Ashkan Pitchforth jokes that he’d like to be remembered as the biggest dentist in the UK — but he’s already well on his way to achieving the title in more than one sense.
Since 2015, Ashkan’s established a dental empire incorporating more than 20 clinics and counting while still finding time to build the biggest biceps in the business.
Ashkan discusses how physical training instils a focused business mindset, reveals the source of his interminable drive and fills Prav in on plans for the future.
“Don’t buy small and medium t-shirts because they make you look big. You have to train for a year or two, and when your arms are bristling through an extra-large triple extra-large, you’ll know you’ve got size. It’s the same thing with dentistry. Don’t jump into it. You’ve got to learn this is not a race. Life isn’t a race, so don’t treat it as one”. – Ashkan Pitchforth
In This Episode
01.09 – Backstory
10.05 – Dental school
14.55 – Bodybuilding, mindset and discipline
23.46 – Building the empire
30.51 – Clinical to business
35.50 – Business and clinical black box thinking
42.23 – Business structure
47.25 – Training, intuition and mistakes
51.45 – Audacious goals
55.01 – Responsibilities
57.21 – Advice to young Ashkan
58.52 – Last days and legacy
About Ashkan Pitchforth
Ashkan qualified in 2009 and set up South Cliff Dental Group in 2015. The group now consists of 23 practices across the South. In 2020, South Cliff was ranked 33rd in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list of UK private companies with the fastest-growing sales.
[00:00:00] And my parents and sitting me down and saying you will fail in life unless you achieve and you have to. Anyone can achieve. You just got to work hard. Talent doesn’t exist. Talent doesn’t exist. It’s hard. Work exists. So go in your bedroom every night and study. And I did it. I went and studied and studied and studied, and I saw I’m moving up the sets. And but I did that because I saw my parents struggle. So I saw how hard they grafted, and I didn’t want that for my life. I didn’t want to. I was happy to graft, but I could see they were grafting really for nothing. And they would say, Look, we have to work so hard, but then we can only afford X, Y and Z, so go and study food. Your brain becomes something of yourself. And then when you do work hard, at least you’ll be able to afford things that we can never afford.
[00:00:51] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
[00:01:09] It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Ashcan Hitch forth to the Dental Leaders podcast. He’s the owner and CEO of the South Dental Group, which started off in 2015 as a single Dental practise and today comprises of 23 practises across the south of England, with over 300 employees and clinicians working for him. Ashcombe, welcome to the podcast and legislator, as we always do in these podcasts and just learn a little bit about your backstory where you grew up, what what your upbringing was like, and then how you eventually found your path into dentistry.
[00:01:49] Well, my father’s English mother’s Persian. And as with a lot of the cultural backgrounds, they gave me only three options either to become a lawyer, a doctor or a dentist. And in our culture, you have to do what they say. So I’m not very good when it comes to literacy. Reading wise, I can’t read for more than a few minutes without getting bored to the lower options out of it. For the doctor option, I was a bit concerned of being a GP and what could be presented in front of me. So by default I had to fall into dentistry and when I’ve done my A-level duties, A-levels and managed to secure a place at Guys Kings and St Thomas’s then studied the the full five years and in year four met Dr Lalami, who co-owns the whole group with myself and we then qualified. Both worked as associates in various practises across the south while we were learning and trying to see if we were business owners and providers and principals, how would we change things and how would we do things? I kept on going to various practises trying to buy one thinking I really wanted to go into this whole vision of just owning a practise. I didn’t want to own a group. We just wanted to own one. But we kept getting rejected because we were first time buyers either or we didn’t have the funds or we couldn’t go in there and say, Look, we can do this quickly.
[00:03:16] So it was just one hit after the other. And then in 2014, we got an opportunity where I was able to buy half of a practise in Crawley, which we still own, is outside the group. It’s got a huge NHS contract. I think the largest in the south coast of England, we managed to purchase half of that, which had various issues going through that in terms of obtaining finance. And then in 2015, after we’d own that for a period of about four months, we then purchased our first practise ourselves. So not co owning it, just just myself and Dr. Lalami. And then we then grew the group from 2015, and it was a we didn’t expect it to hit the number of practises that we have now. It was more of a organic growth where if the opportunity was right, we purchase the practise. If the opportunity wasn’t right, then we we walked away. And because we are the only two owners, albeit Dr Lalami, allows me to make a majority of the decisions on my own. We don’t there’s no ulterior motive or objective. We don’t have to go to a private equity or anything like this and hit certain targets, hit a number of practises per year. So if we expand, we expand. If we don’t, we don’t. But the key is to keep going after.
