February 17, 2020 / 5:25 PM / 3 months ago

NMC's BR Shetty: From pharma salesman to healthcare baron

(Reuters) - BR Shetty on Monday stepped down as the joint non-executive chairman of NMC Health, a company he founded in 1975 and built up into the largest private healthcare company in the United Arab Emirates.

Shetty’s decision to step down follows a string of resignations months after the company was thrown into turmoil following questions raised over the group’s finances. The resignations have included vice chairman Khalifa Butti Omeir Bin Yousef.

A bruising short-selling attack by Muddy Waters launched two months ago has seen NMC’s market value fall to 1.6 billion pounds ($2.1 billion), down from its peak value of about 8.4 billion pounds in August 2018.

Here are ten facts about Indian billionaire Shetty.

- Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty was born in Kaup, Udupi in the state of Karnataka, India in 1942 and began his career as the vice chairman of the municipal council.

- Shetty, India’s 42nd richest person in 2019 according to Forbes, used to work as a pharma salesman.

- Shetty has a net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.

- He moved to the UAE in 1973 with a clinical degree in pharmacy.

- Founded New Medical Centre (NMC) in 1975, the first healthcare company from the region to list on the London Stock Exchange in 2012.

- Shetty has also founded London-listed payments company Finablr and pharmaceutical manufacturer Neo Pharma.

- Shetty also owns healthcare firm BR Life, which has a presence in India, Nepal, Africa and the Gulf.

- Shetty owns the entire 100th floor of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, according to Forbes.

- Shetty received his Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University, Dubai and has four children. He is married to Chandrakumari Raghuram Shetty, who is the Medical Director of NMC.

- Shetty made an unsuccessful foray into the film-making business in 2017 - a $150 million adaptation of the epic Sanskrit poem the Mahabharata, a story of about 1.8 million words about a power struggle between two branches of a family in ancient India.

Source: BR Shetty’s website, Forbes, Reuters stories

Reporting by Samantha Machado and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman

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