Hot Best Seller

Infinite Vision: How Aravind Became the World's Greatest Business Case for Compassion

Availability: Ready to download

THE WISDOM OF AN IMPOSSIBLE ORGANIZATION “Again, may I say, how profoundly I admire your work and how deeply gratifying it is for me to hear that you appreciate mine.” —Peter F. Drucker in a letter to Aravind’s founder, Dr. V When a crippling disease shattered his lifelong ambition, Dr. V (Venkataswamy) chose an impossible new dream: to cure the world of blindness. The tin THE WISDOM OF AN IMPOSSIBLE ORGANIZATION “Again, may I say, how profoundly I admire your work and how deeply gratifying it is for me to hear that you appreciate mine.” —Peter F. Drucker in a letter to Aravind’s founder, Dr. V When a crippling disease shattered his lifelong ambition, Dr. V (Venkataswamy) chose an impossible new dream: to cure the world of blindness. The tiny clinic he founded in India defied conventional business logic and is now the largest provider of eye care on the planet. At Aravind, patients choose whether to pay or not. Millions are treated for free, yet the organization remains stunningly self-reliant. Serving everyone from penniless farmers to the president, it delivers world-class outcomes at less than a hundredth of what similar services cost in advanced nations. Its model is emulated by organizations everywhere from Rwanda to San Francisco. Infinite Vision uncovers the radical principles behind Aravind’s baffling success. Charged with profound insights and stories, it draws readers to the heart of Dr. V’s selfless vision, proving how choices that seem quixotic can, when executed with compassion and integrity, yield incredible results—results that can light the eyes of millions. “Reveals the power of a model that combines business discipline with compassion. May the wisdom of Dr. V and Aravind shared here inspire many such initiatives for the well-being of future generations.” —Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder, Grameen Bank “A must-read for anyone interested in leadership, service, and the building of institutions that release the best energies of the human spirit.” —Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO, Acumen Fund, and author of The Blue Sweater “Aravind may be a case study for MBA students and a model social business, but to me this book told a story with elegance, clarity, and intimacy.” —Fred de Sam Lazaro, Correspondent, PBS NewsHour “In the world of blindness Dr. V has performed a miracle.” —Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now and cofounder, Seva Foundation One hundred percent of the authors’ royalties are being gifted to Aravind’s sight-restoring work.  


Compare

THE WISDOM OF AN IMPOSSIBLE ORGANIZATION “Again, may I say, how profoundly I admire your work and how deeply gratifying it is for me to hear that you appreciate mine.” —Peter F. Drucker in a letter to Aravind’s founder, Dr. V When a crippling disease shattered his lifelong ambition, Dr. V (Venkataswamy) chose an impossible new dream: to cure the world of blindness. The tin THE WISDOM OF AN IMPOSSIBLE ORGANIZATION “Again, may I say, how profoundly I admire your work and how deeply gratifying it is for me to hear that you appreciate mine.” —Peter F. Drucker in a letter to Aravind’s founder, Dr. V When a crippling disease shattered his lifelong ambition, Dr. V (Venkataswamy) chose an impossible new dream: to cure the world of blindness. The tiny clinic he founded in India defied conventional business logic and is now the largest provider of eye care on the planet. At Aravind, patients choose whether to pay or not. Millions are treated for free, yet the organization remains stunningly self-reliant. Serving everyone from penniless farmers to the president, it delivers world-class outcomes at less than a hundredth of what similar services cost in advanced nations. Its model is emulated by organizations everywhere from Rwanda to San Francisco. Infinite Vision uncovers the radical principles behind Aravind’s baffling success. Charged with profound insights and stories, it draws readers to the heart of Dr. V’s selfless vision, proving how choices that seem quixotic can, when executed with compassion and integrity, yield incredible results—results that can light the eyes of millions. “Reveals the power of a model that combines business discipline with compassion. May the wisdom of Dr. V and Aravind shared here inspire many such initiatives for the well-being of future generations.” —Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder, Grameen Bank “A must-read for anyone interested in leadership, service, and the building of institutions that release the best energies of the human spirit.” —Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO, Acumen Fund, and author of The Blue Sweater “Aravind may be a case study for MBA students and a model social business, but to me this book told a story with elegance, clarity, and intimacy.” —Fred de Sam Lazaro, Correspondent, PBS NewsHour “In the world of blindness Dr. V has performed a miracle.” —Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now and cofounder, Seva Foundation One hundred percent of the authors’ royalties are being gifted to Aravind’s sight-restoring work.  

30 review for Infinite Vision: How Aravind Became the World's Greatest Business Case for Compassion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mal Warwick

