B. R. Shetty- Founder of NMC Health

Meghashree Das Meghashree Das
Apr 13, 2021 8 min read
B. R. Shetty- Founder of NMC Health

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Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty is an Indian-born businessman who is the founder and an acquirer of a number of companies based in the United Arab Emirates, which includes Abu Dhabi-based NMC Health, Neopharma, BRS Ventures, and Finablr. Shetty's initial interest was in hospitals and hospitality. And has since diversified into pharmaceuticals, financial services, retail, advertising and information technology. In 2015, he was included on the Forbes list of India's 100 Richest People.

B.R. Shetty
B.R. Shetty

B. R. Shetty- Biography

Name B.R. Shetty
Nationality Indian
DOB 1 August 1942
Occupation Founder of NMC Health, Finablr
Parents Shambhu and Koosamma Shetty Shetty
Net Worth $3.15 billion(2019)

B. R. Shetty- Early Life
B.R. Shetty- Family
B.R. Shetty- Career
B.R. Shetty- Neopharma
B.R. Shetty- Controversies
B.R. Shetty- Awards and Achievements

B. R. Shetty - Early Life

B.R. Shetty was born on 1 August 1942 to an ethnic Tuluva family. He was born in Kapu, Udupi to Tulu-speaking parents. He has 4 children after marrying to Chandrakumari Shetty.

B.R. Shetty - Family

He was born to Shambhu Shetty and Koosamma Shetty. He is married to Chandrakumari Shetty who is also a doctor. She is also the Group Medical director of NMC Health. He is father to one son and 3 daughters- Binay Shetty, Seema Shetty, Reema Shetty, and Neema Shetty.


B.R. Shetty- Career

In 1973, he immigrated to the UAE. He founded New Medical Centre Health (NMC) in 1974 to fill the need for personalized, cost-effective healthcare accessible to all after working as the country's first medical representative. His wife was the only doctor in the clinic at that time. NMC is the largest private healthcare provider in the UAE. NMC has over 4 million patients annually across 45 facilities spread over 12 cities and 8 countries, including UAE, KSA, Oman, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Colombia and Brazil.

It is the first healthcare company from the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) and also the first company from Abu Dhabi to be listed on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange and was part of the coveted FTSE 100 Index. The company was de-listed from London Stock Exchange and was removed from FTSE 100 index, consequent to the request from the NMC board of directors and an on-going investigation of potential financial irregularities.


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B.R. Shetty took over the UAE Exchange from its founder Daniel Varghese in 1980 with the help of an Emirati and a former UAE minister of Justice, Abdulla Humaid Al Mazroei. Founded by Daniel Varghese UAE exchange was an attempt to ease the process of sending money by the expats to their families in their respective home countries. It had expanded into over 31 countries and had approximately 800 direct offices by 2016. It did over US$50 billion collectively in money remittance and exchange volumes in 2014 . In 2014 Shetty acquired Travelex, a major foreign exchange company. Travelex has a global footprint including 1500 stores and 1300 ATMs across 27 countries.

NMC located in Dubai
NMC located in Dubai

B.R. Shetty - Neopharma

Shetty founded NMC Neopharma, a UAE based pharmaceutical manufacturer in 2003. Neopharma was inaugurated by the former President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in Abu Dhabi. It uses the concept of modular manufacturing following global benchmarks in manufacturing technology and putting in place efficient control mechanisms. Neopharma has a research and development wing. It works to provide quality medicines at affordable prices. The company contracts manufacturing for international pharmaceutical companies and also generic brands for companies including, but not limited to, Merck, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Boots UK.

Shetty led NMC through an IPO on the London Stock Exchange, which raised $330 million in 2012. The funds were used in building a specialty hospital in Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi.

Shetty announced that he was building the first medical university in Abu Dhabi in honor of Sheikh Zayed in June 2016. He was elected to be chairman of the Indian Business/Professional Group that same month. Shetty announced that he was building a 400-bed super-specialty hospital in Udupi in Karnataka through B R S Ventures in August 2016. He owns a hospital in Alexandria, two hospitals in Nepal, and acquired a hospital in Cairo as part of his personal portfolio under the same company.

BRS Ventures also announced plans to invest $5 billion in developing healthcare facilities across India in August 2019.

B.R. Shetty - Controversies

Bloomberg News report casted doubts on his real holding amidst the short-selling of NMC Health by Muddy Waters Research in February 2020. Shetty was also ousted from the NMC Health board following a corporate governance scandal over his holdings in the company in February 2020.

NMC went into Administration in UK due to insolvency of the company on April 8, 2020. The Central Bank of UAE ordered seizure of all assets of Shetty and his family in the UAE on April 27, 2020.

