Preetha Reddy : From Housewife to Managing Director

Apollo Hospitals was started by Dr. Prathap C. Reddy on a modest scale in Chennai in 1983. He was committed to provide quality healthcare to Indians.  He had the foresight to get his company listed in the stock market and raised money to expand his hospitals.

Today, Dr. Reddy’s four daughters, Preetha, Shobhana, Sangeetha and Suneetha have taken over the vast medical empire Apollo has evolved into.

Early life

Preetha was a bright student. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Chennai (Madras at that time). At the tender age of 19, she was married to Vijay Kumar Reddy, an industrialist, soon after she completed her gradation. Later, she obtained a Masters degree in public Administration from Annamalai University.

Dr. Prathap Reddy had taught his daughters not to be daunted by fear and face challenges bang on. An example from their childhood shall elicit this – Dr Reddy would take them to the deepest end of a swimming pool and encourage them to swim back to the not so deep side, without help from anyone.  

Their mother, Sucharitha, taught them soft skills and trained them as dancers. Preetha is an accomplished Bharat Natyam performer.  The four sisters are very close to each other even today.

Till 1989, Preetha played the role of a full time mom to her two sons. She had started working in an advertising agency. It was only when she realized that the aging Dr Reddy was in need of hands to support his dream project, Preetha joined the Apollo family.

She took over as Managing Director, when her father declared her as the heir, being the eldest. That was in 1994.

Innovations and More

Preetha imbibed an attitude of love and care in the services offered by Apollo Speciality hospitals. She calls this TLC or Tender Loving Care. Even today, TLC is one of the values Apollo is recognized by. Apollo invited patients from all over the country and even abroad. Along with high quality healthcare, professional yet compassionate behaviour, Apollo extends a comfortable environment to patients and their companions, especially those who are in a new environment. Preetha has toiled hard to improve the information systems and optimize the duration of stay in a hospital.

Preetha is presently working with the government to form a consortium of hospitals and streamline the processes to provide quality assurance to patients. She formed the National Quality Council – a body that provides guidelines and quality standards to Indian hospitals and nursing homes.

She also focussed on creating the best pool of talent under the umbrella of Apollo Hospitals. Commited to provide the best healthcare to the patients, Preetha procured highly sensitive and state of art equipment, along with employing a large number of specialists in various branches. Under her leadership, the conglomerate of Apollo Hospitals continued expanding. The 26th hospital in this group was the first one to be established outside India – Apollo Hospitals, Colombo. 

The oncology department of Apollo Hospitals have evolved into one of the most trusted names all over the world. Highly sensitive services such as Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cord Blood Transplantation are offered here.

Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi was the first one in India and South Asia to obtain the coveted accreditation from Joint Commission International, USA in 2008 – an assurance of patient safety and quality service. Today, seven hospitals of this group has achieved this recognition.  

In the modern age of smart phones, Preetha has partnered with telecom companies to launch health applications for mobile phones, named m-health.

Dealing with Economic Slowdowns

It is perhaps true that during financial crunches, one may cut down on luxury indulgences, but he can hardly compromise his medical needs. Healthcare has become a basic necessity. While Preetha acknowledges this, she also has developed a business model that “deals with a variety of specialisations across different income groups in different town categories and across geographies makes us less vulnerable to slowdowns”.

The far sightedness of Preetha Reddy has diversified the businesses of Apollo group, which has helped the group to cope with economic slowdowns. The pharmacies and retail outlets have reported growth even during recession.  

Among the Most Influential Women – Awards and Recognitions

Forbes, Business Today, Fortune Global and many business rating agencies have placed Preetha’s name among the top 50 most powerful business women all over the world since 2006. It is not a small achievement by any means! Apart from being the Managing Director of the Apollo Group, she is also a member of the Wipro Business Leadership Council and Governing Board Member of XLRI, Jamshedpur, a premiere business school.

Among many other awards that she has received, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Loyola Forum of Historical Research is the most important one.  She had been awarded the distinction for her service in Social sector – she had worked to provide good health care to one and all, especially those in Tier II cities and rural areas. She had also launched SACHi (Save A Child’s Heart Initiative), where she works for better cardiac care of unfortunate and under privileged children with congenital heart diseases. She also wishes to focus on the unemployment issues of the youth of India.

 Preetha was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree by Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, Chennai in recognition of her hardwork and dedication in the field of healthcare.  


Success and controversies come hand in hand, especially when a business empire is run by four sisters. Gossip mongers had brought into light some stories that Dr. Preetha Reddy had a hand in the unexpected transfer of her sister, Suneetha’s husband just when she had been promoted as joint Manging Director of the Apollo Group.

But for the level headed women the Reddy sisters are, these blemishes mean absolutely nothing. They have continued working towards their common goal. Today, Apollo group has the blessings and goodwill of 26 million patients and billions of people whose lives have been touched by Apollo in one way or the other. 

Salary of Preetha Reddy

According to BusinessWeek Magazine, the Salary of Dr. P. Preetha Reddy, the Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, is INR 52,500,000 per Year for the financial year of 2013-14.

Last Updated: March 19, 2013

Tags : Preetha Reddy, Apollo Hospitals, healthcare, quality

About Anupama

A Transport Planner and Architect, Anupama has been blogging for about six years now. She has taken up professional content writing for the last two years, and can always be contacted for any assignments or queries. Her strength is original presentation of any topic.