[00:04:34] I mean, you know, you sent me a summary of what you’ve achieved in that time and, you know, the number of practises. Three hundred employees and clinicians and turnover figures, et cetera, et cetera. Right? And just the summary of what you’ve told me that it must have been a hell of a journey. But before we dig into that and I’m sure there’s there’s loads of questions I’ve got for you just digging into, you know, how you got there when you went from practise one to three to four and and how you visualised from saying, Hey, I own half the practise to now fast forward and then you’ve got 300 people under your belt. It’s it’s it’s phenomenal looking back, but just digging a little bit more into your childhood. What was your upbringing like you mentioned, you know, your traditional sort of cultural background where you given three choices as a career? Yeah. What was it like going to school? Were you a high achiever? We always top of your class.
[00:05:34] Yeah, I was. I was very in school. I was very artistic and I did like sports. But I mean, I’m only five foot eight basketball, believe it or not. But no, I was very much into doing art and graphics, and I really remember coming back in year nine and saying to my mum and dad, I really want to be an artist, the graphic designer. I want to maybe become an architect. And and then I did a mock GCSE in year nine and four science and. The classic things you need coming back with CS and DS and BS and my parents and sitting me down and saying, you will fail in life unless you achieve and you have to. Anyone can achieve. You just got to work hard. Talent doesn’t exist. Talent doesn’t exist. It’s hard. Work exists. So go in your bedroom every night and study. And I did it. I went and studied and studied and studied, and I saw I’m moving up the sets. And but I did that because I saw my parents struggle. My parents were both nurses. They hospital nurses. They will work, and they never used to see each other. They’re retired now, but they throughout their 40 year marriage. I don’t know how long how it lasted, but they never see each other when one was at work. One was then coming back and their working night shifts Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s. They were constantly working and then they were. My dad at the time as well was if he wasn’t working in the hospital, he was also then buying properties and going himself and doing them up, installing kitchens and bathrooms himself. So I saw how hard they grafted, and I didn’t want that for my life. I didn’t want to. I was happy to graft, but I could see they were grafting really for nothing. And they would say, Look, we have to work so hard, but then we can only afford X, Y and Z, so go and study food. Your brain becomes something of yourself. And then when you do work hard, at least you’ll be able to afford things that we can never afford
[00:07:28] And just want to put myself in. Just sort of picture myself as you as a kid growing up, seeing both parents work in sort of passion, passing ships, so to speak, and working incredibly hard and siblings.
[00:07:45] I have an older brother who is 13 years older, and he again did dentistry. He focuses now on the Botox filler side of the business, so he hasn’t gone into the routine. Dentistry hasn’t gone into the business side, he just completely does that. But he he is very he was completely different to me. He was academic and academic genius. He wouldn’t study and he came out with eight stars and A’s and everything like that, and I would have to study everything. So he was very he was highly intelligent.
[00:08:16] So, so, you know, I’m just picturing myself and my brother growing up. We didn’t have much growing up. My dad worked in factories, was a taxi driver, ran a corner shop and you know, me and my brother saw him graft and in the same respects, as you’ll say, for very little. And the overriding message from my dad when we were growing up was along the lines of I’m working this hard so that you don’t have to. I do not want you to do. I do not want you to do what I do. I want you to have a better life than me, right? And that was always a constant message in the background that motivated both me and my brother. And then finally, funnily enough, what you should say, I was the equivalent of your brother. So I was naturally, I just did very well at exams and talented. I worked hard, but academically, I was. I was far more talented and my brother would say the same. He scraped through his exams and all the rest of it. What made it through? But we’ve both got a very, very similar work ethic. What about your parents? Were there ever any any messages or overriding pieces of advice from your parents in terms of, you know, seeing what they’re doing and what they wanted for you as a vision?