    Aravind: A Social Enterprise with Scale and Impact to Match Grameen Bank “At first glance, it seemed a venture far too quixotic to be effective. But when intuitive goodness is pitted against unthinkable odds, it stirs the imagination and awakens possibility.” This is the spirit in which Pavithra Mehta approaches her history of the world-famous vision care center her great-uncle founded in South India 35 years ago. It is a truly astonishing story — one with profound implications for development th Aravind: A Social Enterprise with Scale and Impact to Match Grameen Bank “At first glance, it seemed a venture far too quixotic to be effective. But when intuitive goodness is pitted against unthinkable odds, it stirs the imagination and awakens possibility.” This is the spirit in which Pavithra Mehta approaches her history of the world-famous vision care center her great-uncle founded in South India 35 years ago. It is a truly astonishing story — one with profound implications for development throughout the Global South. “Today, the Aravind Eye Care System is the largest and most productive blindness-preention organization on the planet. During the last 35 years, its network of five eye hospitals in South India have treated more than 32 million patients and performed more than 4 million surgeries, the majority either ultrasubsidized or free.” Equally important, Aravind also serves as a global resource center for opthalmology, training one out of every seven Indian eye doctors, consulting on management and technical issues with eye hospitals in 69 countries, and operating a state-of-the-art research center. In 1958, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy reached the mandatory retirement age of 58 in his government post and retired to Madurai, a celebrated city of one million people in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Inspired by his guru and the deeply felt spiritual values he had long held, he enlisted his brothers and sisters (virtually all of them opthalmologists like him) to help him found an 11-bed eye hospital. Dr. V (as he was widely known) set the fledgling nonprofit hospital on course to provide cataract surgery to all who needed it, regardless of their ability to pay. He and his family implemented a staggered fee schedule, charging market rates to those with the ability to pay and a heavily subsidized rate to those with limited means, but worked free of charge to those who could pay nothing — allowing every patient to choose his or her own level of payment. (A future President of India once received free care.) Miraculously, this approach allowed Aravind to earn a profit from its earliest days until the present. Surplus funds permitted Dr. V. to build first one new eye hospital, then three more, and later to fund a manufacturing plant for intraocular lenses and a world-class opthalmological research center. The quality of Aravind’s eye care services and of the lenses produced in its factory match or exceed the standards of the West. In fact, a recent study compared Aravind’s surgical outcomes to those of the members of the Royal College of Opthalmologists of the UK — and “found Aravind’s complication rates to be less than those of its British counterparts.” Similarly, when one senior Aravind surgeon lectured on corneal ulcers at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, “the faculty adviser told his residents, ‘The amazing stuff you just saw — don’t try it here. We don’t have that kind of expertise.’” Today, Aravind employs 3,200 persons. Dr. V passed away in 2006 at the age of 88, but his younger brothers and sisters remain involved in Aravind — although they have passed the reins of management to first one and then a third generation of this truly remarkable family. (Aravind currently counts 21 opthalmologists in Dr. V’s family among its staff.) Aravind’s business model is unique in many ways. It’s a nonprofit that consistently turns a profit. It subjects the most modest and obscure processes at work in the hospital to exacting statistical analysis — everything from the manner in which custodians clean the floors to the number of sutures its surgeons employ — and as a result has attained a level of efficiency that would bring smiles to the faces of the most demanding Japanese plant manager. It shares its management secrets (and they are many) with all comers with an openness and a willingness to train competitors that is simply extraordinary. It pioneered the use of eye care “camps” — one-day events staged in towns and villages throughout the state of Tamil Nadu to generate large numbers of surgical patients, busing them into the nearest hospital in the Aravind system. Dr. V’s daily journal, assiduously updated throughout his days at Aravind, reflects the breadth and depth of the questions he never stopped asking. For example, “How was Buddha able to organize in those days a religion that millions follow[?] . . . How did the disciples of Christ spread their mission around the world[?]” Yet Dr. V also frequently spoke of his dream to bring efficiency, consistency, and low cost to eye surgery the way McDonald’s did to hamburgers. Aravind remains today a pure expression of the vision and the spirit of unending inquiry that he brought to the venture from the outset. (From www.malwarwickonbooks.com)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manan

    One of the best books that I have read. Incredibly inspiring account of a towering personality called Dr. V who wanted to provide healthCARE especially to the most underprivileged and that to while being self sustaining. And well, needless to say what an amazing institution he created. A must read for everyone and more so for people involved with Healthcare and business.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Raghu

    In 2009, when I took my aged mother to the Aravind Eye care hospital in Coimbatore for a cataract surgey, I was struck by the kindness, courtesy and professionalism of the staff, right from the front desk clerk to the nurses and doctors. What is more, it didn't cost an arm and a leg to do the initial consultation, the surgery and the post-operative care. As one who is born and brought up in India, I tend to take indifference and lack of courtesy as part of life in our hospitals. I wondered then In 2009, when I took my aged mother to the Aravind Eye care hospital in Coimbatore for a cataract surgey, I was struck by the kindness, courtesy and professionalism of the staff, right from the front desk clerk to the nurses and doctors. What is more, it didn't cost an arm and a leg to do the initial consultation, the surgery and the post-operative care. As one who is born and brought up in India, I tend to take indifference and lack of courtesy as part of life in our hospitals. I wondered then as to how come this hospital is so different from others I have encountered in India before. When my mother's surgey was complete, I remember seeing a big photograph of Dr.V in the main hall and also pictures of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Little did I know the true story behind the institution and the vision of its founder. Now that I know the full story from this brilliant book by Pavitra Mehta and Suchitra Shenoy, it makes me proud that we in India, that too in my home state Tamilnadu, could create something so original, innovative and of such high quality. It makes me inspired to strive for better all the time and also specially, for the right, humane reasons. The authors show that Aravind is an unconventional model, built on the power of integrating innovation with empathy, sound business principles with service and external change through inner change. Though all this sounds esoteric, the extensive data related to Aravind's performance over the past 30 years shows that it has been achieved in reality and what more, it is a model that can also be duplicated independent of the presence of the eminent personalities of the founding team of Aravind. Dr.V, the founding father of Aravind, believed in the following: "to be of service to others is to serve ourselves. Our limitations do not define us. Embedded in the human spirit is a wisdom and strength that can rise to meet our greatest challenges'. This was enough to make him start at age 58 a 11-bed eye clinic in Madurai with no money, no biz plan or safety net and turn it into the largest eye care provider in the world in three decades. It is difficult to enumerate here all the revolutionary things Aravind has pioneered over the years. That is why one must read this book. The most important take-away from this book for me is the business model of Aravind. The revolutionary departure points in this model are as follows: Service to the poor as the primary goal Maximizing service instead of profit Patients choosing either to pay or not for the service. The enterprise built on the principle of 'Do the work first and the money will eventually follow'. Applying the McDonald's and Burger King's service model to attain consistency, reliability, low costs and clear standards Training their competition in all the key areas for success in the same business! It is a real challenge to all the well-intentioned people of this world to try and see if this can be the new business model, especially in areas of fundamental needs of humanity. I know that another enterprise - Narayana Hrdalaya - in Bangalore has applied many of these principles successfully in the realm of heart surgery. Perhaps, this is the way forward for developing nations in the area of healthcare. Finally, it is also important to understand the spiritual inspiration from Sri Aurobindo in Dr.V's efforts and how he creatively applied them in Aravind. 'Man is a transitional and not a final being' is central to Aurobindo's Integral Yoga. Since Man is a work in progress, Aurobindo emphasised the ecumenical approach of Aspiration, Rejection and Surrender as a means to achieve transformation. Dr.V creatively applied it as follows: He saw Aspiration as a commitment and determination to move in the direction of one's highest purpose - that is curing needless blindness all over the world. He saw Rejection as not allowing mental prejudices to cloud one's thinking and not limiting oneself to small things but aspiring for higher. He saw Surrender as overcoming the pull of the conscious and rational mind and making crucial decisions through the inexpressicable logic of his deeper awareness of the unconscious. This book is highly inspiring and is important in the way it integrates the ideas of innovation, creativity, courage and spirituality.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aarthi Ramesh

