How Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, cardiac surgeon built a ₹ 3,151 crores Narayana Health hospitals

Devi Prasad Shetty
Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, founder of Narayana Health Hospitals

Reading motivational stories of successful Indian entrepreneurs stimulates motivational enzyme within us and we all wish to emulate them on our path of success.  

Exactly with this aim SugerMint is presenting you series of success stories of successful entrepreneurs who have carved a niche in their own way and have become icons.  

Following above, read inspirational story of Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, founder of Narayana Health Hospitals.

Who is Dr Devi Prasad Shetty?

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Indian cardiac surgeon, entrepreneur, and chairperson and founder of Narayana Health Hospitals, 21 medical centres chain in India. He held the distinction of serving as Mother Teresa’s personal physician.

Dr Devi Prasad has conducted more than 15,000 heart surgeries in his three decades in the profession and pioneered low-cost diagnostic services. Shetty also has performed India’s first neonatal cardiac surgery in 1992. He is also a great thinker and a philanthropist.

In 2004, for his contribution to the field of affordable healthcare, Dr Devi Prasad was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, followed by the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award by the Government of India in 2021.

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty was born in a small village in the Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka, India. He did his schooling at the St. Aloysius School, Mangalore.

He was educated at St. Aloysius College, Mangaluru. He was an outstanding student. In 1979, He completed his MBBS.

He completed his post-graduate work in General Surgery from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore.

He is married to Shakuntala, blessed with 4 sons named Ameya Shetty, Anish Shetty, Varun Shetty, Viren Shetty.

When he was a school student, he heard about a heart transplant surgery that was performed by the South African surgeon, Christiaan Barnard. He began reading about heart surgery in depth. 

He was amazed at this surgery and became inspired and decided to pursue more medical education and change people’s lives. Later he completed Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (FRCS) from England.

Devi Prasad Shetty returned to India in 1989. In 1992, He successfully performed the first neonatal heart  transplant surgery on a 9-day-old baby Ronnie. Initially he worked at B.M. Birla Hospital in Kolkata.

He operated on Mother Teresa, an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary after she had a heart attack. He served as personal physician of Mother Teresa.

He believes that the healthcare cost can be reduced by 50% if hospitals adopt the idea of economies of scale. After some time, Devi Prasad Shetty moved to Bangalore and started the Manipal Heart Foundation with the financial contribution by Shetty’s father-in-law.

Devi Prasad Shetty founded Narayana Hrudayalaya, a multi-specialty hospital in 2001 in Bommasandra, Bangalore.

Apart from cardiac surgery, Narayana Hrudayalaya also has paediatric surgery, cardiology, transplant services, neurosurgery, haematology, and nephrology among various others.

Shetty signed a MOU with the Government of Karnataka to build 5,000-bed specialty hospital near Bangalore International Airport.

Narayana Hrudayalaya signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat Government, to set up a 5,000-bed hospital at Ahmedabad.

Shetty also founded Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences (RTIICS) in Kolkata.

Low cost health care Treatment

Since Dr Devi Prasad Shetty is keen to help the poor, aims for his hospitals to use economies of scale, all his efforts in the field of medicine are aimed at lower cost heart surgeries for the benefit of poor patients in India.

Shetty aims to reduce operating costs by using cross ventilation instead of air conditioning. That has reduce the cost of coronary bypass surgery to 95,000 rupees.

All his Narayana Hrudayalaya hospitals operate heart surgeries at one-tenth of the cost as compared to the hospitals in the USA.

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty has been given the title of Henry Ford of heart surgery for these great achievements.

The Narayana Hrudayalaya Heart Hospital intends to cater to about 15,000 outpatients every day and performing over 30 major heart surgeries a day.

He also designed Yeshasvini Co-operative Farmer’s Health Care Scheme, the world’s cheapest comprehensive insurance scheme which provides cover to poor farmers for just Rs18 every month across 805 surgical procedures in 2003.

For his Yeshasvini Co-operative Farmer’s Health Care Scheme, Shetty received Padma Bhushan Award, the country’s third highest civilian award in 2012.

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty won many awards and recognations for his accomplishments, including:

  • 2001: Karnataka Ratna Award
  • 2002: Rajyotsava award
  • 2003: Dr. B C Roy award
  • 2003: Ernst & Young – Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • 2004: Padma Shri Award for Medicine
  • 2005: Schwab Foundation’s award
  • 2012: Padma Bhushan Award for Medicine
  • 2012: Entrepreneur of the Year at Economic Times awards

We hope you find the inspiring story of Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Indian entrepreneur and founder of Narayana Health Hospitals useful and inspiring through your entrepreneurial journey and will keep you inspired.

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