B R Shetty will soon bounce back, his friends assure

Friends of embattled billionaire assure B R Shetty will soon bounce back

B R Shetty

Friends of embattled billionaire B R Shetty feel that he will come out clean in connection with the criminal complaint lodged against him by an Abu Dhabi-based bank.

“He knows the value of NMC. He has not withdrawn the amount,” says Kaushal Shetty, General Manager, BRS Health and Research Institute.

Kaushal told DH that if Shetty had intentions of swindling money, he would have withdrawn guarantee amount of $1.8 billion pledged for NMC. He will soon prove his innocence at the Attorney General’s Office of UAE, adds Kaushal. 

No one knows what lies ahead for Shetty, whose swift rise is the stuff of movies.  

Tracing his chequered rags-to-riches career, friends reveal that Shetty would not go down without a fight. Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty was born in a Tulu-speaking Bunt community in 1942. After obtaining his degree in Clinical Pharmacy in 1972, Shetty began his career as a medical representative and became a distributor for a Pune-based pharmaceutical company in Udupi.

Shetty tried his hand in politics. He and former Home Minister late Dr V S Acharya were active in local politics. He was elected twice to the Udupi town municipality from Bharathiya Jana Sangha (BJS). But unlike Dr Acharya, Shetty did not prolong his political career and migrated to UAE in 1973. 

While working as a medical representative in UAE, Shetty begun selling fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) for a commission. In 1975, he took a gamble and set up a clinic-cum-pharmacy New Medical Centre (NMC) in a two-room apartment. At that time, the UAE government was offering healthcare for free.

His wife Chandrakumari Shetty was the first doctor on board. Soon, NMC grew to become a healthcare giant in UAE, employing over 2,000 doctors across 45 hospitals.

Shetty’s fortunes rose quickly. In 2018, he was worth $4.2 billion in 2018 and became a household name when he purchased the 100th and 140th floor in Burj Khalifa
in Dubai.

For a decade, Shetty had evinced interest in improving the economy of undivided Dakshina Kannada district. His many proposals, except the proposal for setting up a 200-bed hospital in Udupi, have been gathering dust with the government.