    The Aravind story is one that shows extraordinary systems-level thinking, leadership, compassion and spirituality. In this candid book filled with journal entries by the man who started Aravind himself, we get a pretty good idea of the internal workings of this mega hospital. In a hurry to cure the world of needless blindness, they even trained their competition. For someone with such lofty visions, Dr. V seems utterly practical and in touch with reality. This is what makes the book such a compe The Aravind story is one that shows extraordinary systems-level thinking, leadership, compassion and spirituality. In this candid book filled with journal entries by the man who started Aravind himself, we get a pretty good idea of the internal workings of this mega hospital. In a hurry to cure the world of needless blindness, they even trained their competition. For someone with such lofty visions, Dr. V seems utterly practical and in touch with reality. This is what makes the book such a compelling read from start to finish. You are living through the banalities that come with a 100 operations before the doctors have had lunch, while at the same time having a bird's eye view of the innovations and breakthroughs coming out of Aravind. “From the very beginning, our systems have been designed so that there is no incentive for us to exploit a patient financially,” Thulsi says. “For instance, we don’t accept commission for patients that we refer outside for MRI or CAT scans.” “ask any of them, what our annual turnover is,” challenges Thulsi. “They will venture a guess but will probably be off by a factor of three or four.” He is right. “I don’t really know how much we made last year,” confesses Dr. Natchiar (Dr. V's sister), “but all of us know how many patients we reached, and that’s what our focus really is.” All the members of the leadership team still go out to outreach camps and perform operations for thousands of people in makeshift operation halls in village schools, theatres and the like. Whenever they have had to trade chasing the wealthier patients to serving more of those in need, they have made the harder choice. There was a time when Aravind was struggling to make ends meet. Even at that time, when one patient asks for the fee amount, Dr. V laughed and said, “Brother, for your fee you must send me 100 patients from the villages to be treated for free". Now, Aravind is hugely profitable and can afford to construct a new hospital every year if they wished. This is what the new leadership team (after Dr. V's passing) has to say about that: “Our pace of growth is pretty sedate when compared to our corporate counterparts,” says Dr. Aravind. “That’s the reality of our model right now. We’re only moving at the rate at which we can still retain our value system.” “As a rule, 80 percent of the employees that staff our new centers are transferred from existing positions in our older hospitals,” says Dr. Aravind. “We don’t just recruit a fresh bunch of people.” This insistence on an inculcation period and in-house experience is a clear indicator of where the organization places the most emphasis. “Our model hinges on a value-driven approach,” says Ravi (current Chief of Aravind), “and it takes time to create a workforce that is tuned to that.” I've always thought the RATE of growth of a company is an important parameter in their long term success. The fact that an impactful and compassionate business has a firm grip on this spanning multigenerational leadership teams is really impressive. There are many more systemic lessons to be learnt from this company. If all this seems super-human, here is Dr. V writing as humanly as possible in his journal about the struggle to control his negative tendencies. Doesn't this seem like us all? "I feel something is wrong with me. I develop fixed ideas and strong prejudices, he writes. So much tension, anger and reaction sometimes." This man who thinks something is wrong with him, probably touched 40 percent of eye care in the developing world today.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chetana

    This is a 20 page story that has been stretched across 280 pages. The initial few chapters were interesting - Aravind Eye Hospital is such a unique and laudable business model and Dr. V, its founder, is a really inspiring personality - but less than halfway through the book, it gets really boring and repetitive ("Aravind is unique because its mission and vision is so different and compassionate" X 10). Would recommend Chapter 1 - 6 only. This is a 20 page story that has been stretched across 280 pages. The initial few chapters were interesting - Aravind Eye Hospital is such a unique and laudable business model and Dr. V, its founder, is a really inspiring personality - but less than halfway through the book, it gets really boring and repetitive ("Aravind is unique because its mission and vision is so different and compassionate" X 10). Would recommend Chapter 1 - 6 only.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shweta Hinduja

