Mr Niyaz Kanneth, the Managing Director of Al Noor Polyclinics, is a trained solicitor. His passion to help people in distress prompted him to launch a chain of polyclinics and medical centres in Dubai and Sharjah. This young professional from India is defying the normal conceptions about a successful businessman. His idea of the high life and the good life centres not on the party circuit but on reaching out and helping the least of his brethren. Mr Niyas now leads one of the best medical teams in Dubai and taming the challenges. Asian Lite’s Kaliph Anaz meets this incredible personality
From a lawyer to becoming a medical professional is quite the quantum leap. Why the change in career?
It’s accidental but a happy one. I was touched by the values of the medical profession. Nobody is going to a hospital or clinic for recreational purposes. They are physically or mentally ill. They are looking for the best available treatment at affordable prices. Al Noor Polyclinics are providing just that. Quality treatment at affordable prices. That brings a smile to the patients. Their sense of relief and the expression on the faces of the family are more than enough for me and my team of medical professionals. No other profession will give that sort of satisfaction.
Let’s start at the beginning. When did you land in Dubai?
I still remember my first day in Dubai – December 31, 2004. I came here to witness the New Year dawn in Dubai. I read and heard lots about Dubai and I just want to experience that magic personally. The city was so charming and thriving with activity. As a thirty-year-old, I was so impressed and I decided to stay here as much I can. Then the opportunity came in the form of my uncle Dr Mohammed.
How did you begin your career as a medical professional?
Al Noor was started by my uncle Dr. Ahmed, about 25 years back. He was the first doctor to join Dr. Assad Moopan, who is now the chairman of Aster. My uncle is an ophthalmologist and started his first clinic at Deira in 1992. He opened his second clinic in Satwa in 2003. He asked me to fine tune the operations. As a busy doctor with practices at hospital and clinic, he was struggling. So I stepped in to lend a hand.
It really had a drastic impact on my life. I was running a tile factory in India. Most of the workers are mini Olivers. They always ask for more, but are hesitant to fulfill their responsibilities. Almost everyday, they will be on strike over minor issues. As a result of such impediments, I always struggled to deliver my orders on time. But in Dubai, the atmosphere is entirely different. The clinic was running at a loss because of various factors. I easily identified the issues and become a bridge to unite the management and the staff to deliver a dependable quality service. From the receptionist to consultant, we were a team. Even the tea boy has a crucial role to play. That unity was our strength. That formula clicked. Within two months, we reached break even. That prompted me to open another unit at Rashidya, with my uncle as partner.
In your words team spirit is vital but what else makes a successful businessman?
Determination, hard-work, confidence, discipline and honesty, these are all important in themselves and collectively.
How different you are from your competitors?
I do not compare anyone and I do not look what others are doing. I do what satisfies me. Every life matters and at Al Noor, we value the ‘health’ in every life. That is why we are more than an exceptional healthcare provider. With well experienced medical specialists supported by state-of-the-art facilities, Al Noor has been providing comprehensive and affordable healthcare services throughout the community. Over the years, we were able to make a difference in many lives by helping people manage and improve their health.
The patient’s well-being is the focal point of everything that we do because we believe that good health ensures happiness in people, promotes contentment within families and strength amongst communities. We are giving priority to our services. We want to deliver a professional medical treatment with a human touch. People who are coming to the clinic, they are not coming here with a jovial mood, they are not coming to a restaurant, either mentally or physically they are sick. So when they come here the first motive is to give them very good care and to send them back with a very happy and satisfied mind.
What was the proudest moment in the last almost 12 years?
The proudest moment was when the doctors accepted me as their team leader. People are saying that only doctors can run a clinic or hospital. Either the owner should be a doctor or the manager should be a doctor. But I was able to prove that a man with a passion for curing people can run a successful medical business. I was so happy when one of the senior doctor lauded my role in leading a professional medical team. That is one of the proudest moments.
Dubai is a happening city and most of the people here wanted to start something. You have started something and became more successful. What is your advice to entrepreneurs who want to come to Dubai?
Business is not always profit and loss. It’s a game. Sometimes, you will win and sometimes you will lose. Luck is important. Especially the blessings from Almighty Allah. He is the one who gives, and who takes. Your responsibility is only to make the effort. Hard-work always pays rich dividends.
Business is basically planning and execution. In most of the case, we go with a lot of plans but we cannot execute them properly. If we don’t have a plan to execute, we won’t reach the target, it is as simple as that
The best thing about being in the UAE?
The Rulers here are very supportive. They promote entrepreneurship and business. We have freedom to do the business according to our choice.
What about your family?
My wife is Mrs Shameena Niyaz. We have four children – Tanha, Minha, Fiha and Lamha. They are all studying here. My parents are Ahmed Kannath and Mumtaz and they are living in Kozhikode, Kerala. My father was working at the University of Calicut and he resigned his job and started a business. He started a tile factory in Nilampur in 1974.
Basically I am from Calicut and studied in Calicut University. I am the eldest, and I have a younger brother, Nishad, who is a doctor and runs a hospital in Calicut. He is a man with a mission to help people. The hospital name is Nalanda, situated in a remote area and he is a very good practitioner and sees around 200 patients a day, without any commercial ambition. Even though I call him to come to Dubai, he never comes. I have two sisters who are younger to me, one is a housewife settled in Calicut, second one is a dentist who is there with me and her husband is the executive director of our group, Mr. Seba Mohammed.
Where do you want to be in terms of achievement in 2025?
I would like to open a hospital – an affordable unit to help the common man.