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Dr. Arpita Pandey, Dr. Saritprava Das


Roughly a hundred days before his initial public offering hit the market in April, Velumani lost his 55-year-old wife to pancreatic cancer, a backbone of Thyrocare, the company he had built from scratch with a capital of Rs 2 lakh given by her to Rs 3,300 crore. Remembering his wife Sumathi on the foundation day, he was reviewing his journey of life and experience of developing a chain of diagnostic and preventive care laboratories “Thyrocare”.

Born in 1959 to a landless farmer in a tiny village 26 km from Coimbatore, Velumani was unable to cope with adverse circumstances for what appeared to be an endless period of time, his  father had given up taking care of his family, which included four children, early in life.
Faced with her husband's helplessness, Velumani's mother took on the responsibility of keeping their head above water by investing in two buffaloes. The money from the milk -- Rs 50 a week -- was what sustained the family for almost 10 years.

After finishing his school, Velumani left the  village and went to Coimbatore  to attend college,  In 1978, at the age of  19, Velumani got his BSc degree, and started working  at a capsule-making factory as a chemist on a salary of Rs 150 a month.  He used to keep Rs 50 for himself and send Rs 100 home to his parents, who needed the money to educate his siblings.

While working with the company Velumani could see that his life wasn't going anywhere, neither was his company. A month before its imminent closure, Velumani resigned and joined Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai. as a Scientist. He served BARC for fourteen years, when he decided to do something on his own and pursue his dream, which he had formed while he was a Ph. D student at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. He used to see people camping on the road outside the Parel Hospital. These were relatives of patients with cancer who did not have accommodation. He was desperate to ease the sufferings of the patients and their relatives. Since, he was not a doctor, he decided to offer diagnostics services something that he could do without profiting at their expense.

The result of this decision was Thyrocare, which he established in Mumbai in 1996.   Today    Thyrocare is the world's largest center for thyroid testing. It has a single centered laboratory of world    class in Thane that can handle 500,000 tests a day. The company specialises in immunodiagnostics, testing blood samples for thyroid disorders. Thyrocare decided to focus on preventive healthcare.


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