    So Dr. V is trying to create an eye hospital with McDonalds as his role model. Strange right? What’s even more strange is that this franchise business in eye hospitals has been visualised in 1976 when Dr. V is 58 years old! Also, it’s catering the poor and yet profitable. Arvind is a mandatory reading at Harvard business school. Today while we have 600,000 people becoming entrepreneurs every month and 98% of them failing - I read this. And yet again it’s proven, your grit will be tested. Dr. V i So Dr. V is trying to create an eye hospital with McDonalds as his role model. Strange right? What’s even more strange is that this franchise business in eye hospitals has been visualised in 1976 when Dr. V is 58 years old! Also, it’s catering the poor and yet profitable. Arvind is a mandatory reading at Harvard business school. Today while we have 600,000 people becoming entrepreneurs every month and 98% of them failing - I read this. And yet again it’s proven, your grit will be tested. Dr. V is a very intuitive and soulful personality. Has mandatory Yoga Practice, Meditation sessions and journal entries everyday. ‘He brings a lot of energy and purpose to everyone he comes in contact with’ He created an organisation that does not compromise on quality. Everything here is scaled, there is transparency and quality assessment every so often and a force of people is created! Arvind’s own financial health and independence are by products of careful attention to pricing structures, free and paying patient volumes, effective resource utilisation, standardisation and ab extremely cost conscious leadership. For examples as simple as no fans are on when there are no patients or that When products like IOL intar ocular lenses are expensive; an in-house production is started. The model is based on the ratio of paying patients if either ends looses faith in Arvind’s services, the entire ecosystem is thrown off balance. Losing paying patients increases unit cost affects Arvind’s reputation and reduces training capacity. Notes: ‘You must chase your purpose. Mak that the core of your energy, build your systems to be sustainable from all dimensions’ ‘Where large need exists, you can build a roadmap aimed at scale. Boutique interventions even if they bring some kind of personal satisfaction won’t make the needed impact.’ ‘Self reliance is more about the mindset than it is about money. It is a particular way of viewing your resources and putting them to best use possible. ‘ ‘You have clinical competence with a broader vision, money will not be a problem. Maybe in the initial stages there will be a bit of a struggle but not for the bigger vision’ ‘The true method of being in stream of this power-money is the feeling that it is not something you possess, but it is the force you can handle and direct’ ‘Say the average practitioner uses his surgical microscope 20 times a month, at Arvind we use it 20 to 30 times higher so our average cost per case is drastically lower than his. The considerable downtime that most practitioners have means their average cost per case is much higher than ours’ “Start with the microcosm of what you are dreaming of. Seeing it in motion will give you the energy you and your team need. Commitment on the ground goes a long way, even if it’s a modest effort’ “Our task is to make ordinary person extraordinary “ “Believe you are good and you will be good”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daksh Jindal

    This has become my all time favourite book. This is the most unique book I have read which combines spirituality and business. If this book becomes a mandatory read during school/college life it can change so many live and save millions from getting into the cycle of earning money which they don’t enjoy. The book shows how money is a byproduct of the service you provide to the society and if you keep the well-being of the society at the centre of your life philosophy you will never sleep hungry an This has become my all time favourite book. This is the most unique book I have read which combines spirituality and business. If this book becomes a mandatory read during school/college life it can change so many live and save millions from getting into the cycle of earning money which they don’t enjoy. The book shows how money is a byproduct of the service you provide to the society and if you keep the well-being of the society at the centre of your life philosophy you will never sleep hungry and unsatisfied. To have such a mindset one needs to be spiritually aware and should see every human being with a similar eye. This is what Dr V in this book did and ended up creating the biggest medical institutions of the world. If you are looking for inspiration, motivation, business ideas, spirituality and self help. This book is for you.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Divish Gupta

    Soulful! I never felt such a strong connection with a business book. It goes deep into the reasons behind Aravind's success and beautifully describes the spiritual journey of Dr. V that led to the outer transformative action. "Aravind Hospital aims at bringing higher consciousness to transform mind, body and soul of people. It is not a mechanical structure repairing eyes. It has a deeper purpose." "He believes that when selfless intentions drive an undertaking, and when people truly attempt to un Soulful! I never felt such a strong connection with a business book. It goes deep into the reasons behind Aravind's success and beautifully describes the spiritual journey of Dr. V that led to the outer transformative action. "Aravind Hospital aims at bringing higher consciousness to transform mind, body and soul of people. It is not a mechanical structure repairing eyes. It has a deeper purpose." "He believes that when selfless intentions drive an undertaking, and when people truly attempt to understand themselves and their work within the vast interconnectedness of the world, they can effect profound change." I’m filled with gratitude for the authors, Pavi and Suchitra, who wrote this book with complete honesty. The monumental effort that must have gone into truly understanding the journey of 30+ years is clearly visible. Most books in this genre feel like a fairytale but this one is different. It talks about the struggles of staying relevant, family tensions, changes in leadership, patriarchy within the system and the almost impossible task of sustaining values over time and scale. It is a must-read for everyone!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Forestofglory

