum at Dubai recently. Could you tell us the benefits of the forum for NRIs?

A: CM Siddaramaiah delivered a good speech and gained the attention of all NRIs present during the occasion. He is a good chief minister and loved by all. He never asked me for any favour, but only appreciated me for my good work. NRI Kannadigas will benefit a lot from this forum.

Q: During the year 2006, you had plans of constructing a ring road in Mangaluru through Ullal-Sasihitlu-Bengre-Suratkal-Panambur. What happened to the plan?

A: A proposal regarding the same was sent to the government, but no one showed keen interest towards it. I am still interested to construct the ring road here in Mangaluru, but need someone to take up the initiative.

Q: What is your message to young entrepreneurs who want to step into the world of business?

A: Be positive, be passionate, be happy and be tolerant which is very important. Think you can and think that you cannot, as both are right. Always believe in delegating and stagnating. Do not indulge in business for the sake of money. Start a business with a motive of social service and money and success will automatically follow you.

Q: Any regrets in your life?

A: No regret at all. I am very positive man and satisfied with my life.

Watch Full Interview


Top Stories

Comment on this article

  • Mrs. Sujala Sathish, Udupi

    Thu, Nov 02 2017

    I m really proud of you Sir. Great job .. Definitely lots of karavali poor people will be benefited from your hospital. I wish you all best in all your future ventures..

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Mrs. Sujala Sathish, Udupi

    Thu, Nov 02 2017

    I m really proud of you Sir. Great job .. Definitely lots of karavali poor people will be benefited from your hospital. I wish you all best in all your future ventures..

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Wilfy, Kinnigoly/Abu Dhabi

    Wed, Jul 05 2017

    A very inspiring interview, being a long time fan of Mr. Shetty I am so happy to know the way he gives back to the society. I believe having a business of that level itself is a service to the society (unlike most of the NRI's keep building their bank FD's) because so many people get jobs, and specially the native people. I have personally seen he has that simplicity to talk with everyone. I wish all his projects get succeeded, I am specially looking forward to the airport at Padubidri and ring road which can attract more tourists to our coastal Karnataka there by our small local business gets flourished. Thank you Mr. Shetty and Mr. Walter for this wonderful interview. Not to forget, Walter your way of interview is really superb and you get all answers without any hesitation because of your humbleness. Long live Daiji !!!

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald D, Udupi

    Tue, Jul 04 2017

    I'm proud of BR Shetty. If governments support him fully, we can have some land mark projects and a great stepping stone towards the development of Udupi, Karnataka and India as well. All the best Sir!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dominic, Manipal

    Tue, Jul 04 2017

    Straight forward interview and has a positive desire in life. All the best in your endeavors & God Bless You.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • c. fernandes, mangalore

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    Govt. hospitals condition is really bad. Just have a look inside wenlock hospital. When generous people like Dr. B.R. Shetty come forward to help people of his home country we should accept it. Shetty is known abroad for quality service.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Stanley karkada, Mangalore/USA..

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    Dr, B.R Shetty is Great.......

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anonymous, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    After Manipal group, another feather in DK's cap.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramadas Acharya, Udupi/Pune

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    Dr B.R.Shetty's efforts to contribute liberally in the fields of healthcare,finance,tourism and cultural epics all are worth for his native land as well as for the nation.His recent projects in India are taking shape in Karnataka in the right direction. Wish him all the success! A true Non Resident Indian but he is really loving India and Indians!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Chetan S., Mangalore.India

    Mon, Jul 03 2017


    DisAgree [11] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    Great decision of Mr.Shetty to accept Udupi Hospital project.Congrats and all the best

    DisAgree [2] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Stany D'Souza, Mumbai / Bondel

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    Great work Dr B R Shetty. We are proud of you. Pray God bless you & your family abundantly.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rao, Udupi

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    If there is no political interference, BRS Hospital will be a game changer in Udupi Health Care.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • NR, mangalore

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    I like your interview Sir, god bless you & your family

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valson Mendonsa, Mangalore/USA