[00:09:30] Exactly to say I was very similar to what you said. I mean, I remember my my mum always said to me, no one has ever drowned in sweat before. You’ve just got to keep going and keep working. And if you get knocked down, just keep standing back up and eventually you just stand around your feet. You can always there’s nothing you cannot achieve. She kept on saying, If you want something, go for it. The door to success says Push and just keep pushing, pushing and pushing. And if you keep pushing, you’ll eventually get there.
[00:10:05] And so moving on from there, Ashleigh, obviously you you sort of got your grades. You did your exams, you got your A-levels, got into Dental school. What? What sort of a student were you? Let’s talk about your university life and what that was like.
[00:10:21] Well, I’m well, unfortunately, unfortunately. But I was I was just in the library all the time when I first started, because the thing is, is that I came from a state school. Yes, I got 10 hours to eight foot seas and three days at A-level. And when you get to kings, everyone’s from a private school or a lot of people are, you know, like, I’ve got six days at A-level, and I just thought, Wow, I’m going to have to compete with these people. And so you’re that whole kind of instinct of competition came in. So I thought, you know what? I’m going to just study. So I did. I just literally spent all my time in the 24 hour library that we had at the AIS and studied and studied and studied. And I study so much so in the first year achieved the highest score out of all the students, which I was really pleased with. I was fantastic. I’ve proven now to myself that I didn’t have to go to a private school or state school was find a more intelligent and therefore surely I’m superior than everyone here. And then I remember going into the second year and the first day of second year, they introduced 30 graduates postgraduates into theme and I thought, Oh, do you have to compete with these guys now? I have to prove to myself that I’m better than graduates.
[00:11:33] So then again, I just went and studied and studied and studied and again in the year to achieve the highest mark in the whole of the year again, so won the award for that. And again, that proved to myself fantastic went into third year. Thankfully, there was no there was no more entries. No where do you need to compete with? So I didn’t do it. And that’s when I started getting involved in going to the gym training and things like this third year and fourth year of university. But no, I was very much dedicated to my studies. I didn’t really party. I didn’t really go out and I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t do anything like that. Even now, when I come back from work, it’s it’s come back home that I don’t. After I’ve been to the gym, I can just sit down and watch a episode of Jonathan Creek or Midsummer Murders or Last of the summer wine only fools and horses. Something so simple, just very humble and very like, I don’t. I’m not. I’m not out clubbing, I’m not out drinking, I’m not out socialising too much.
[00:12:34] You were through and through sort of student and geek, and look, I remember that and funnily enough, I’m going to ask you about pressure. When I went to med school, a very similar thing happened to me in my first year, and I spoke to Payman about this a few times. Don’t know if you got it, but we got this. We got this sheet, a photograph with all the students on it right in our year, right? And I would literally see every single one of them as my competition. Yes, and and I would argue, got yeah, I I’m better than these people in and after me, I can I’m better in pharmacology than these. That one’s really got to do, you know what I mean? And I got really competitive. And similarly, I did really well came top of the year right at the beginning and then did that twice. But I’ll tell you what. It created a lot of pressure for me because almost like when you’re there and you almost feel like that, you have to perform right. There’s a certain standard. There’s expectations not of just your tutors, your parents, your fellow students and create a lot of stress for me that what about you? Did it? Did it create a lot of pressure for you when you’d sort of hit that score and then you thought, along come the graduate now and have got knocked them off their peg?
[00:13:49] Yeah, it does a bit. But then once I’ve achieved it, I’m of the mindset where I then achieve something. Close the book and move on. Yes. You know, you’ve got your three things. You’ve got the past, the present. You’ve got the future. I never look at the past. Why worry about something that’s already happened? I never also worry about the future, because why worry about something that might never happen? I just look at what’s happening around here right now. So, yes, I was able to say I achieved it, done it. Move on. And then a third year, if I didn’t come the highest and I didn’t in third year, I was able to justify to myself I did it and I can do it again if I wanted to. But now I choose not to because I’m going to focus my efforts on something else. It’s like, essentially when we left university, I could have gone and become an academic, become a professor of cardiology or being the best implant ologist there is in the UK. But I didn’t want to do that. That’s something I don’t want to do. But without sounding arrogant, I think I would have been able to do that if I wanted to. I would have put my efforts and your mind to it. But my mindset to you and anyone can achieve that, not just me, anyone
[00:14:55] Going to just dig a little bit more into mindset Ashton and just bring the conversation to bodybuilding. Those of you who are listening to this podcast obviously can’t see what I can see on my screen, but Ashkan has got biceps the size of my head and and when when we connected and I looked at his Instagram, I could see that. Obviously, he puts a lot of time and dedication into into bodybuilding, something that I was really passionate about sort of back in 2005 when I when I was really involved in it. And it requires a certain mindset, dedication and commitment to train as hard as you do eat as well as you do, I assume. So talk us through that journey. When when did that start and what impact do you think weight training or bodybuilding as you practise now and did previously has on your mindset as a business person?
