Caselet: Aravind Eye Care System - Vision 2020: Stepping Out of the Shadows of a Giant and the Journey Ahead [By Profs. L Prasad and DVR Seshadri (IIMB) based on longer case developed by them] © 2007 IIM Bangalore
Aravind Eye Care System (AECS, Aravind), Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India, is a hugely successful set of related, vertically integrated organizations that provides Eye Care to several hundreds of thousands of people each year. It is now a global benchmark organization in the field of eye care, in terms of quality of treatment, volumes handled, productivity of its workforce, caring environment for its stakeholders (patients, employees, etc.), and most importantly for bringing corporate social responsibility to the centre-stage of its working. The organization owes it existence to one individual, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy (Dr. V), its founder, who despite the biggest odds that an entrepreneur might face, built it up, through sheer grit, passion, quest for excellence, sense of purpose and desire to serve society, leveraging the competencies and support of his family. Being far-sighted, he structured the organization as a trust rather than as a private company, so that its long-term existence is not jeopardized through potential family squabbles that plague many private corporations, especially after the passing away of the founder. From its humble and tentative beginnings in 1976, Aravind has come a long way, and is today looked upon by the world as a leader in eye care. The demise of Dr. V in 2006 resulted in a close family member, Dr. Namperumalswamy (Dr. Nam), a Retina care specialist in his own right, taking up the mantle of leadership of the institution. As he settles down to leading Aravind and setting direction for the organization over the next several decades, he has to contend with a changing environment, where cataract surgeries, that have been the signature offering of Aravind, have become commoditized, with many eye hospitals across the...
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