    So the Aravind eye care system seems really interesting. However I found this book pretty frustrating. From the subtitle I was expecting a fairly linear narrative of the history of the clinic, instead the book is not very linear and never really talks about how Aravind moved form 11 beds to 5 hospitals. It also failed to provide much detail about other things I wanted to learn about, like eye care, and how their system is different on a technical level. I would have liked a step by step explanat So the Aravind eye care system seems really interesting. However I found this book pretty frustrating. From the subtitle I was expecting a fairly linear narrative of the history of the clinic, instead the book is not very linear and never really talks about how Aravind moved form 11 beds to 5 hospitals. It also failed to provide much detail about other things I wanted to learn about, like eye care, and how their system is different on a technical level. I would have liked a step by step explanation of the typical cataract surgery. However this mostly glossed over. Instead of these details the book focuses on how great the founders of the organization are, with side discussions of their spiritual leaders. Despite all the praise heaped on Dr V. I got the impression he could be pain to work for, as could some of his siblings. This book was a disappointment.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ramya

    The life of Dr V is astonishing. How does he find the time and the patience to do so much for so many people? But the book is a slow read. Gets boring at times. Read if you are interested in helping out people and in understanding the economics of an institution that changed so much. The book makes everything seem so simple and yet we don't see many hospitals out there working for the poor. Three cheers to Dr V and his ideas and ideals. The life of Dr V is astonishing. How does he find the time and the patience to do so much for so many people? But the book is a slow read. Gets boring at times. Read if you are interested in helping out people and in understanding the economics of an institution that changed so much. The book makes everything seem so simple and yet we don't see many hospitals out there working for the poor. Three cheers to Dr V and his ideas and ideals.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alli

    Amazing story about the Aravind eye care system. I don’t want my low rating to reflect my thoughts on the story the development and success of this eye care system was extraordinary. My rating is strictly for the book and writing itself, which dragged on and could have been a lot shorter and still gotten the main points across and brought the inspiring story to life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Veda Halve

    Seems like they had the most ideal situations. Not one problem or obstacle faced while building up a hospital. Not a very insightful read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nitin Jagtap

    I had heard a lot about Aravind Eye Care Hospital (Madurai) but never knew about what their contribution to Eye care in India and the world was until I saw this book and decided to buy and read it. The authors have done a fantastic job to not only introduce us to the now very popular Aravind model of Eye care ( Low cost , high volume and high value model) but also described in detail of how this whole model evolved over a period of more than 3 decades. The model which its founder Dr Govidappa Venk I had heard a lot about Aravind Eye Care Hospital (Madurai) but never knew about what their contribution to Eye care in India and the world was until I saw this book and decided to buy and read it. The authors have done a fantastic job to not only introduce us to the now very popular Aravind model of Eye care ( Low cost , high volume and high value model) but also described in detail of how this whole model evolved over a period of more than 3 decades. The model which its founder Dr Govidappa Venkataswamy started ( in the late 70s in Madurai) works on the main principles of Integrating innovation with empathy, business principles with service and outer transformation with inner change. At a time of his life after retiring from active Govt service Dr V ( as he was popularly known in the medical circles) decided to start of this 11 bed eye care nursing home in Madurai , the underlying spirit of service was at the core of this project. Realizing that this low cost model for the poor would not take him to far to achieve his mission of curing avoidable blindness, Dr V then used the cross subsidy model where in patients who want to pay can pay an amount their choice , patients who could pay market rates paid it and poor patients who could not afford it were treated free . This model has succeeded and survived for the last many decades and is still going strong at Aravind Eye care till this date. The whole philosophy of this venture was to reach out to maximum no of poor people and cure avoidable blindness (cataract) and not to turn away anyone who cannot afford treatment. Dr V and his team ( many of whom were his family members ) have successfully used assembly line operation methods even in hospital management which has helped them provide affordable eye care at a fraction of the cost compared to other hospitals in India and the west. A laser like focus on cost, standardized processes, metrics and feedback have helped Aravind to cut cost of an typical cataract surgery and also hugely impacted productivity , a typical doctor at Aravind does about 2000 cataract surgeries a year while the national average is about 400. The spotlight on Aravind and how it has managed to scale this socially committed business operation to multiple cities across Tamilnadu and build the largest eye care hospital chain is worth understanding. Dr V who had been influenced a lot by Sri Aurobindo ( hospital named after him Aravind is another name for Aurobindo ) his constant questioning about life and its purpose and all his teaching seem to be the corner stone while this organization was being built. To get some statistics Aravind in all its centers put together see 7500 patients daily, does about 900 eye surgeries daily ( cataract glaucoma etc etc) 5-6 out reach camps in village are done daily , 500-600 tele-medicine cases daily, 7000 Intraocular lenses produced at their lens manufacturing facility daily. Aravind’s journey from an eye care hospital to a manufcaturer of Intraocular lenses to Ophthalmology medicines and a few Ophthalmology equipment and opening of Aravind Training institute ( trains doctors and other hospitals to help them learn and implement Aravind model in their country ) is well documented . Aravind till this day trains doctors, nurses and support staff from various countries in Africa and Asia, they learn about the Aravind model and how to replicate the same back home. All this has bought them a lot of praise some of which are the Padma Shri for its founder Dr Govindppa Venkataswamy numerous awards and grants from leading social impact funds and organizations like Acumen, Skool, Schwab and Gates Foundation. Innumerable no of business schools have included this case study in their MBA programs including the most famous of them Harvard. Succession planning, scalability model like in any organization is a challenge and Aravind is no different, what started of as business based on compassion today's stands at the crossroads with the new generation facing the dilemma of the road ahead. With increasing competition w and growing materialism the generation now at the helm face this challenge on how to retain the founding principles when this institute was started. An excellent read, not only to understand the challenges faced in delivery of low cost eye care but also understand and reflect upon why businesses need to be more compassionate in their outlook.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Prerna Katyal