[00:15:48] Well, it had I mean, it started in third year of university where I was living in Camberwell and everyone was. It was, it was. It was like the Bronx. It really was a it was difficult, you know, walking back from university at 10:00, 11:00 at night from the library. It was scary. It really was. So I decided, you know what? I need to maybe look a bit more menacing, look a bit more puffed up so that I can detract people coming and thinking I’ll mug him. So that’s where it started.
[00:16:19] Did anything ever happen? Did you did you ever witness anything or see anything? Or was it just you were surrounded by sort of people or situation where you felt threatened?
[00:16:27] Or it was just one time when I was walking back as I used to live in Evesham, walk in London, and there’s this alleyway you had to walk through to get to eat and walk. Would love walk completely pitch black. It wasn’t lit up, so I was walking through this alleyway again. It must be 11 o’clock at night and I just had footsteps coming up from behind me and getting faster and faster and faster and faster. And I looked around and is this guy who looked like he was going to attack me running towards me and I just closed my eyes. I just shut my eyes and thought, If this is going to be it, let it happen. And then he ran past me. I thought, Oh, thank God for that. He’s just obviously
[00:17:03] He just needs to go.
[00:17:05] But then the next day I I stopped off on the number 40 bus, which took me from Camberwell to London Bridge. I stopped off at fitness first in London and I signed up and then I started reading about how to weight train, how to go, about pinning on some sizes and muscle, and did that for two years. But then, because fifth year was so intense and I really wanted to make sure that I passed my finals. I stopped in fifth, so I did it for two years, grew to phenomenal size, but stopped it. And then I didn’t do it for about 13 years and I’ve only in the last 18 months picked it up again. But what bodybuilding teaches you is it teaches you discipline. It also teaches you that every day you put yourself in an awkward position. You put, you put yourself, you take yourself outside the comfort zone in order to build muscle, build it successfully and shape your muscles. You have to be. Able to lift things that you couldn’t lift, you can’t lift, you have to. It’s that fear of I’m lifting something that potentially will rip my bicep, my tendon from its bone. You just have to do it, so you have to continuously push yourself. And then that’s what’s happening in what happens in business that continued day to day thought of not being satisfied, continually pushing yourself, continually working hard, taking yourself outside your comfort zone, putting yourself in positions or areas where you where you don’t know anything, but you just learn.
[00:18:35] And if you fail, you fail again. You keep on standing up, you keep on going through a big thing. As well as that, a lot of people in the business side or in dentistry, they say, well, in any walks of life, it’s all about the wind. It’s all about the taking part that counts. Don’t worry if if you don’t win, don’t worry if your second best to be humble, don’t be a monster. But the thing that bodybuilding teaches you to be is it teaches you to be a monster. But then learning how to control it. And that’s the difference. So you go there and you’re an animal in the gym and you’re. I walk into the gym and forty five minutes, I’m I’m grunting, I’m sweating profusely. I’m on the floor. And then I crawl out of the gym. I’m literally dying. But then you learn to control that outside of the gym, and then you’re humble outside of the gym and you make good decisions and things like this. So, so, so yeah, it does. Bodybuilding has a huge impact into the business side, and again, it always relates back also to the discipline of being able to make sure you’re sleeping for a certain amount of time. You’re not over sleeping, making sure that you’re eating and certain amounts of the day you’re eating the right things. So, yeah, huge, huge impact.
