Mr Nathan Nagel. Hello Mr Batterjee, thank you for agreeing to meet with me. I would like to learn more about you, what drives you and what are your ambitions for the Saudi German Hospitals Group (SGHG). My first question is, in your own words, who are you?
Mr Makarem Batterjee. Hello Nathan, good to meet you. I have been working in healthcare and wellness for over 20 years and, throughout my career, I have learned a lot from my father, Eng. Sobhi Batterjee, and uncle, Dr Khaled Batterjee. These are the core elements that make me who I am. Secondary, in my capacity as President of the SGHG I am honored with the position that makes me able to provide jobs for thousands of talented people who in turn deliver healthcare that is driven by a passion to care for others.
Mr Nathan Nagel. Thank you for the insight, what drives you to lead the SGHG?
Mr Makarem Batterjee. The SGHG is inspired by the verse from the Holy Quran “and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind” Al-Maidah (32). This has been our family purpose for many generations, to relief people’s suffering and improve lives through the delivery of world-class healthcare services. This is what I was raised on, and this is what I will remain true to. My ambition is to take what my father and uncle have built over the past 30 years to the next level.
Mr Nathan Nagel. How have you developed the leadership skills to lead such a large group?
Mr Makarem Batterjee. The skills, knowledge and culture which my family learnt from the Germans back in 1988 has been implemented to run large, organised systems which has enabled the SGHG to expand.
Mr Nathan Nagel. How can Saudi German Hospitals implement its future plan in line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program?
Mr Makarem Batterjee. Recognizing that healthcare is one of the focus areas of Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program, the Group has been taking various measures to redefine the healthcare standards in the country.
We pay a lot of attention to our patients’ journey and experience. As such, we continue to look for opportunities to provide world-class service to all our patients, including providing them with more modern and more comfortable spaces. This is the reason we embark on continuous renovation of our hospitals’ interiors and exteriors.
We conducted specialized training programs for our staff, personalized to each segment’s needs. And to make their experience better, we allotted dedicated areas for them. We also received certifications by accredited bodies.
We also continue to hire international doctors within different specialties and subspecialties and skilled multinational staff members. Similarly, we invest heavily in the training and continuous learning of our doctors.
While our main aim continues to be relieving people’s suffering, in 2020, we will strive to surpass our accomplishments for the benefit of all our patients.
Mr Nathan Nagel. Please tell us more about your regional and international expansion plans?
Mr Makarem Batterjee. We have big plans for 2020 and beyond. We opened our hospital in Ajman in the UAE, and we have just opened our first hospital in the Eastern Province, in Dammam. This makes our Group accessible now to over 90 per cent of the population in Saudi Arabia. We also have plans to expand the capacity of our existing hospitals and open up new hospitals in the Kingdom.
In terms of extending our reach beyond the Kingdom, we are very excited about our expansion in new territories, including Pakistan and Morocco. We are very proud to share that SGH Riyadh has recently joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which has also welcomed SGH Cairo to become the first healthcare facility in Africa, giving it special access to Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise. The prestigious network is a group of carefully vetted, independent healthcare systems.
Mr Nathan Nagel. What were you proud of achieving in 2019?
Mr Makarem Batterjee. Since our core mission has always been providing the local community with access to premium healthcare so that they do not have to travel abroad, we ensured that more international doctors with new specialties joined our group as part of our International Visiting Professors Program (IVP). This year, we facilitated more than 100 doctor visits from Germany and other parts of the world to serve in our hospitals under the IVP program. The visiting doctors performed hundreds of successful surgeries, including the ‘Deep Brain Stimulation’ procedure that was done for the first time in the region. The procedure is a revolutionary treatment for people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.
Serving our local community is our top priority and we are honored to be able to provide support to our people. Besides providing our citizens and residents with top-notch healthcare, we also always ensure to participate in local events. In fact, we took part in more than 300 events in 2019. We were, for instance, the exclusive healthcare sponsors of Jeddah, Soudah, Diriya & Hail seasons. During the events, our medical crew provided round-the-clock healthcare services, healthcare screenings and workshops to raise awareness on common health topics to all visitors free of charge.
Mr Nathan Nagel. What do you want to achieve in 2020?
Mr Makarem Batterjee. We have big plans for 2020 and beyond, including plans to expand the capacity of our existing hospitals and open up new hospitals in the Kingdom.
We are also driving expansions and strategic alliances to attend to the medical needs of the people in every stage of life. We are building strong relationships with potential investors, in addition to learning new business models and exploring new international markets.
We look forward to widening our reach and extending our services globally. I am confident that we can achieve our global vision through hard work, perseverance, and relentless efforts to sustain excellence and quality.