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Making Excellence A Habit – A chat with the man who tells us how

 Dr Mohan is one of the few practicing doctors in India who have contributed to research, education and charity in such a large measure. His book, Making Excellence a Habit documents the fundamentals of what makes a person achieve meaningful success. While hard work, passion and focus emerge as winning lessons, delicate and tender learnings from Dr Mohan’s life, such as empathy or spirituality, are not forgotten.

Here is an interview with the man himself on his proudest moments, people that inspire him, and his writing a book!


  1. When you look back, what are some of your proudest moments?

            Establishing the largest chain of diabetes centers in the world, and the sustained growth and development of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation as well as our Education Academy and the charitable clinics that we run are some of the proudest and most fulfilling moments of my life.

When I started working with my father in 1971, there was not a single private hospital or centre dedicated to diabetes in the country. Today, diabetes has become a much sought-after specialty and everybody wants to practice diabetes. This, I think, is largely a reflection of the 50 years of our work which went into building up the specialty of diabetes. Perhaps, my greatest satisfaction is that, without any formal Government or University backing or support we have been able to contribute a large chunk of the diabetes research done in India and our work has helped to place India on the world map of diabetes research. Looking back, these are very satisfying indeed.


  1. Who are some of the people that inspire you?

I have several people who have inspired me in different ways. Firstly, my spiritual Guru, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, for, it was He who demonstrated to the world that it is possible to offer world class health care for the poor, completely free of cost. My father Prof. M. Viswanathan was my mentor and it was he who brought me into this field of diabetology. My wife, Dr. Rema Mohan was a very strong-willed person, who battled cancer while contributing extensively to her field, diabetic retinopathy. In the medical field, Dr. Venkatswamy, the founder of Aravind Eye Hospital and Dr.S.S. Badrinath, the founder of Sankara Nethralaya inspired me a lot, as did Dr. Anji Reddy, Chairman of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Dr.N.K.Ganguly, the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research.


  1. Will you write a second book? 

            I would definitely like to write a second book if I can find the time to do it.


  1. How did you manage to write a book alongside your busy schedule?

           I would say that it was my passion to write and to inspire youngsters which kept me going. Although it did take some time, I am happy I was able to eventually complete it.


  1. If you could give advice to an inspiring writer, what would it be?

           My advice to aspiring writers would be to tell their stories with as much human interest as possible as people love to hear stories that are told well. There should also be a message for the readers, particularly for youngsters who should get inspired to achieve excellence in whatever they do. Whichever the type of book that the writer is attempting to write, he or she should spend enough time thinking about it and to see how it will be useful to society.


Making Excellence a Habit is a behind-the-scenes account of a person honoured internationally for delivering path-breaking care to hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes.

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