[00:19:45] Do you like, for example, you know, it sounds like we mentioned just before this call, you follow quite an intense methodology of training where it’s, you know, just short, sharp bursts of was what you referred to as Dorian. This style of training going in, doing it forty five minutes, hitting it really hard and then crawling back out, as you say. Does anything change from the moment before you step into the gym to the point where you get in there? Do you change as a as a person or a mindset? Is there a is there a switch that goes off where Ash, before he steps into the gym, is a different person to the guy in there? And does that ever translate into work?
[00:20:27] Yes. I mean, what I do is I drive to the gym, I’ll set my car and then I don’t just get up my car and then walk into the gym and then chat to people, Hey, how are you? Fist bump people and then crack on. I sit in my car and just almost as if you turn a switch, you turn your switch from being who you are before. Whether it’s that, whether that was because you’re playing with your kids at the time or just before, whether that was because you just stepped out of an NHS meeting and you were saying to NHS England how you’re caring for patients and you’re thinking about all this and etcetera, etcetera and improvements you can do for patient care and quality. You just home any turn of switch to almost as if you’re focussing, pinning your mind into the muscle. And that’s really important as well, because a lot of people will. We’ve all done it. You will bend over, lift something really light or just twist and then you pull your muscle. And that’s because you’re not thinking about your muscle that point in time. So you’ve got to be able to put your mind into the muscle that you plan on training that day. And then I put my headphones in my music in and I walk in. I don’t say hello to anyone. Most of them get a nod from me, and then I then train and focus training and everyone knows don’t come and talk to me because I literally just nod and I’ll crack on. If you want to chat to me and chat to me after the gym, after I’m asking for help
[00:21:47] To walk again.
[00:21:49] In terms of work day, that’s the same thing with work. So I tend to write the office between 7:30 eight o’clock every morning and then I have two or three minutes where I just it’s almost like meditation, almost well. I’m just thinking about what I’m planning on doing that day. I have a list of things that have to do in front of me and again, putting myself into that mindset because the mindsets are different to whether you’re going to be chatting to an associate, whether you’re going to be chatting to a supplier, to whether you’re going to be chatting to a bank, to whether you’re going be looking at figures that day to whether you’re going to be looking at architectural plans for a new practise, you have to have a different mindset in all of those aspects. So then you’re essentially just changing what you’re thinking about. And then after you’ve changed that, then you just crack on.
[00:22:31] Really, I find it fascinating that the parallels between training, bodybuilding and business, if you’ve not been there, especially that may be the level that you’re involved or, you know, many years ago, I used to remember stepping into the gym and the guy I used to train with it. He used to call it flicking the switch. And when you step in there, you were talking about a monster, you literally turn yourself into a monster and you’re not interested in talking to anyone. In fact, you turn on a level of aggression that is channelled into making that mind muscle connexion that you were talking about. And it just becomes about that. And nothing else matters. It’s like you’ve got tunnel vision and the rest of the rooms are blurred. And then how that translate into business for me is that you can take those lessons and and focus with with a great deal of intensity on the task at hand, whatever that is, whether it’s H.R. recruitment point, systems and processes together and so on and so forth. And I think there’s a there’s a lot of parallel parallels there and it’s interesting to talk to someone who’s been or currently in that position and seeing those parallels, but moving on from there.
[00:23:46] So you bought your first half a practise, which you still which you still have. Do you still own half of that or have you, you know, you still own half of that? Yeah. And and then you went onto just what I want to get my head around is how you went from half to your first one. Then she second, then your third. And all of a sudden today you start twenty three with 300 people under your belt. And how your role has changed. You’re in that whole process of want you to slowly talk me through that journey and I might interrupt you along the way just because I’m curious and want to know, you know, what happened here and there. So talk me through practise number one. You acquired it with how you went about finding it. What was your vision at that time of? We just want to buy one practise and this is going to be our baby and we’re going to grow it and it’s going to do really well. How many days a week dentistry were you doing? Just talk me through that whole process.
