Dr. Ashish Kumar: Addressing The Unmet Need For Quality Eye Care Across India | CEOInsights Vendor
Dr. Ashish Kumar: Addressing The Unmet Need For Quality Eye Care Across India

Dr. Ashish Kumar: Addressing The Unmet Need For Quality Eye Care Across India

 Dr. Ashish Kumar,   Managing Director

Dr. Ashish Kumar

Managing Director

Amidst factors like growing penetration of electronic items as well as high levels of pollution in Indian cities which is creating a negative impact on people's eyes, vision-related problems have increased in the country. Various other factors that have been driving the Indian vision care market are technological advances in eye care devices, high expenditure on healthcare, and growing awareness among people related to eye health. Yet there remains a substantial gap between the demand for apt eye care solutions and the availability of adequate vision care facilities in India.

This unmet need for quality eye care compelled Dr. Ashish Kumar to venture into this segment with his brand-Akshara Eye Hospital. After completing his MBBS at Government Medical College, Mysore, and post-graduation at Sankara Eye Hospital, Coimbatore, Dr. Ashish worked extensively in rural India during his post-grad days and then later got trained in cataract surgery and retinal diseases. He founded Akshara Eye Hospital, Bangalore in 2014 and is presently serving as the Medical Director of the institution. Below is an excerpt of Dr. Ashish's interview with the team of CEO Insights.

Highlight your core expertise that helps you to lead Akshara Eye Hospital as an unmatched player in the vision care segment.
I am an eye surgeon trained in one of the premier Eye Hospitals in our country after completing my MBBS at Government Medical College, Mysore. So far, I have performed more than 16,000 vision restoring surgeries of which more than 3000 have been performed at Akshara Eye Hospital. After my training in Ophthalmology, I was trained to treat retinal disease and ocular inflammation(uveitis) as specialists in these subspecialties are limited in our country.
I am a Fellow of the International Council of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Apart from being a life member of the All India Ophthalmo logical Society, Karnataka Ophthalmic Society, and Uveitis Society of India, I am also a lifetime member of the Asia-Pacific Association of Cataracts and Refractive Surgeons.

Define Akshara Eye Hospitals as an organization. How is it different from other eye hospitals present in the country?
Headquartered in Bangalore, Akshara Eye Hospital was conceived to provide superior facilities for world-class and quality eye care, much above the standards prevalent in our country. The approach has been to keep the patient at the center and have a team of subspecialists deliver exceptional care. To achieve this, Akshara has acquired the best surgical technology in today's science to plan and perform precise surgery and deliver cutting-edge visual results to her surgical patients.

Reflect on some of the major challenges you have experienced in your journey so far. How did you overcome them and what did you learn from them?
Healthcare, being a capex heavy industry with high overheads, sustained positive cash flow became difficult in the initial years. This was followed by demonetization and then the COVID-19 pandemic. We countered these challenges by reducing our realestate footprint to reduce overheads and continued to work day in and day out, relentless in our pursuit of excellent patient care. We were able to give all employees their full salaries all through the pandemic and gave them their annual hikes as well. Over the years, the hospital has demonstrated exponential growth and steady progress.

Share about the facilities you offer at Akshara Eye Hospital. What are the recent tools and technologies you are using to treat the patients more effectively?
Akshara Eye Hospital offers state-of-the-art eye diagnostics by way of advanced cataract evaluation technology using optical biometry, advanced retinal diagnostics using the 3D OCT, and advanced glaucoma diagnostics using the visual field and optic nerve tomo
graphy. Here, we perform cataract surgery using the most advanced cataract surgical system available currently. We also perform retinal lasers, ocular surface surgery and oculoplastic surgeries including pediatric eye surgeries, all under one roof.

Since cleanliness is an absolute decorum in the field of eye care, how do you ensure proper cleanliness at your hospital?
According to me, cleanliness is the backbone of any healthcare facility, let alone eye care. Being accredited by NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers), we follow strict protocols for cleaning and decontaminating our patient evaluation areas, wards, and operation theatres. Our operation theatres are built and equipped as per the latest guidelines worldwide for infection control, including modular theatres incorporating HVAC (heating, ventilation, and cooling) systems for surgical safety and infection control.

Going forward, what are the goals that you wish to invest in and how do you plan to take them further?
Our clear goal is to set the benchmark on surgical outcomes in eye care. We will continue to be a learning and growing organization investing in research and eventually in academics.

Dr. Ashish Kumar, Managing Director, Akshara Eye Hospital
Born in 1979 in Manipal, Karnataka, Dr. Ashish was raised in different States of India as his father was with a Govt. of India enterprise. Most of his schooling happened in small towns in Bihar( now Jharkhand) and later in Karnataka. He admits that his exposure to people from different cultures and languages helps him relate well with his patients.

·Favorite Cuisine: Indian
·Favorite Book: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, Open by Andre Agassi, The Godfather by Mario Puzo.
·Hobbies:Reading,running, swimming, music
·Favorite Travel Destination:To my hometown, Udupi.

Awards & Recognition: Akshara Eye Hospital was rated amongst the top three hospitals in Bangalore in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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