These prestigious Honorary Doctorate degrees from Commonwealth University are awarded to leaders and achievers of national and international eminence in their areas of endeavour. In its citation, the university praised Vinod as ‘an avid philanthropist standing at the head of a network of retail and healthcare institutions focused on the have-nots of the region, expats and nationals alike.”
A humanitarian at heart, Vinod is engaged in numerous charitable activities. He always believes in giving back a share of his wealth to the society. The social initiatives undertaken by him have clear goals in specific areas of development and are truly replicable models in the society. He is very much active on the cultural and social front and is associated with various organisations. Taking into consideration his outstanding achievement in the field of business and in recognition of his distinguished services in the field of social work, he has been awarded several times.
On being conferred the honorary doctoral degree, Vinod said, “It is indeed an honour to be recognised by one of the prestigious universities in the world. I came into this country at the age of 19 in 1978 with an aim to make a simple livelihood. This country and its people have given me everything. I would like to take this occasion to thank His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the people of Oman for making me what I am today.
“Today, we stand as the largest private healthcare provider and the second largest retailer in Oman because of the love, trust and confidence shown to us. I owe a lot to this beautiful country and will make sure till my last breath that I will give back to the Omani society. Although my passport still reads Indian, I am an Omani at heart.”
Based in sultanate Dr Vinod is counted amongst the top business personalities in the Middle East. The group has diversified into various sectors of business. He stepped into retail business by setting up a small shop in Ruwi, Muscat in 1991. Today, Mars is amongst the fastest growing retail chains in the region.
He experienced a lot of hitches in the initial stage but nothing could change his immense passion and focus towards business. He worked hard along with the employees throughout day and night and finally started getting the taste of success.
Started humbly, his retail chain named ’Mars’ consisting of hypermarkets and shopping centres is one of the most sought-after shopping destination in Oman.
In 2002, he started ‘Badr al Samaa Group of Hospitals and Polyclinics’ in Ruwi with an aim to provide quality treatment to the public at affordable rates. His business empire soon expanded to the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and India in various verticals. The expansion is going into various sectors like hospitality, real estate, facilities management, furniture, insurance, export-import, professional education, advertising, etc.
This simple and down to earth person hailing from a small village in Kerala set extraordinary goals for himself. He ventured onto foreign shores and established international standards in all domains he deals with, all in a span of over three decades. He has truly built professionally managed organisations with several companies in the groups. Never satisfied with the current challenges and always seeking out more while raising the bar each day to improve and innovate, Dr Vinod’s journey of life is a perpetual pursuit of perfection.