[00:24:42] So when we bought our first practise, myself and the other co-founder, we were doing well, seven days to be there. We were working round the clock just as associates as much as we could. So we would start at eight o’clock in the morning, worked through to six p.m. and would be myself or the other co-founder would end up doing an emergency dental service shift at the local hospital till 10 o’clock, and we would take it in turns. We pretty much said that five days a week and then also did that in the evening weekends as well. We did that. Yes, we did love dentistry. We also did that as a means to an end because we needed to raise cash in order to invest when we bought half of the first practise. Soon realised that it’s great, but you have to. In business is fast. It needs to be quick. So we realised that because the other owner spent a lot of time in Manchester up north, we couldn’t make decisions very quickly. If I if I want to appoint a hygienist, I had to wait for the next time he was down. So myself and the other co-founder, we thought, you know, let’s just do it ourselves. Let’s get another practise ourselves again. As a safety net, we’ll just have one. So we bought the practise, which was just a two stage practise in hand cross in 2015 and April, and that was all great. We bought it for four hundred and eighty six thousand pounds. We had to because we already borrowed a million, one point one million only about five months before. I then had to try and raise finance for that, which was raising it off of rate setter JD.com, which was an internet platform that gave money to dentists. So each took out 200000 topped maxed out and we were literally up to up to our eyeballs in debt at that point in time. It was scary, but again, that’s where you take the risk and it’s a calculated risk as well.
[00:26:28] At what point was this in your careers? You’d qualified from Dental School, you did an associate job. How far after qualifying was this? How long after qualified
[00:26:38] Qualified in 2009? So 2014 was when we bought half of the practise in November of that year and then 2015. So we’re looking at five to six years later, right?
[00:26:47] Ok, which
[00:26:48] I always say to associates my own associates. You have to wait five to six years. Don’t go and buy your first practise a year afterwards because you need to learn. You need to learn your graft. It’s like going back to the gym you start training for. I hate it. I hate it. Honestly, it really irritates me when a guy’s trained for like two months, and then all of a sudden they’re wearing tight shirts. No, you know, don’t don’t buy small and medium because they’re small and medium, so they make you look big. You know, you have to train for a year or two. And then when your arms are bristling through an extra extra large triple extra large, then you know you’ve got size. It’s the same
[00:27:27] And it’s the same thing with dentistry. Don’t, don’t jump into. You’ve got to learn if this is not a race. Life isn’t a race. So don’t treat it as one. Be consistent. Anyway, so here we said. We brought that one in April 2015 and we did everything we could to it, you know, push the private rope. In his six days a week, we installed an extra extra chair in there, so we maxed it out. We couldn’t take it any further than what we take in it. And then in December of that year, a colleague of mine that knew my mother approached me and said, Look, I’m looking to sell my practise to shall we do it off of the record? So it doesn’t, you know, doesn’t go on line because it was a private guy and this was an east born. And I came here, I look at it, and then we agreed on a deal. And that was practise number two. And then again, we did the same thing. We maxed that out with promoting the private and turning it from just, say, 100 percent in its practise to a 60 percent NHS, 40 percent private. Is the same sort of business model. And then a third person approached me because they knew the second person and said, Look, you sold to that person. And because that went well and for the for the first two to three years, it was word of mouth.
[00:28:41] That’s what we did. We didn’t buy practises on the market as it were. It didn’t enable us to get a good deal from them because we always would say, even now I say to the people that approach me and say, Would you buy my practise? I say, We’re going get it valued first. Yeah, not by Christine Co. or the former valuations, but just by like Dental Elite or Frank Taylor. And then come to me if what you want for it. I’m not. I’m not trying to get the cheapest price from you, but it just enabled us to actually have the opportunity to buy these and what we used to do in order to raise capital because we were able to take on a practise to like the first practise in handcuffs that we bought. We bought it for four hundred eighty six thousand. But by the end of the year, because we promoted and improved so much when we revalued it, it was worth seven hundred and fifty thousand. So the equity enabled us to borrow more to then buy the second one and the second one because we did that again, the same model, the equity enabled us to buy the third one and then we bought the third one. They were able to lump it all together, move from Metrobank at the time and then we moved it to another bank and then so we kept on.
[00:29:42] That’s how the business model worked by creating more equity in the business and also switching between banks. So he moved from Wesleyan to Metrobank to Santander. We able to then almost create more. We able to the loans were better. There were points in time when I would view a practise and I would go to the bank and I would say, Look, I would like to buy this practise. I don’t have the cash to buy it. And they would decline. They would say, You know, you don’t want to make yourself out, you don’t want to overstretch yourself. This one’s not quite fitting into your business model. The NHS may be a bit too high or you’ve never done that before. It’s in an out area. So I would then go and just borrow much money as I can from online platforms, whether it be rate setter or things like this, because I knew it would work. And then when I did that, I let that particular practise run for about a year. Go back to the bank and say, Look, I did it by ACH. Done it, a successful refi. Can you refinance me? And they were like, Okay, that’s fine. Then they will approach their underwriters and say, Yes, this this man, this is these guys. They know what they’re doing, and they won’t then refinance.
