Sunday 23 July 2023

Book Review - Silver Lining : The Story of NephroPlus


Title - Silver Lining - The Story of NephroPlus
Author - Kamal Shah
Genre - Non-Fiction
Publisher - Penguin Books
ISBN - 978-0670097968

This is a beautifully written book by Kamal Shah who despite being a non-medico had gone along with his couple of other non-medico friends to establish India's biggest dialysis service provider. Loved the way this book was written since it captured in detail the troubles faced by kidney patients since Kamal Shah himself was one. From being a healthy individual, life turns drastically after Kamal faces multiple complications because of which he has to forego his travel to the U.S. for higher studies. He also has to be on compulsory dialysis. 

He gets treated in Hyderabad and Mumbai since in the late 90's and early 2000, these dialysis centres were not a improved lot. 

There are a few aspects that the author highlights in this book.

One of them is about the Ministry of AYUSH where the author ponders as to what they actually do and their functions/powers. There is a list of doctors which the author has to interact with on various stages - as a Guest and also as the Co-Founder of NephroPlus.

Dr J CM Sastry, Dr Girish Narayan, Dr Dakshinamurthy, Dr Krishnan, Dr Mohan Raj, Dr Rama Raju, Dr Revathi, Dr Georgi Abraham, Dr V S Reddy, Dr P N Rao, Dr Sundar Sankaran, Jayaram Reddy(Technician, KIMS), Dr Somasekhar, Dr Gopal Kishen, Dr Brian Pereira, Dr Manoharan, Dr A K Bhalla, Dr Umesh Khanna, Dr Vivekanand Jha, Dr Rajasekhara Chakaravarthi, Dr Deepak Dewan, Dr Satish Chhabra, Dr Kavitha Gone among others.

As a Guest, the author has to go to these hospitals for treatment - Jaslok, Kamineni, KIMS, MMM, Care, Medwin etc.,

The author gets treated in various ways which also include PD(Peritoneal Analysis) and also recounts how he faces near death when the place he was staying was flooded with seawater since this happened during 2004 when Tsunami hits the shorelines of many Indian states.

Kamal also gets a kidney from his mother and contrary to the beliefs, he now had 3 kidneys in his body but things did not improve.

There are a few aspects I learned after reading this book which includes “Crash” after dialysis, cyclosporin, buttonhole needles, and how it helped the author to get treated with less pain. Then there is Preparing bicarb solution, priming, Cannulation & Dialysis among others.

He also goes on to express his displeasure on the nexus between Pharma Co sales reps & Dialysis technicians to make money. The author goes on to explain the concept of "Dialysis at Sea" which came as a boon for him enabling him to travel to the places he wanted to visit.

He ends Part 1 with Paulo Coelho's - “When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it”.

In Part 2, the author mentions how he was passionate about English Literature & Indian History. He also recounts the day 28th Aug 2009 during which he receives the first call from another Co-Founder Vikram Vuppala. After long discussions, they open their first dialysis center in MLA Colony - Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad 

During the discussion, they decide to change the term Patient to “Guest”.

They even conduct Aashayein - an event for patients. This becomes a huge success. It also shows how they differed from their peers. They also wanted their dialysis center to have two access - Access and Affordability.

Now comes the difficult part - expansion. For this, the trio meets up with different VCs including Vani Kola of Kalaari Capital. 

After a round of discussions, they end up with various investors in various tranches.

Series A - Bessemer Venture Partners(BVP) decides to invest.

Series B - International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Series C - Sea Link Capital 

NPDA - NephroPlus Dialysis Academy 

NANT - Nephrology Nurses Association 

BONENT Certification program 

As they expand, there were Partner Hospitals - Max Hospitals, Jehangir Hospitals 

They also conduct the "Indian Dialysis Olympiad" which becomes a huge success.

When National Dialysis Service Programme in 2016 was announced by Shri. Arun Jaitley, it became a boon for the lower-income group as well. This book is a must read since it is apt in saying "Castles are not built overnight"

This book is available on Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment