Dr. Ajaikumar is a doctorpeneur and the Chairman & CEO of HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd. He is a radiation and medical oncologist with over 40 years of experience.
Learning The Ropes
After completing his MBBS from St John’s Medical College, Bangalore, he went on to complete his residency training in oncology from the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville. Dr. Ajaikumar completed his fellowship in radiation and medical oncology from the renowned MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. While he had the opportunity to continue to practice at MD Anderson, he chose to start a cancer center west of Chicago in 1979. This center grew well; however, Dr. Ajaikumar was also interested in looking at building a cancer care facility in India. He used to spend several months in the year monitoring the status of cancer care in India.
As he continued to build his practice in the US, Dr. Ajaikumar also founded a not-for-profit hospital in Mysore, Bharath Hospital and Institute of Oncology in 1989. This was largely to meet the needs of patients in Mysore and its surrounding areas.
At the same time, along with a group of oncologists, he started the Bangalore Institute of Oncology (BIO). As this center grew, it helped Dr. Ajaikumar understand the nuances of cancer care in India. The requirement was very clear: there was a great unmet demand. The need of the day was accessibility, affordability, and high quality of cancer care treatment.
Scaling The Dream
With this in mind, he moved back to India with his family in 2003 with a vision of expanding the services offered in Bangalore. Dr. Ajaikumar believed in bringing the hub-and-spoke model to create multiple centers across India to make cancer care affordable, at the same time, bringing high quality care by introducing linear accelerators even in Tier2/Tier3 cities. Also, the cornerstone of his vision was the belief that cancer can be treated only one way: the right way, the first time.
HCG was instrumental in introducing high-end technologies like CyberKnife™ and TrueBeam™. It also brought in advanced bone marrow transplant therapies as well as molecular imaging.
Dr. Ajaikumar also had his eye on the end-to-end delivery of cancer care, and knew molecular diagnostics was an important part of cancer therapies. With this in mind, Dr. Ajaikumar acquired Triesta, which was a molecular diagnostic lab. Today, HCG is at the forefront of molecular diagnostics and incorporating genomics to facilitate precision medicine.
Another area of interest for Dr. Ajaikumar has also been fertility in India. He partnered with Dr. Kamini Rao, under the Milann brand name, and has established multiple centers across India.
Today, HCG is rapidly expanding and will soon have 26 comprehensive cancer care centers from its present number, 17. Milan will grow to 8-10 centers.
With this success, Dr. Ajaikumar is deeply energized and hopeful to spread this model globally. He eagerly seeks to help patients achieve longer and better lives by providing them the best accessible cancer care treatment. He continues to pursue his passion of increasing and strengthening the network of comprehensive cancer centers across the world; beginning in Africa.
Fulfilling A Vision
As a doctorpreneur, his vision has been to focus on good patient outcomes, patient safety and make treatment affordable and accessible. Among his other achievements, he has been awarded the prestigious E&Y Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year Award as well as the Asian Health Care Leadership Awards. Harvard Business School has done several case studies on HCG and Dr. Ajaikumar has given several talks at Harvard Business School and Babson Business School. His goal has also been to encourage and mentor other doctors and entrepreneurs in their own specialties.
Today, under his leadership, cancer care in India has seen a paradigm shift, and cancer care has been redefined as a chronic disease.
Consciously Giving Back
He is a social entrepreneur and has started several NGOs, which have done tremendous developmental work in the Gundlupet district, Karnataka. His organizations have worked on providing financial aid for needy cancer patients, the empowerment of 20,000 women through microfinance, educating 550 children by providing a local school over the last 20 years, and addressing social ills in society.
Apart from his charitable work, he enjoys being a marathon runner and is a voracious reader.