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MBA in International Healthcare Management (Class of 2007)

“The International Healthcare MBA programme at Frankfurt School was one of the major milestones in my professional as well as my personal journey. The global perspective of the course provided me with in-depth knowledge of healthcare across the world – ranging from the NHS in the United Kingdom to the German healthcare system. The various global macro healthcare models along with a brilliant faculty have inspired me and my work like no other. The programme has broadened my horizons, empowered me with the knowledge to understand and share various perspectives and most importantly, for playing an integral part in my growth as a healthcare leader.”

Dr. Pillai epitomizes the very philosophy of MBA in International Healthcare Management. Born in Kolkata, India and brought up in Dubai, he later moved to his home country India to pursue a career in Medicine. After completing his Medical Degree from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in Karnataka, he went on to do his first Masters in Hospital Management, a decision that stemmed from his keen interest in the complexities involved in healthcare management.

Dr. Pillai began his career in hospital management with the Apollo Hospital Group in Hyderabad, where he completed his first turnaround project - a 120-bed hospital, within a year. After his successful stint in India, he relocated to Dubai to take charge as the Hospital Director of Belhoul Specialty Hospital, which went on to become the first tertiary care facility in the city to introduce several specialities and subspecialities. 

In 2006, Dr. Pillai took charge of Egypt’s largest tertiary care facility – As Salam International Hospital, Cairo - as the CEO. The hospital, under his leadership, won the JCI accreditation in 2010 and recorded consistent annual growth even during the Egyptian revolution in 2011. It was during this period that Dr. Pillai completed his MBA in International Hospital and Healthcare Management from the Frankfurt School. He chose the case study of As Salam Hospital, which in his own words was the “toughest turnaround project that brought the satisfaction of a lifetime”, as the topic for his thesis.

After a very successful 7-year stint in Egypt, Dr. Pillai returned to India in 2013 as the CEO of Aster Medcity, Kochi - a USD100 million, 670-bed greenfield medical township project by the Aster DM Healthcare Group. Aster Medcity, under his leadership, became the first quaternary-care hospital in the country to achieve all relevant accreditations including the JCI within one year of opening its doors to the world. After placing Aster Medcity on the list of India’s top healthcare facilities, Dr. Pillai took up the reins of Cluster Head of 4 Aster Hospitals in Kerala , India and later on as the CEO of Aster India in the year 2018, with a reporting line comprising the CEOs of thirteen Aster Hospitals, Diagnostic and Telehealth verticals and central functional teams.

Dr. Pillai continues to contribute to the MBA community at the Frankfurt School as a Guest Lecturer.