There were allegations of misappropriation by Shetty at his companies and was forced to resign from his director positions. NMC Health went into Administration in UK due to the insolvency of the company on April 8, 2020.

It is believed that his net worth has fallen to a fraction of the earlier estimate of $3.15 billion due to sharp drops in share prices and shares pledged by Shetty to pay for debts incurred. Consequently Forbes dropped Shetty from its 2020 annual list of billionaires.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank filed a criminal complaint against NMC Health with the Attorney General's Office of UAE on 15 April 2020. Indian agencies have initiated probe to identify potential risks to Indian banks, if any. The Central Bank of UAE ordered the freezing of his accounts and the blacklisting of his firms on 27 April 2020.

It was discovered his entire setup was a fraud and he was hiding in borrowings which were discovered to be in excess of 6.8 billion USD in 2019- Subsequently, he has absconded to India.


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B.R. Shetty- Awards and Achievements

Awards Year
Abu Dhabi Awards- the highest civilian distinction in the Emirate 2005
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman 2007
Padma Shri 2009
Asian Achievers Awards 2011
International Achievers Summit's Lifetime Achievement Award 2013
Frost & Sullivan Lifetime Achievement Award 2013
Top Indian Leaders in the UAE Award- Forbes Middle East 2014
Centenary Award 2015
Deal of the Year Award 2015
6th Middle East Business Leaders Awards 2015
Golden Peacock Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Leadership 2016
Business Excellence Award from the Indian Business & Professional Council 2016
Honorary Doctorate award by Middlesex University in Dubai 2016
Annual Health Awards 2017
Nadaprabhu Kempegowda International Award 2017
C3 Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

Shetty was awarded the highest civilian distinction in the Emirate, the Abu Dhabi Awards in 2005. It was given by H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. U.S. India Friendship Society presented Shetty the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award in 2005.

In 2007, Shetty was honored by the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman.

In 2009, Shetty received the Padma Shri awarded by the President of India for his contribution in the field of trade and industry.

He received the Asian Achievers Award from the Human Achievers Foundation in July 2011.

Pharma Leaders founded by Satya Brahma declared Shetty as Global Indian of the Year along with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw at 5th Annual Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit & Pharma Leaders Business Leadership Awards in September 2012 in Mumbai.

Shetty was recognized as one of Asia's most promising leaders at the Asian Brand & Leadership Summit in 2013. He was awarded the International Achievers Summit's Lifetime Achievement Award in March 2013. Shetty received the Asian Business Leadership Forum India-UAE Business Icons Award that same year. He also received the Frost & Sullivan Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

Forbes Middle East recognized Shetty with the Top Indian Leaders in the UAE Award in 2014. In the same year he also received the Lakshya Business Visionary Award. Shetty was recognized with the International Achievement Award at the Indian Innovator Awards that same year.

The Indian Club - Bahrain recognized Shetty with a Centenary Award in February 2015. He received the Deal of the Year Award at the Indian CEO Awards in 2015. Shetty received the Business Personality of the Year award from Crowe Horwath International in June 2015. Shetty received the Arabian Indian Czars award that same month.

In 2015, Shetty received the Global Indian Achiever Award from H. H. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak al Nahyan. Also, H. H. Prince Faisal Bin Saud Bin Musaed Bin Abdulaziz presented Shetty with the National Cultural Award in 2015. Β In 2015, Shetty's company, NMC Healthcare, received the Frost & Sullivan Middle East Integrated Healthcare Company of the Year Award. MILAAP honored Shetty with a Lifetime Achievement Award that same year.

B.R. Shetty was recognized as the Healthcare Business Leader of the Year at the 2015 Gulf Business Industry Awards. He was felicitated by More Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Dubai in November 2015. In 2015, Shetty's NMC Healthcare was recognized at the 6th Middle East Business Leaders Awards where Shetty was given the Industry Excellence in Healthcare Award.

Shetty received the Golden Peacock Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Leadership in 2016. Shetty won the Business Excellence Award from the Indian Business & Professional Council in 2016. Β In 2016, Middlesex University in Dubai awarded Shetty an Honorary Doctorate.

Shetty was honored at the Annual Health Awards with a special award for his contribution to the region's healthcare industry in January 2017. The next month, Shetty received the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda International Award at the Kempegowda International Festival.

Shetty was recognized by Forbes Middle East among the top Indian leaders in the Arab world in May 2018. Shetty received the C3 Lifetime Achievement Award in September 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Who is B. R. Shetty?

Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty is an Indian-born businessman who is the founder and an acquirer of a number of companies based in the United Arab Emirates, which includes Abu Dhabi-based NMC Health, Neopharma, BRS Ventures, and Finablr.

Who is the Neopharma owner?

B. R. Shetty is the owner of Neopharma.

What is the full form of NMC Hospital?

NMC Health stands for New Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi.

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