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Book Review: A for Apollo

Tuesday, 28 June 2016
NT Bureau

While translations of popular books face the risk of sounding like dubbed movies, Dheergadharisi, the Tamil version of cardiologist-entrepreneur Dr Prathap C Reddy’s biography 'Healer', is like a beautifully remade film.

Penned by noted writer Sivasankari, it is not a word by word translation of the original by Pranay Gupte. Yet, it has not left anything that was there in 'Healer'.

In fact, value additions have been made at appropriate places, making the book earthy, touching, and in a sense, healing.

Sivasankari starts the book with a personal touch, recalling how the founder of Apollo Hospitals group played an active role in treating her (late) husband Chandrasekar.

From then on, Dheergadharisi tracks the journey of Reddy, from a small boy in Aragonda in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh to the captain of India’s private medical sector.

Besides chronicling the life of Reddy, it also acts as a window to key developments in healthcare from the 1970s to the present day. This book shows us how Reddy, through Apollo, created opportunities that brought Indian doctors settled abroad back to India, and by investing in technology, helped specialists to advance professionally.

It credits Reddy with introducing a culture of competence, and a more soothing environment into Indian hospitals; implementing emergency services; and influencing Tamilnadu to develop the most advanced ‘cadaver policy’ in India.

Dr Reddy’s four daughters - Preetha, Suneeta, Shobana and Sangita - all key executives at Apollo, have been lauded for their talents. His grandchildren are increasingly assuming leadership roles.

And his wife, Sucharitha, continues to be a pillar of support to Reddy in all his activities. On how he manages the twin jobs of being a doctor and a businessman, Reddy says in the book, "At the end of the day, when you see smiling faces and you are satisfied that you have given your best to help people, that is what keeps you going. I truly enjoy what I do. There is no secret to the way I work. It’s simply passion. I never claim our success as my own. Our success is the sum total of the dedicated enterprise of each and every member of the Apollo family."

Published by Vanathi Pathippakam, the 840-page book is priced at Rs 800. For more details contact 044-24342810. Email:

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