Most people take their health for granted, till they face a serious health problem. Silver Lining is story of how Kamal Shah, who suffered from kidney failure overcame his health problems and built Nephroplus , India’s largest Dialysis provider with his partners.
In 1997, Kamal Shah had completed his chemical engineering and got his visa for further studies in the United States. He had to take some vaccines before leaving the country. However after taking the vaccines he started feeling unwell. Being a healthy young man, he initially ignored the symptoms. Later when his health worsened , he went to a doctor, who confirmed that his kidneys were failing.
Kamal Shah and his family who were living in Hyderabad, tried all the options available to prevent kidney failure, visiting various doctors, hospitals, and though different treatments were used, they all failed. He was forced to undergo dialysis periodically , at least twice a week, to survive. Knowing that he was suffering from kidney problems, people started sending details of various doctors and others who they thought they could help. He also moved to Mumbai for sometime hoping to get cured, but he was not able to get a permanent solution.
In 1999 Shah found out about Peritoneal Dialysis (PD), in which the dialysis took place without attaching an external machine across the peritoneum membrane. The main advantage of using this method was that the patient does not have to visit the hospital thrice a week for dialysis and also there are fewer restrictions on food and diet. Though there were very few patients in the country, using PD, the company supplying the technology, fluid arranged for Shah to have PD quickly, so that he could lead an almost normal life.
After PD Shah was able to take up a job in a software company through his family network. He was also able to travel as his wished. Yet during the 2004 Tsunami, Shah was holidaying near Chennai and he got infected at the PD point. He was forced to stop PD and resume conventional dialysis. Being proactive and always looking for methods to reduce the pain and inconvenience of dialysis, he used the latest techniques, equipment and supplies. He was able to set up a home dialysis centre with the help of technicians. He also had a blog where he documented the problems which he faced.
Shah met his future business partner Vikram Vuppala through the blog. Together they set up Nephrocare Health services to market their dialysis services under the brand name Nephroplus. Initially they started with dialysis centres in Hyderabad. Later using government funding for healthcare services they opened centres in Mahbubnagar, Agra and elsewhere. In Mumbai they opened centres which were funded by charities. How Shah expanded his healthcare chain with his partners and got funding forms the rest of the story.
An interesting and well written book, relevant for those who are suffering from kidney problems or have a relative/friend suffering from kidney ailments.
Silver Lining, Overcoming adversity to build Nephroplus
Author: Kamal Shah
Publisher: Penguin Random House, 2023
The author had sent a few sample copy for review.
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