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Eliminating Needless Blindness

Thulasiraj Ravilla, Executive Director of Aravind Eye Care System, explains how this Indian company took the efficiency of McDonalds and a need to provide healthcare for the poor and created a unique way of delivering eye care to millions of people.

Thulasiraj Ravilla (Thulsi) is the Executive Director of Indian based Aravind Eye Care System. In the short video, Thulsi gives us insights into their unique business model, – offering a mixture of fee paying and free services to patients to allow people on very small incomes to access health care.

He describes how a bottle neck of resources and a growing problem of needless blindness in India led to the start of the company and how studying McDonald’s business model helped them to achieve a productivity rate that is 4 to 5times greater than their competitors.

Aravind’s founder affectionately called “Dr V” set out to create a franchise business structure that had a deep spiritual company culture and a mechanism of delivering eye care with the efficiency of McDonalds. Thulsi says the principles that they took from McDonalds were:

  1. How to provide consistency and quality

  2. How to standardise the processes

  3. How to leverage efficiency across the system

Thulsi describes how they streamlined their Cataract Surgery and divided up roles within the company to optimise surgeon’s time whilst providing a high quality service.

Thulasiraj Ravilla was a key speaker at the Wavelength Connect event On Your Marks 2012. To view more videos from this event go to On Your Marks 2012.

Click on the link to view more videos from Thulasiraj Ravilla


About: Aravind Eye Hospital was founded in 1976 by Dr G Venkataswamy (known ad Dr V) to tackle a growing problem of avoidable blindness in India. Starting out as an 11 bed hospital operating a unique hybrid model where 5 beds were for fee paying patients and the remaining 6 beds for non-fee paying patients.

Aravind Eye Care System has now expanded operating multiple hospitals across India, it is a world renowned institution, it has performed more than 4million eye surgeries, produced over 1.2 million lenses for a price as low as $2, seen over 32 million patients and harnessed a unique company culture. To learn more about the company and it’s work visit

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