    Inspiring book that covers in detail about how one soul can set path and impact millions of . The book teaches every aspect of business - operations, HR, technology, etc. Refreshing take as it covers a non profit organization which has followed every aspect of business, has innovated with times, but still has been true to its core. Learnings: 1) There is no age to start something. Dr. V started Aravind at age of 58! Also, one should inspire others to join force by showing the big picture. 2) Vision Inspiring book that covers in detail about how one soul can set path and impact millions of . The book teaches every aspect of business - operations, HR, technology, etc. Refreshing take as it covers a non profit organization which has followed every aspect of business, has innovated with times, but still has been true to its core. Learnings: 1) There is no age to start something. Dr. V started Aravind at age of 58! Also, one should inspire others to join force by showing the big picture. 2) Vision is extremely important, even though it might appear unrealistic to many. 3) Never compromise on your core. Aravind's model is high volume, affordable, high quality eye care. Driven by compassion, it aims to make eye care reach to those who otherwise ignored and not run after premium customers. During expansion, sticking to core is becomes very important. 4) For serving the bottom of the pyramid, free is not enough. You need to look at other ways why free which you consider might be an expense for them. In Aravind's case, if they made eye surgeries free for all, still people were not taking it. Reason - it was expense for them to travel to the nearest center and non affordable. 5) Finance: If you want to be self reliant, you will come up with innovative ways to optimize spends. The external funds can be used for new and innovative projects or expansions. 6) Lessons of the corporate world can be used for growing non profit business if the intention is right. Eg: franchise model (like Mc D) for medicine. Also, utilizing technology and innovating with times is e 7) HR: Having a succession plan is important. External mentors help in the transition. 8) HR: If you have to retain high quality staff, pay scales need to be comparable. Training, charting out career tracks, etc for everyone is important. 9) If the product is good, word of mouth is better than any other form. Also, sharing knowledge with others doesn't mean telling your secret to your competitors. It enhances your credibility and makes others contribute to the bigger revolution.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Fascinating story that they don’t really tell-how do they actually pay for giving away tons of free eye surgery? How do they organize their rural eye camps? How do they convince so many people to trust them to cut their eyes? How do they train up enough people? I feel like their are a lot of questions the book glosses over-how do they do so many surgeries so efficiently? Give me details! And quit yapping about the head guy, Dr. V. Like he’s some sort of saint. As a manager he sounds downright tyr Fascinating story that they don’t really tell-how do they actually pay for giving away tons of free eye surgery? How do they organize their rural eye camps? How do they convince so many people to trust them to cut their eyes? How do they train up enough people? I feel like their are a lot of questions the book glosses over-how do they do so many surgeries so efficiently? Give me details! And quit yapping about the head guy, Dr. V. Like he’s some sort of saint. As a manager he sounds downright tyrannical, and I don’t need nearly so much info about his spiritual gurus, who sound like charlatans on a good day. Everything the author said about them made me think “huh, I wonder how much money they squeezed out of these folks”. And lastly, family businesses are the pits-but to have a family business that is an eye surgery center is just plain weird. These folks have all the problems if a family business, plus vast amounts of sexism (no woman could be chosen to lead the hospital system! I guess we’ll pick her husband instead!) the authors talk a bit about non-family members feeling like they can’t advance in the company, but not much about family members fighting about money and titles and control issues. Or maybe I’m wrong, maybe the fact that the whole shebang is kept in the family is what keeps the doctors invested in it for lower pay? And lastly, no one is allowed to quote Regina Herzlinger as a fucking expert on how to make healthcare commercially successful and market based. She’s a money grubbing POS and has spent much of her professional life awaiting indictment from the FBI. For them to look to her for expertise is embarrassing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Avinash Pandey

    # Humble, socialist but with towering ambition and relentless drive- this is a story of what a single man can achieve despite tight noose and pervious tentacles of incumbent bureaucracy and political stalwarts. ARAVIND eye institute is a self sustaining, medical institute which caters extreme contrasts of demanding clientele with riding Mercedes on one hand and ignorant, procrastinating illiterate natives on bullock cart on another with equal fervour and panache. With plethora of stoic and pious # Humble, socialist but with towering ambition and relentless drive- this is a story of what a single man can achieve despite tight noose and pervious tentacles of incumbent bureaucracy and political stalwarts. ARAVIND eye institute is a self sustaining, medical institute which caters extreme contrasts of demanding clientele with riding Mercedes on one hand and ignorant, procrastinating illiterate natives on bullock cart on another with equal fervour and panache. With plethora of stoic and pious men including the likes of APJ Abdul Kalal who endorse and eulogise it's friendly viable model which gives staggering cost package to its patients and makes them choose depending upon ability to pay and extend to fancy paraphernalia required. This also ensures to generate enough capital profit to give free vision to unaffording lower economic class hence making huge dent in mission to dramatically reduce common cause of preventable blindness, cataract. It gives a ray of hope to several grappling, unviable public/ charitable hospitals in India, to mould themselves in similar cast provided by Aravind eye institute to serve larger masses without compromising on quality of care with affordable cost.#

