A rising star on the corporate horizon, Shubhang Arora believes in doing business with a difference, combining his love for philanthropy with a formidable business acumen. The 25-year-old owner and executive director of the Yashoda Group of Hospitals has grown up seeing the challenges faced by medical professionals, prompting his belief that the hospital is, above all else, a noble calling. During the pandemic, too, Arora has emerged as a Covid hero, leading the fight from the front.
For Arora, who was recently honoured at the World Economic Forum Davos Switzerland, it was this emotional connection and desire for social work that brought him back to India after graduating from New York University. Recalls Arora, “I had many opportunities to stay in the United States and work for banks, investment firms and other financial institutions. I chose, however, to come back to serve our society and country.”
Yashoda Hospitals is inextricably tied to his personal story and the foundation for putting philanthropy first was laid in childhood, watching doctors and nurses at close quarters. Arora believes, “Those who help alleviate the suffering of their fellow humans are surely doing the greatest service imaginable. If I can help even one person feel better and more secure, I would consider myself successful.”
He comments, “This is why I consider my chain of hospitals not as a business enterprise but rather an endeavour in philanthropy and social service. Our goal at Yashoda has never been profit maximisation, our philosophy is rooted in – ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ – that the whole world is one family. And when you consider all fellow human beings as family, profit and money-making can never be a part of the picture.”
Early on, he had a calling to combine business and philanthropy, for which he credits his Buddhist values. He remarks, “I vehemently believe that in life, there are things more important than money. I consider myself very blessed to be in a position to be able to help those who are less fortunate than me. I chose to give up a life of luxury in order to lend a helping hand to those who can’t help themselves. It was a deeply personal decision and I credit my Buddhist values that prompted me to make this call.”
Arora is also passionate about the many charitable causes taken up by Yashoda Hospitals and working with terminally ill children at St. Jude is particularly close to his heart, he confesses. “For a number of years now, our hospital and I, personally, have been involved with St. Jude Childcare India. It does great work for children under 12 years who are suffering from terminal illnesses.”
Yashoda Hospitals comes to their aid at a critical juncture in their lives. Arora explains, “These children are largely treated at government hospitals like AIIMS. But often, they face great delays in investigations and diagnostics at government hospitals due to their tremendous workload. We at Yashoda do their investigations and diagnostic procedures like CT Scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, etc, completely free of cost and more importantly, as soon as needed. This saves crucial time, sometimes months, and helps doctors begin their treatment which would have otherwise been delayed.”
Philanthropic activities under Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals include regular and sustained free-of-cost treatment of three-time Olympian and archer Limba Ram, a Padma Shri awardee, who suffers from multiple medical and neurological disorders; providing free critical care for a hand-crush Injury of a young basketball player from Uttarakhand; free treatment and surgery of a facial trauma incident to an abducted child aged four years; saving treating an abandoned girl child, etc. Under Arora’s stewardship, the hospital has also adopted Kasturba Gandhi Gov. School for Girls, Loni, Ghaziabad to cater to their health and hygiene needs, conducting regular health camps with distribution of medicines, sanitary pads, etc. Similarly, it has also adopted Masauta village in Ghaziabad for its health and education needs, organising camps to create awareness on issues like sanitation, personal hygiene, periodic medical check-ups, nutrition, safe drinking water, etc.
The coronavirus pandemic has also brought fresh challenges for the world and particularly the medical fraternity, which Yashoda Hospitals has met head on. Working tirelessly, Arora has ensured that there are dedicated wards, rooms, ICU’s and CCU’s for treating corona positive patients with mild, moderate or severe symptoms. This wing is equipped with an exclusive diagnostic facility, ventilators for critically ill patients and in-house real-time RT-PCR COVID testing lab accredited by NABL and approved by ICMR, the only one of its kind in Ghaziabad, Delhi-NCR. The range of therapies offered cover HCQs, Lopinavir-Ritonavir, Remdesivir, Tocilizumab and the latest Convalescent Plasma Therapy. The team has been very successful in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients and discharging them back home safely.
Under its aggressive COVID Care plan, Yashoda Hospitals is active in the field, closely monitored by Arora, having treated over 50 patients free of cost, with an average bill of nearly Rs 3-4 lakh per patient. During lockdown, it has also begun free online consultation services for the community, besides home sample collections and home delivery of medicines. It has also distributed free of cost PPEs, 1500 masks among the common public, as well as 1500 PPE kits, 2500 N-95 Masks, 5000 3-ply masks, 1500 hand sanitisers to the local administration of Ghaziabad for frontline civil servants, besides food packets to almost 10000 people with the help of NGO (Jhandewalan Mandir) in Delhi.
Arora’s corporate philosophy ties up with his personal vision of philanthropy and his dream to provide affordable healthcare and put Indian medical facilities on a global pedestal. He states, “My ultimate goal is to provide world-class healthcare delivery at an affordable cost to the public. I am currently in the process of building two new multi-super speciality hospitals which includes plans for a 800-bedded Medicity in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad. I wish to provide the public with a level of medical care comparable to the finest hospitals in the US and Europe.”
Mindfulness, yoga and meditation are a big part of the philanthropist-businessman’s day, keeping him centred on the goal to give back to society through his work. He tells us, “I gain inspiration from spiritual leaders like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sadhguru and try my best to follow their teachings. I have completed a number of Art of Living courses since my teenage days and they have really helped elevate my consciousness and made me kinder and more grateful. My spirituality is intrinsically linked to my philanthropy. Because in my opinion, giving back to society is the greatest exercise in meditation.”