Dr Devi Prasad Shetty a cardiac surgeon, built a Narayana Health hospitals


We all want to be inspired by the success stories of Indian entrepreneurs.

Boingam  presents a series of success stories from Successful enterpreneur that have created a niche and become icons.

You can read the inspiring story of Dr Devi Prasad Shetty who founded Narayana Health Hospitals.

Who is Dr Devi Prasad Shetty

Indian surgeon Dr Devi Prasad Shetty was an entrepreneur and chairperson. He also founded Narayana Health Hospitals which is 21 Indian medical centres. He was Mother Teresa’s personal doctor.

In his three decades of practice, Dr Devi Prasad performed more than 15,000 heart operations. He also pioneered low-cost diagnostics. Shetty was also the first Indian neonatal surgeon to perform cardiac surgery in 1992. He is also a brilliant thinker and a good philanthropist.

In 2004 for his contributions to affordable healthcare, Dr Devi Prasad received the Padma Shri (the fourth highest civilian award), followed by Padma Bhushan (2021), the third highest civilian award given by the Government of India.

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Dr Devi Prasad Shetty was a child of a small village in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada region, Karnataka. His schooling was at Mangalore’s St. Aloysius College.

He attended St. Aloysius College in Mangaluru. He was a brilliant student. In 1979, he completed his MBBS.

He graduated in General Surgery from Kasturba Hospital, Mangalore.

He is married Shakuntala and blessed with 4 children, Anish Shetty (Varun Shetty), Varun Shetty, Viren Shrin Shetty.

He was a high school student when he learned about the heart transplant surgery performed by Christiaan Barnard, a South African surgeon. He started to read about heart surgery.

He was astonished by the surgery and felt inspired to continue his medical education and make a difference in people’s lives. He was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, FRCS from England.

Devi Prasad Shetty was born in India and returned to India in 1989. In 1992, he performed the first successful neonatal heart transplant on Ronnie, a nine-day-old baby. He started his career at B.M. Birla Hospital, Kolkata.

After Mother Teresa suffered a heart attack, he treated her and performed surgery on her. He was Mother Teresa’s personal physician.

According to him, hospitals can reduce healthcare costs by half if they adopt economies of scale. Devi Prasad Shetty eventually moved to Bangalore, where he founded the Manipal Heart Foundation. Shetty’s father-in law contributed the financial support.

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

Narayana Hrudayalaya offers cardiac surgery as well as cardiology, transplant services and neurosurgery.

Shetty has signed an MOU with the Government of Karnataka for the construction of a specialty hospital of 5,000 beds near Bangalore International Airport.

Narayana Hrudayalaya has signed a memorandum with the Gujarat Government to establish a 5,000-bed hospital in Ahmedabad.

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

Low-cost Health Care Treatment

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, who is passionate about helping the poor, wants his hospitals to be able to make economies of scale. All his efforts in medicine are directed at heart surgery costs that are lower for poor patients in India.

Cross ventilation is being used instead of air conditioning by Shetty to lower operating costs. This has reduced the cost of coronary bypass surgery from 95,000 rupees to 95,000 rupees.

His Narayana Hrudayalaya hospitals perform heart surgeries at a fraction of the cost of hospitals in the USA.

For these outstanding achievements, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty was named Henry Ford of heart surgery.

Narayana Hrudayalaya Heart Hospital plans to care for approximately 15,000 patients every day, and perform over 30 major heart surgery per day.

He also created Yeshasvini Co-operative Farmer’s Health Care Scheme. This is the world’s most affordable comprehensive insurance plan, providing coverage to poor farmers for Rs18 per month. It covered 805 procedures in 2003.

Shetty was awarded the Padma Bhushan Award for his Yeshasvini Co-operative Farmer’s Health Care Scheme. This is the third highest civilian award in India.

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty was awarded many recognitions and awards for his achievements, 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: The Schwab Foundation Award
  • 2012: Padma Bhushan Award in Medicine
  • 2012: Economic Times Awards Entrepreneur of the Year

We hope that you find the inspirational story of Dr Devi Prasad Shetty (Indian entrepreneur, founder of Narayana Health Hospitals), useful and inspiring as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey.

Do you have a success story to share, such as this Indian Entrepreneur or Social Entrepreneur? write your story, interview, and send it. We would love to hear about your success stories.


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