  17. 5 out of 5

    Abhishek

    An hero for the ages. I think I have highlights on every page. Not many examples of excellence from modern India - at least not many I hear of or get exposed to. Aravind and Dr. V is one. Much recommended, especially these days where the only narratives that sell are those that display a cynicism about the world and all human progress. Everyone needs role models, no matter how fallible the models themselves are. Gandhi has been getting a lot of heat lately, and it is fascinating to observe the i An hero for the ages. I think I have highlights on every page. Not many examples of excellence from modern India - at least not many I hear of or get exposed to. Aravind and Dr. V is one. Much recommended, especially these days where the only narratives that sell are those that display a cynicism about the world and all human progress. Everyone needs role models, no matter how fallible the models themselves are. Gandhi has been getting a lot of heat lately, and it is fascinating to observe the impact he had on Dr.V and the establishment of Aravind. Would that be enough to redeem him, given everything else and the enormous success of Aravind? To get the scale of Dr. V's ambition, these lines from his journal are very indicative: How to organize and build more hospitals like McDonalds. And then with no warning, it shifts to, How was Buddha able to organize in those days a religion that millions follow. This question dramatically changes the plane of inquiry. Other searching questions swiftly follow: Who were the leaders. How were they shaped. How did the disciples of Christ spread their mission around the world. And then a final question that he would ask in a thousand different ways: How do I become a perfect instrument. How do I become the perfect instrument? What a fascinating model to investigate how to get things done! Again, much recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    This book made me very happy. It is about an Indian eye hospital that is the best in the world, how it started, evolved, and grew, and the family that has been leading it for generations. It lost a star because I was listening to it on audible and the chapters didn’t seem to be organized in chronological order, so I lost track of the story sometimes and how it was organized. But the story it is telling is one of remarkable good news in a sometimes depressing world. It is truly amazing what one v This book made me very happy. It is about an Indian eye hospital that is the best in the world, how it started, evolved, and grew, and the family that has been leading it for generations. It lost a star because I was listening to it on audible and the chapters didn’t seem to be organized in chronological order, so I lost track of the story sometimes and how it was organized. But the story it is telling is one of remarkable good news in a sometimes depressing world. It is truly amazing what one visionary, one family, and the movement of people they recruit to support their vision can achieve. Highly recommend!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    I was assigned to read this book prior to my first MBA course coming up and it may be one of the greatest stories I've read to date. The book itself is a bit repetitive and choppy, but the actual story of Dr. V is truly inspiring. It's good to know there are hundreds/thousands of people who want to truly make a difference in the world, and serves as an example of how to keep compassion at the forefront of business. great read!!! I was assigned to read this book prior to my first MBA course coming up and it may be one of the greatest stories I've read to date. The book itself is a bit repetitive and choppy, but the actual story of Dr. V is truly inspiring. It's good to know there are hundreds/thousands of people who want to truly make a difference in the world, and serves as an example of how to keep compassion at the forefront of business. great read!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kavya Balaji

    SO INSPIRING

  21. 5 out of 5

    Abhi Rele

    Incredibly inspiring to see how one person’s obsession to a cause can improve the life of millions...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Guy Kezirian

    This is an inspirational book about physician leadership that tells the story of the Aravind Eye Center in India. The power of a single physician to create change is remarkable!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Swetank Anand

    An essay stretched to make a book

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nirav

    A good read to understand the making of Arvind Eye Care and the visionary behind it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Prahalathan KK

    Visionary Vision, truly inspiring and must read for businessmen and social entrepreneurs. Book volume could have been at least 30% lesser though.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nitin Vaidya

    Really feel like meeting Dr.V!!! An inspiration!! What a book!! Very well written...A must read for everyone!!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Teo 2050

    2017.04.24–2017.04.27 Hats off to people who think to combine the “efficiency of McDonald’s” with pay-if-you-can eye surgery and make a multigenerational effort to actually make it happen. This is an inspiring if not insane story of hard work trusting that money will follow those who serve first—and the numbers make it sound as if the model is sustainable. I also recommend watching the 35-minute YouTube documentary of Aravind and Dr. V, Infinite Vision - Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy. Contents Mehta 2017.04.24–2017.04.27 Hats off to people who think to combine the “efficiency of McDonald’s” with pay-if-you-can eye surgery and make a multigenerational effort to actually make it happen. This is an inspiring if not insane story of hard work trusting that money will follow those who serve first—and the numbers make it sound as if the model is sustainable. I also recommend watching the 35-minute YouTube documentary of Aravind and Dr. V, Infinite Vision - Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy. Contents Mehta PK & Shenoy S (2011) (10:42) Infinite Vision - How Aravind Became the World's Greatest Business Case for Compassion The Aravind Family Tree Meet the Family Introduction: The Power and Paradox of Aravind Prologue: Climbing Everest Part I: The 5-Minute, $15 Cure: On Efficiency and Compassion 01. Of Burgers and Blindness 02. When Free Is Not Enough 03. This Case Won't Fly Part II: Do the Work and Money Will Follow: On Sustainability and Selflessness 04. An Eye Doctor by Sheer Accident 05. Get Less, Do More 06. The Power of Creative Constraints 07. You Don't Find People, You Build Them 08. The Question of the Greedy Doctor Part III: A Vast Surrender: On Innovation and Inner Transformation 09. Humankind Is a Work in Progress 10. Dr. V's Practice of Perfect Vision 11. Manufacturing a Revolution 12. Maximize Service, Not Profit 13. The Flip Side of a Visionary Part IV: Training Your Competition: On Replication and Self-Awareness 14. If We Can Do It, So Can You 15. Aravind Is Like Kilimanjaro 16. Business, Politics, and Prahalad's Dare 17. Aravind in America Part V: How Do You Retire a Saint?: On Change and Integrity 18. Same Same but Different 19. All Will Pass from the Earth 20. The Bottom Is Moving Up 21. A Place to Practice Truth Epilogue: Death's Question Resources • Overview of the Aravind Eye Care System • A Day in the Life of Aravind . . . • Aravind Eye Care System Milestones • • Recent Awards • Aravind Fee Structure and Patient Breakdown • Aravind Outpatient Volume • Aravind Surgical Volume • Surgeon Productivity: A U.S.–India Comparison • Aravind's Revenues and Expenses (1980–2010) • Surgical Quality: Aravind vs. United Kingdom • Transferring the Aravind Model Around the World • Meet the Family • • First Generation • • Second Generation • • Third Generation Notes Acknowledgments Name Index About the Authors Connecting to Aravind's Work

