As the new management of Fortis Healthcare (FHL) is all set to take charge after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) gave nod to the merger with Malaysian healthcare firm IHH Healthcare Berhad, FHL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bhavdeep Singh has put in his papers.
Singh has tendered his resignation on Thursday citing professional and personal reasons. He, however, will continue in his current capacity till his succession planning is crystallised. Singh had joined Fortis as CEO in July 2015. This was his second stint with the hospital chain as CEO. This is the second senior-level resignation after Gagandeep Singh Bedi, CEO of FHL, quit in August.
Announcing his decision to leave the company, Singh said, “I believe that the right time to make this transition is now. After two very challenging years, the company is now on a stable platform and can look forward to the future with optimism."
He said his role with Fortis did not allow him to spend time with his family. “The reality is that the challenges at the company over the past couple of years have not allowed me to spend any time with my family and that is something I need to do now. Also, I am very pleased that business recovery is well under way with solid improvement demonstrated during Q2 and with October results reflecting the best performance we have had in the past 12 months. So, with the turbulence behind us, the business once again looking up and with IHH poised to take over the reins at Fortis as a majority shareholder in the coming weeks, the time for me to transition is now,” he said.
In his earlier interviews, Singh indicated the Fortis management’s protests around the related party transactions (that came under the market regulator's scanner) were overruled. In October, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) directed Malvinder Singh, Shivinder Singh, and eight other entities to jointly repay Rs 4.03 billion, along with interest, to Fortis Healthcare in three months. The Sebi found Fortis Healthcare, through its subsidiary, was giving inter-corporate deposits (ICDs) to three companies to the tune of Rs 4.73 billion from 2013-14 onwards. These transactions were not classified as related party transactions.
Sources, however, indicated the resignation comes in at a time when the management control of the firm is changing and the new promoters are unlikely to have ‘legacy issues’ from the previous management. Singh was considered to be close to the erstwhile promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh. FHL’s diagnostic arm SRL’s CEO Arindam Haldar, however, has a shorter stint at the firm.
Fortis maintained that Singh has been instrumental in building required capabilities in the organization and delivering value through implementing clinical outcomes measurement and reporting and championing the cause for organ donation and much more.
“During his tenure, Singh led multiple due diligences and a series of capital raising initiatives earning positive feedback from all who worked with him. He engaged with internal and external partners ensuring that no stone remained unturned in steering the firm through unprecedented times,” Fortis said.
Announcing the decision, Ravi Rajgopal, chairman of board of directors, FHL, said: “He has been a pillar of strength at Fortis and has steadfastly led from the front. He has consistently demonstrated a high-level of business acumen, an exceptionally strong work ethic, and a very strong commitment towards building and sustaining strong people relationships built on a strong foundation of trust.”