Dr. A. Velumani’s Personal Blog

My life and journey are built on

3 simple principles...

Focus Gives You Success Frugality makes you Richer Discipline sustains Happiness

The Journey...

Childhood

I was born in 1959 at Appanaickenpatti Pudur, a small Village in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, South India. I had 3 Siblings, 2 Brothers and a Sister.  Growing up in a Village gave me the opportunity to operate on low resources, face intimidating challenges and understand India from the bottom of the Pyramid. Being a Son of a landless farmer, education was very motivating to me to change the situation of the family. I graduated with a Bachelors in Chemistry from Madras University, in 1978. 

Find a Job.. 

I was born in 1959 at Appanaickenpatti Pudur, a small Village in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, South India. I had 3 Siblings, 2 Brothers and a Sister.  Growing up in a Village gave me the opportunity to operate on low resources, face intimidating challenges and understand India from the bottom of the Pyramid. Being a Son of a landless farmer, education was very motivating to me to change the situation of the family. I graduated with a Bachelors in Chemistry from Madras University, in 1978. 

Finding a Govt. Job..

Finally, I secured a job at a private company where I worked for 4 years, with a pay not at par with my education and work. I continued to search for a job that I could plan my family’s future with. My focus and determination got me selected and appointed for the coveted government job as a Research Assistant in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (B.A.R.C), Mumbai in 1983. A big feat for me, my family and my Village. I was the first one from the Village to go to Mumbai!  

My parents didn’t know how to support my education and goals, but they never imposed social or emotional limitations on us. That freedom helped me make a decision to go to Mumbai. I knew that would change the complexion of my family's economic status and pave the way for my siblings to think big.

Settling in Life....

Being an immigrant, my survival needs kept me too focused on my job and educating myself for every potential growth possible. That compounded my knowledge, focus, savings and skills. To supplement my income I even took up different part-time jobs including tuition classes. It helped me understand, teaching is the best way to learn deeply.   

I also found another anchor in Mumbai, when I got a proposal to Marry my Wife, Sumathi. She grew to become a great partner, leader for the family and the stabilizing force of my life. She strengthened my foundation in Mumbai and became another reason to keep building the life I set out from my Village to. I had two children, Anand and Amruta, who completed our family.   

I was offered the opportunity to pursue MSc Biochemistry and PhD in Thyroid Biochemistry from Mumbai University, while still working as a Research Scientist in BARC by BARC. That chiselled my professional personality to a great extent. The “Touchwood” perfect life! The “Settled in life” goal seemed fulfilled with a Government Job, Family and a Life in the biggest city of the country, Mumbai. The Village Boy survived! But I didn’t feel that way and made me think, have I come to Survive or Win?

The Entrepreneurial Journey 

That is when I ventured into Thyrocare, a brand around gland. Since my knowledge was deep in Thyroid and only Thyroid, I chose to become a B2B operator for Laboratories. It worked very well and rapidly in Mumbai, I was motivated to Scale beyond one city and that is how we started building a nationwide, networked and accredited laboratory.  

On the backbone of High Trained Freshers, Franchise Networked Laboratory and Technology fuelled system and an intelligent choice of Menu, helped us sustain a 40% EBITDA every single year, compounding at an annual of 25% growth rate, throughout. Thyrocare became one of the most disruptive models the industry had seen in terms of price, logistics, manpower and reach. 

The Turning Points

In 2016, I experienced the highest point of my life and lowest point of my journey. First was a Man from Village, I listed my company at the National Stock Exchange in May 2016 with a record 74 times over subscription. But in the same year, I also lost my life partner, Sumathi to cancer which made me lose the thrill. I enjoyed the journey with her walking by my side. Though the company continued its mission and growth, deep down I wanted to explore more. 

The Happy Ending

So In 2021, amidst COVID when I got an opportunity to exit, I took the difficult decision to move on while the company reached the coveted unicorn status. It was a beautiful moment to reflect on the journey that began with Rs. 500 in pocket filled with impact, creation and service to a country with a billion population. I found my happy ending and a glorious one! 

 Life and journey dedicated to

Mrs. Sumathi Velumani

Sumathi with her roots from Kumbakonam , Tamil Nadu was born in Cochin in  1960. Raised in Mumbai, a graduate in chemistry, worked for BARC and then State Bank of India.  I thought a village boy and city girl may not make a good match. But her parents persuaded relentlessly and finally I agreed. That reluctant and 4 yr delayed  decision proved to be the best decision of my life.  With shared values of Frugality, Focus and Family, the journey became enriched and fulfilling with each passing year. She was my backbone in family and business. Till I got married I was the head of my family. Then she took charge and ensured all in the family moved ahead secure and strong. She never slept before me and also never got up after me.  When I risked a government job, even without discussing it with her, to start my business, she sacrificed her identity and focused on my success and happiness. Though she could not accompany me for ringing the bell in National Stock Exchange (IPO) she was the one who 1. Made me to MSc and PhD.  2. Made me Scientist, entrepreneur and storyteller.  3. Taught me Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati  4. Brought up our two children, frugal and powerful when I did not devote time.  She was my Ambassador and biggest fan.  Unfortunately she was a victim of pancreatic cancer and abruptly left me in February 2016. She is the reason for me to enter into entrepreneurship and exit also. We lived for a 30 year life of highest intensity. 

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