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vishal Kale

    Infinite Vision is the real story of a phenomenon, an anachronism that belongs more in the Satyug or Tretayug than in the modern cutthroat Kalyug, Anno Domini 2014; an absolutely unbelievable and yet completely true story of a family who redefined the concept of life, living... and Medical Care in the Modern World. A book that is guaranteed to take your breath away, a book that will challenge - if not actually change - the way you look at the world; a work of art, and a book that should be requi Infinite Vision is the real story of a phenomenon, an anachronism that belongs more in the Satyug or Tretayug than in the modern cutthroat Kalyug, Anno Domini 2014; an absolutely unbelievable and yet completely true story of a family who redefined the concept of life, living... and Medical Care in the Modern World. A book that is guaranteed to take your breath away, a book that will challenge - if not actually change - the way you look at the world; a work of art, and a book that should be required reading in schools. I wish I could rate is 6 stars out of 5... stunning... This is the real story of Aravind Eye Hospital - of how one man, one single man went about doing the impossible. The story of one man who overcame a career-threatening illness to work for his employer till retirement. What makes him doubly special is that after retirement, he doesn't hang up his boots; quite the reverse - he sets about creating a concept that will one day shake the whole planet and its medical fraternity to its core. This is also the story of a family, a family that was cajoled, talked and convinced into sharing the dream stated above; note my words - "sharing" the dreams, not trying to fulfill out of love. It is the story of how every member of the family contributed to the dream. It is also about how the family, through sheer dint of hard work and performance, stunned the world, and made their creation - Aravind Eye Hospital - the finest of its kind in the world, a hospital focused not on profits, but on a dream - the eradication of treatable blindness in India. It is a text-book case study, in that it covers every aspect of a modern organisation - from Marketing to Operations, and from Finance to Human Resources. This is the book that will help you understand the importance of Vision and Mission of an organisation; this is the book that will teach you the magic of training. This is the book that will teach you the importance of constant upgradation of skill sets; of a single-minded focus on employee retention and how it works wonders in the company; This is the book that will teach you the importance of backward integration, of research, or opening markets, of a planned and strategically executed expansion strategy - of bringing the latest technologies to India, of setting state of the art manufacturing facilities, and consulting houses.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aditya Jha

    This is a story of how one man’s vision combined with indefatigable spirit and spirituality can create a revolution. Dr. Venkataswamy (or Dr. V. as he is popularly called) created Aravind after his retirement at the age of 58. A small 11 bed clinic which would eventually become a chain of hospitals performing over 3,00,000 operations per year, most of them for free. The book revolves around the model of Aravind, Dr. V, his siblings, his mentors, the life lessons he learned and lessons others lea This is a story of how one man’s vision combined with indefatigable spirit and spirituality can create a revolution. Dr. Venkataswamy (or Dr. V. as he is popularly called) created Aravind after his retirement at the age of 58. A small 11 bed clinic which would eventually become a chain of hospitals performing over 3,00,000 operations per year, most of them for free. The book revolves around the model of Aravind, Dr. V, his siblings, his mentors, the life lessons he learned and lessons others learned from him. Especially appealing to me were the portions about Dr. V and his siblings. They realized that they were not just restoring eyesight’s, they were restoring dignity and providing livelihoods. The need to stay self-sustained and not rely on external funding helped them maintain their autonomy and innovate their way through challenges. Dr. V. was truly a saint, sounding much like Lord Krishna when he says, “You must do the work, money will follow.” The business model of Aravind is unique. Its mission is to eliminate curable blindness. Dr. V. realized that they won’t be able to do it all on their own, so they trained their competition. It is very improbable that any organization today would take this approach, but for the vision like Dr. V. They created an ecosystem where cheap treatment of curable blindness was possible. Instead of competing for patients who want treatment, they approached the patients who need treatment. When the hospital staff felt that the patient load was very high on Monday, they did not try to spread it all over the week. They devised plans to increase patient load on all other days. Such approach to problem solving, comes through true dedication to purpose. The book sometimes deviates into portions not very relevant to Aravind or Dr. V. which makes it a slow read. Language is catching and simple, but for the occasional tough words. The book is not written as a praise for Dr. V. and has enough criticism about his and the model’s shortcoming. I found many lessons which have challenged my beliefs deeply.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chaitra

    What seems like an entirely unsustainable business model is in fact a well-executed strategy. Under the visionary leadership of Aravind's founder, Dr. V, the hospital and subsequently established ancillary R&D units perform with precision. At first glance the dedication and drive of senior management appears tenuous but as their stories unfold you begin to see that their lives were touched by the same vision as Dr V. The book is a great accounting of perseverance against the odds, and most of al What seems like an entirely unsustainable business model is in fact a well-executed strategy. Under the visionary leadership of Aravind's founder, Dr. V, the hospital and subsequently established ancillary R&D units perform with precision. At first glance the dedication and drive of senior management appears tenuous but as their stories unfold you begin to see that their lives were touched by the same vision as Dr V. The book is a great accounting of perseverance against the odds, and most of all a lesson that eradication of common ailments with the lower socio-economic tiers is an achievable and tangible goal.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...