Abenevolent soul since beginning, Dr. B.R. Shetty set out in his professional life as the Vice Chairman of the Municipal Council in Udupi, Karnataka, determined to help people improve their lives. However, a desire, a dream and destiny brought him to the desert land of the United Arab Emirates.
Though visibly he only had a clinical degree in Pharmacy, he possessed innate attributes of dedication towards any task at hand and a rare sense of curiosity & interest in everything around him, clubbed with derivation of feelings of adventure and determination to meet any challenge in sight. He found them enough to build a global empire of multiple businesses including healthcare, finance, trading, ventures and many more.
Knack for Seeing Inconspicuous Opportunities
Renowned for an uncommon vision for identifying doors of opportunities which others fail to notice, Dr. Shetty put to use his knowledge of Pharmacy and began to offer healthcare facilities in the UAE at a time, in 1975, when there was a tremendous need of excellent targeted healthcare in a rapidly growing nation.
Thus, establishing New Medical Centre (NMC) in 1975, meeting direct needs and harnessing the tremendous potential in a growing healthcare industry in the UAE, with dedication and unswerving focus, he rapidly grew his business over the years to emerge as the UAE’s largest private healthcare provider currently. His ingenious insights led NMC to become the first healthcare company from the region to be listed on the London Stock Exchange and a part of the FTSE100 index, and later a Member of the prestigious club of MSCI Global Index.
Next, Dr. Shetty founded the UAE Exchange in 1980 as he realized that Indian expatriates in the UAE regularly remitted to their families back home and this was a great opportunity to help them in quick and commendable financial services of global remittance, foreign exchange and payment solutions.
Another milestone was achieved as Dr. Shetty established Neopharma as an outstanding pharmaceutical manufacturer in 2003, targeting the entire healthcare value chain of the UAE. Built over the concept of modular manufacturing with international standards, with efficient control mechanisms put in place, Neopharma does its own research and development to offer quality medicines at affordable prices.
An observant mind over his shoulders, Dr. Shetty followed closely the progress of the UAE as a developing hub of manufacturing and services to a world leader in hightech and splendid products, tourism and global businesses, and discovered another opportunity of building a highly reliable network of distribution of pharmaceuticals, medical & scientific equipment, fastmoving consumer goods, and educational & veterinary products. It is highly remarkable that commencing its operations in 1981, NMC Trading is today the only distribution business to have a pan-UAE presence across all its distribution categories.
Determined to create new avenues of value and solutions, Dr. Shetty has founded BRS Ventures – targeting healthcare in emerging economies, food & beverage and education – which is his holding company for new growth businesses.
Achieving phenomenal success through a multitude of businesses that he has painstakingly established over a period of about five decades, he has always lent on the support of his better half – Dr. C.R. Shetty, whom he considers the strongest pillar in his life – his other family members and his close associates.
Showered with prestigious awards and honours for his outstanding personal and professional achievements, he was bestowed with the ‘Order of Abu Dhabi’ by the Government of Abu Dhabi, the highest civilian award for contribution to the development of the community and the cause of the Emirate; honoured with the prestigious civilian award ‘Padma Shri’ by the Government of India; the First- Ever Swiss Ambassador’s Award; Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award by President of India, Dr. Kalam; Middle East Top Indian Leaders in the UAE Award; Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University, Dubai; and several more.
Back to the Society
Education being close to Dr. Shetty’s heart, he has contributed profusely towards building a brilliant future of the students in the region by establishing several bestin- class schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including Deira Private School, Bright Riders School (MBZ, Western Region and DIP) as well as Sara Nursery, and has also founded the Indian Pharmaceuticals Association in the Emirates. In addition, he serves as the Honorary Chairman of Abu Dhabi Indian School – the largest community school in the region; is on the Board of Directors of Haldwani Medical College in Uttaranchal and Manipal Medical Academy; and is the Chairman of the Board of Brindavan College.
Leading several philanthropic initiatives, the benevolent Dr. Shetty has donated with a large heart to the Indian community, people from all walks of life, as well as several charitable organizations. Considering himself a citizen of the world, he has offered aids during natural calamities in Bangladesh, Japan, Indonesia and India.
He has offered relief to people of Turkey, Sri Lanka and Thailand in times of need, has supplied medicines to the grief-stricken Palestinian State, and in the capacity of the Director of the Special Care Center in Abu Dhabi and the Cancer Foundation helped countless with medical and healthcare benefits.
He says, “It is society which nurtures you. It is your duty to give back to society. Only when you share your success, does it multiply. My mission in life is to serve the community, by way of my professional ventures and personal pursuits.”