“Decide or Discuss but don’t do both” says Dr. A. Velumani

CODISSIA in light of entering its 50th year, hosted its Golden Jubilee Commemorative Lecture recently. It was held in the Food Court of the CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex.

Dr. A. Velumani, Creator and MD, Thyrocare was the Chief Guest. He addressed the gathering and spoke on the topic – ‘Focus and Prosperity’ which highlighted the incredible ‘rags to riches’ adventures of his life that in turn covered a multitude of ideas like Seeking Thrill, Taking Risks, Disrupting the Market, Creating Employment and a lot more interesting themes.

Dr.Velumani began his lecture with a cheerful greeting and said he likes to see the smiles on the faces of people because smiles give life and without it, moving on with our lives wouldn’t be that easy or enjoyable.

Throughout his lecture he was charismatic. He unfurled to the gathering his life. The short version of his life could be put in this way- He was a poor guy from a humble village who stormed the Stock Exchange. Now to the elaborate version; this wonderful human being has had several ‘romances with risks’ but it was his determination that has given him tremendous success.

Did you know Dr.Velumani’s was born poor but has now made himself the owner of Rs.3300 Crores? He is one of the top 150 richest men in India all because of his focus, calculated risks and the will to lose a little to build a lasting triumphant empire.

We have heard so many rags to riches stories in the past but this story is an eye-opener everyone can get inspired from. The foundation of Dr.Velumani’s success stems from his mother who taught him a valuable precept; ‘Never be a borrower’.

Dr.Velumani credits poverty to his rise. He said “I had the luxury of poverty”. He studied in a government school near his locale and would sit on the ground. His mother reared cattle.

The milk from the cattle was the prime income source of the family. His mother fed the family comprising of 5 children without being a debtor. It was tough, the family didn’t have any personal transportation aid and his mother had to walk from Appanaickenpatti Pudur to Sulur market and while returning, she had to go on foot so that she could save money for the essentials.

“When people ask me where I learned Business Administration, I tell them I learned it from my mother” Dr. Velumani proudly said.

He says that his village was the university that taught him problem solving skills. Oxford, Cambridge and Stanford could teach the best Business Administration theories but a village is truly the place where one can learn it on practical basis. Dr.Velumani’s mother fed the family for a week on just Rs.70.

‘Empty intestines teach you everything’ he said with a smile. After his graduation from Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidhyalaya, he started his career as a chemist in Gemini Capsules. But very soon he left Coimbatore and reached Mumbai to seek new thrills. ‘I am a thrill monger’ he said. Dr. Velumani wanted to see what more adventures lay in stores for him in Mumbai.

Backed by his education, armed with Himalayan sized determination and will to drive through hardships, he got placed in Bhaba Atomic Research Center (BARC) Mumbai and upgraded his educational qualifications while being there. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Mumbai later.

He was successful in life but he felt that feeling satisfied could reduce his thrill. He wanted more of the adventure and excitement in life, so he decided to resign from BARC and start his own establishment –

The success of Thyrocare is a very interesting story. While great many thyroid diagnostic centers charged higher prices, Dr.Velumani thought of disrupting the market to offer distinctive services to the masses.

He made the industry play by his rules, which of course was not a simple task as it required foresight, strategy and sheer will. He employed talented freshers and gave them adequate training. He offered a reasonable price in his diagnostic centre which everybody thought to be an act of folly but Dr.Velumani was , as I said earlier, willing to lose a little.

Soon, everybody acknowledged how he had reframed the existing pattern of business operation. Everything began to fall in piece for this wonderful maestro.

He was wholeheartedly aided by his dear wife Sumathi Velumani. Though at first she was a little angry with him for resigning without telling her, she understood her husband’s insights and together the dynamic duo made their dreams come true. “In life you can either decide or keep on discussing but you can’t do both, act now” advised Dr.Velumani to the gathering.

Thyrocare now has become the World’s largest Thyroid diagnostic centre with more than 1000 outlets. He said high pricing will only down an aspiring business man and wanted them to be an agent of change in bringing down the unemployment rate first. He expressed that when a businessman gives the society quality services at affordable prices and offers employment, profit will naturally follow him but if one aims for profit alone then it wouldn’t be that thrilling or profitable.

He counseled the gathering at CODISSIA that hiring youngsters would be a good choice. He cited his Thyrocare as an example which has 98% of youth as it employees.

He urged the entrepreneurs to not take the easy road and not mind about the noises naysayers make when one is holding firm his convictions and working towards that goal. On a final note he said he never stops reading newspapers in his life and credits that he found this habit really productive. When he finished his speech a standing ovation was given to him.