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    Great Job Dr. B.R Shetty, he is a icon and have great vision, he proved in his action what he believes.
    There are many millionaires in South Kanara district alone, if they think they can re-build the entire district 10 times but many of them have no vision like Dr.B.R. Shetty. God Bless you abundantly Dr.Shetty.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • vinay naik, mangalore/dubai

    Mon, Jul 03 2017

    Dr. B.R. Shetty is a role model for positive people

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Leslie, udupi

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    A great achiever...
    Nice human being with simple thoughts for common life...
    Shetru is the real pride of Tulu people...
    Life to come will always bless you Sir...
    Words of thanks are not enough to express your initiatives for general public...
    May God keep you among us for a long time to come...
    EER BODUYE....

    DisAgree [3] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Evans Christopher Sumitra, Udupi/ New York, USA.

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    Congratulations to Dr. B R Shetty. I have no words to express on your work you have been doing for the needy. This Udupi hospital project is one of them which was badly needed. I wish you all the best in all your future ventures.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Max and Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore, Houston/Dallas, texas

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    We are indeed proud of you, Dr. B. R. Shetty. Your accomplishments towards Health related projects, Tourism and also Philanthropy, and most importantly your dedication towards your Community and your country is truly noteworthy. Thru your own low profile attitude, you are contributing towards the smooth relations in the Arab World. You are dedicating in your own way and turning deserts into green valleys and creating a closer friendship and solidarity with the Arab World. We are proud of you and your commitment towards your country.

    Whatever you are planning and implementing in the Arab World as well as in India, you know the value of beauty and harmony, truth and goodness, work and dedication that is creating a role model to all others that watch you and admire you. Your affection to your society, your friendship, your aspirations to life and your worship is all part of the exemplary personality that you richly possess.

    We are proud of you, Dr. B. R. Shetty. Best of luck to you in all your future commitments in India as well as in the Arab World. We pray for your good health and happiness.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    Thanks and congrats to Padmashri Dr.B.R. Shetty.

    Jai Hind

    DisAgree [8] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    Thanks sir for good work.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • MV Shetty, Bangalore

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    Great work by Dr B R Shetty, sure poor people will be beneficial. Through out his free flowing interview, held no barriers in appreciating and thanking people who influenced Dr Shetty for what he is today. Pride of Coastal Karnataka.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raman, Manipal

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    Good initiative from Sri B R Shetty, I am glad that rich people who are Udupi now setlled abroad are coming forward to bulilt hopsitals for the poor. If every rich man decides to do that India will be a great nation, People who are opposing this move especially some Doctors are worried that there business will be affected. There is no other reason. Currently Hospitals in Udupi are charging like anything Once Dr Shetty starts this project for poor people all kinds of oppression by these private managements will stop. Thats why feel some people are woried, Otherwise this is a wonderful great project by Sri Shetty. I only wish others follow his example and make India a better place. If Shetty sir had decided to built same project anywhere else he would have made so much money, But Sri SHetty sir is using the money to built a Hospital here and has decided to serve the poor. Lets support Sri Shetty.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kusuma Kumari G, Kodyadka /Nellore

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    This is a great intaitive from Sri Shetty, Its a great help which should help the poor of Udupi. I really appreciate the effort from B R Shetty, Let many more rich people come forward and help poor people.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Daya Kirodian, Mangalore / Dubai

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    We Tuluvas are proud to have such an world famous iconic personality. Definitely lot of poor people will be benefited from his new upcoming Udupi Government hospital. Lot of families are sheltered under his company, and whole heartily he helps people who seeks job, specially hailing from Dakshina Kannada, new beginners who starts their careers, without any caste or creed. Myself and my family will always remain gratitude to Shettru, for the help we got during our bad days, & in return we can only pray to God to keep him in good health. Thanks to Mr Walter Nandalike & Daijiworld team for such an good interview.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sun, Jul 02 2017

    Karnataka's Pride ...

    DisAgree [9] Agree [53] Reply Report Abuse

Leave a Comment

Title: Exclusive: Dr B R Shetty opens up on Udupi hospital project, 'Mahabharata' and more

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. Daijiworld.com 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 Daijiworld.com be held responsible.