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EXPATRIATES IN MAURITIUS
» 29 May 2012
DR SIMMAR GILL

SO SIMMAR, WHAT ARE YOUR ORIGINS?
I hail from Punjab’s heartland Moga, a region in Northern India and have grown up in Chandigarh, one of Northern India’s foremost cities. Belonging to the landed community of the Sikh warrior race, I have been schooled in our traditional, salt of the earth values which are paramount to every Sikh hard work, humility, valour and large heartedness.  After finishing my schooling in Chandigarh, I cleared my medical entrance exams and left for Assam, for five years of rigorous toil, hardship and bad food, an integral part of any medical student’s life in India.

WE ALL HAVE DETERMINING CHILDHOOD MEMORIES. WAS THERE A PARTICULAR CHILDHOOD
EVENT WHICH FORGED YOUR PERSONALITY?

Having lost my father at an early age, I credit my mother for bringing up my sister and I to be who we are today. While ensuring we never lacked anything, she taught us the importance of hard work, taking responsibility for our actions, and being rooted no matter how high we flew!
HOW DID YOU JOIN THE WONDERFUL FAMILY OF FORTIS HEALTHCARE?
After my medical studies, I joined Fortis Healthcare and started work at Fortis’s flagship hospital in Chandigarh.  A property that will always remain very close to my heart,
not only because it was my first job and a place where I learned the ropes so to speak but also where I met my wife, Panna who also happened to be working there in the
Human Resources Dept. Our son Sujaan, was born four years later in 2007.

SO YOU ARE NOW, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
WHICH CAREER MOVE GOT YOU IN THIS POSITION?

While at Fortis, I finished a course in Hospital Administra-tion, and changed course to quit clinical practice and move to Administration. In 2006, Fortis decided to go in for an
accreditation by the Joint Commission International, USA, an extremely prestigious accreditation, having acquired which, Fortis  would be in a very select group of hospitals
in that part of the world to do so.  While I was elated at being made in charge of the program, I also quickly realized it involved months of hard work, tons of documen-tation, motivating and training a 1000 odd work force of a very busy hospital to go beyond their call of duty. Never one to back down from a challenge , I took it on head on, along with an extremely efficient and hardworking team and we were rewarded with first the JCI stamp of
approval... That 1 year period was indeed a turning point in my career.

CAN YOU SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR
CAREER WHICH GAVE YOU A GREAT FEELING OF ACHIEVEMENT?

In 2009, Fortis posted me to Bangalore. I walked into a 100 bedded hospital with 4 beds occupied, warring factions and a chair placed on my desk in a decrepit room which passed for my office. Two years later when, I was told to head out to Mauritius, it was with a great sense of achievement that I left behind a thriving hospital, with a healthy balance sheet!

LET’S NOW MOVE TO MAURITIUS! HOW DID
YOU END UP ON WHAT PEOPLE CALL PARADISE ISLAND?

Fortis is a premier healthcare organization in India with a global footprint. In early 2009, Fortis and CIEL acquired a controlling stake in Clinique Darné and the Board mandated Fortis to manage what is now known as Fortis Clinique Darné. I took over as the Chief Operating Officer of Fortis Clinique Darné in January 2011 and it has been a great journey since then.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING HERE?

Mauritius is a great place to be! Mauritians are extremely warm and straightforward people. I think it’s a fantastic place to bring up children. It is still relatively free from evils
like vulgar displays of wealth and ostentatious lifestyles that often plague developing societies the world over. And its beautiful! Nature made Mauritius on a Sunday afternoon after two beers …..what with all the natural beauty, the weather and your blue blue ocean!

TO CONCLUDE, IS THERE SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE
TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?

Happiness means different things to different people! I am happy if I can meet my eye in the mirror every morning. A clear conscience is an extremely important and equally hard pressed component to come by in one’s life. I cherish mine.

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