Barham Dev Vasisht is the owner and Managing Director of Thika School of Medical & Health Sciences and Thika Nursing Homes.
The two institutions made headlines in January 2022 after Bank of Baroda took over its operations over a Ksh 370 million loan.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
Barham Dev Vasisht was born in India, growing up in a humble family that struggled to make ends meet. During a past interview with Citizen TV, Barham revealed that he attended public schools because his parents could not afford to take him to a private institution.
He pursued medicine in university and after graduating, he relocated to Kenya where he started his career in the medical field earning Ksh5,000 per month.
“I was employed by the Ministry of Health, government of Kenya for five years at Nyeri Provincial General Hospital. From there I came to Thika Nursing Homes where I was employed for three years as a resident doctor,” he said.
It is at Thika Nursing Homes where Barham was first introduced to the business angle of the medical profession. According to him, he was not prepared to become a director and he had to learn on the job.
“I was just thrown into it. It was not by choice because the then director had to go to the US and I was told to run the hospital. I had a lot of challenges because my background is not in the business field,” he explained.
Acquiring Thika Nursing Homes
Dr Barham Dev Vasisht ran the hospital as director for some time before a special arrangement to take over ownership of the business came up. The enterpreneur did not have money to buy the hospital but told the owner that he would take over the management until he understands the system of the hospital as he kickstarts the payments process.
It took him almost five years to completely clear the debt. The hospital is located along Thika – Garissa highway, about 1 kilometer past Makongeni.
Establishing Thika School of Medical & Health Sciences
It was while running Thika Nursing Homes that Barham got the idea of starting a medical college.
“During my job I came across a very concerning challenge. That challenge basically was shortage of trained and qualified medical professionals. With that vision in mind, I started Thika School of Medical & Health Sciences with just one or two rooms in 2010,” he explained.
Initially, the school trained community health workers before it got the first 8 students who enrolled for a medical course. The students were absorbed by Thika Nursing Homes, upon completion of their studies.
Two years since the school was started, the student’s population grew from eight to over eight hundred students. Today, the school offers over 25 courses with over 9,000 students across 4 campuses. The campuses are in Thika which is the main campus, Mombasa, Kisumu and Kitui. Barham Dev Vasisht serves as the Chairman of the institution.
Battle with Bank of Baroda
Thika Nursing Homes and Thika School of Medical & Health Sciences borrowed Ksh 370 million loan from Bank of Baroda. However when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the bank struggled with repayments which led to the bank appointing PVR Rao and Swaroop Rao as administrators.
Barham moved to court and in November 2021, he obtained a court order blocking the bank and administrators from taking over the operations of the institutions. The order was served pending hearing and determination of the case.
In January 2022, Bank of Baroda and the two administrators took over the institution after the temporary orders were discharged by the High Court.