It was a proud moment indeed for Sankara Nethralaya when it received a request from the National School of Management that students from the University of Albany, New York with which they have partnered for an Executive MBA program would like to visit Sankara Nethralaya for a first hand perspective of how ‘Business and Compassion can go hand in hand’ and to observe the principle of ‘bottom of the pyramid’ at work. While visits in the past by students from premium institutions to study its processes, advancements in eye care and various developments was a testimonial to its expertise in its chosen field of specialization, a request from a premium US University to bring its Management students on a study tour to understand the concept of doing ‘business with compassion’, the driving spirit of the institution was a rare compliment and a recognition of its adherence to this lofty principle and an indication that the institution’s reputation for such service had spread internationally..
A team of 40 members comprising students pursuing their Executive MBA program at the University of Albany and the National School of Management, Chennai its course collaborator accompanied by their Associate Dean Dr. Sanjay Putrevu and Provost Dr Ray Bromley were taken on an exhaustive tour of Sankara Nethralaya by Shri A.Mahalingam, Academic Officer, Sankara Nethralaya Academy . The students and the faculty had a highly interactive exchange with the Heads of the various Departments, Researchers and Administrators at different levels and had many of their queries clarified as they went along the tour. The onsite visit concluded with an in-depth Question and Answer session at the Sri VD Swami Auditorium between the students and the Sankara Nethralaya senior management team of Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr.S.Bhaskaran, Chairman, Shri PR. Ravindran, Chief General Manager and Ms Akila Ganesan, Senior General Manager.
The senior management team answered queries relating to various facets of Sankara Nethralaya like its research facility, educational programs, business model, what inspired its inception, future goals, role in society etc. Responding on behalf of Dr SS.Badrinath to a query from a student on why ‘Eye Care’ was preferred by him over the other organs of the anatomy, Dr. Vasanthi Badrinath, Director, Nathela Sampathu Chetty Clinical Laboratory took the audience back in time with a highly spirited and moving account tracing Dr SS.Badrinath’s thoughts and passion from the time of his completing his specialization in the area of Vitreo-retina in the USA to the inception of Sankara Nethralaya with the help of friends and well-wishers. This poignant and spontaneous presentation capturing the spirit of selfless service of the founder of Sankara Nethralaya evoked a thunderous applause from the students, members of Sankara Nethralaya including the senior management team on the dais. The study visit by the Management students concluded on a very positive note with each of the 40 students pledging their personal contribution to fund a free cataract surgery, evidence that they were truly convinced on the principle of business and compassion going hand in hand at Sankara Nethralaya! The topic of their study.