[00:30:51] How did you role change in the you went from you doing your six to seven days a week of hands in patients mouths? Are you are you all wet fingered dentists now or purely businessmen running the practise in the group?
[00:31:06] So I stopped clinical dentistry in 2019 marks April 1st of 2019. So for the last two years, two or three years, I haven’t done clinical dentistry, but in the beginning again, we’re working again seven days a week. But then as we grew, it cut down and it cut down to three days clinical and then the rest running the business. And that’s when we had 15 practises. I was still doing three days a week and then I said, You know what? This is too much because as I was treating patients, I remember, you know, doing an amalgam or doing a wax bite or taking out a tooth. I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing. It was second nature, but I was just thinking about cashflow forecasts and I was thinking about this employee that was bugging, bugging us or something like this or thinking about this thing and this thing. So, yeah, there came a point in time I said, You know what? I just need to, I think, walk away from the clinical side now and just focus purely on the business side.
[00:32:06] And what did that feel like? Just giving up dentistry all of a sudden and just just sort of, you know, Payman doesn’t practise dentistry anymore. Neither do neither do his business partners. Just just your process of I’m assuming at some point you were doing a fair bit of NHS dentistry yourself. Maybe you then pivoted towards more private, I’m guessing. Yeah. And then to nothing, then just sorting through that was a difficult decision to make. Or was it? Was it quite straight? All of it.
[00:32:32] I mean, it was because you get you get that it’s the run of the mill when you’re doing something every day, the same thing for 10 years, you think, Well, what if I stop? Will I do skill? Do I need to keep doing this? But then I mean, my accountant turned around and said to both of us, both of the founders had said, guys, because what I said to our thinking about stopping, but I’m not so sure it was like the amount of clinical work you’ve done because you’ve done so much. You’ve actually had a 30 year career, so you find to stop, you need to stop. You have to stop because you get to become ill from it. So when he said that, I thought, You know what? That does make valid sense because we didn’t, we didn’t. We never did. Just four days a week. We never just did the bits. And then plus as well. As well as doing that and the business, I was then taking on extra hours by being an NHS clinical adviser, you know, PhD trainer working for the LDC in West Sussex. So it wasn’t just it wasn’t just just just just a practise in the business, it was then everything else. So walking away was and also it was tough because I stayed in the same practise for all that period of time towards the end. And you get to know the patients and they get to know you. And they also kept on saying, every time you’re not going to go private, are you or you’re not going to give up, are you? And you kept them kept alive through my teeth and saying, Yeah, of course not want to be here today. I’m like 60. Then back and I’m thinking, I’m going, I’m going next week.
[00:33:54] But yeah, when you stopped clinical, how many practises were you at? And then what happened after that? And I’m guessing you were then able to 100 percent fully focus on whatever the mission or the growth plan was there?
[00:34:07] Yeah. So we got to 11 when I decided to stop and then as soon as I stopped, we then jumped because we took on four practises in one hit, so we got them to 15. Then when we went from 15 to 23, was when I was when I was not practising at all. We won also that process, as well as buying practises. We’ve won six of them through tenders, so two in Wiltshire and then four in Kent, Sussex, which was hard. It was hard bidding for them and writing the responses and going through the processes and then building things. So that was quite tough. And then we’ve also bought some practises from Corporates Coliseum and ones that were failing. They just wanted to give the NHS contracts back now Coliseum headquarters opposite our head office in Crawley. So their builder came over to do some work for us, their contractor. And he said, I’ve just stepped out of a meeting down. I overheard they’re talking about closing the practises. So as soon as you said that to me, I just walked over the road and said, Look, I need to speak to someone and they’ll talk about what. And I just said, just can I just speak to someone that’s involved in making decisions here? And then I just said, Look, don’t give them back, don’t give them back to NHS England. We’ll buy them from you. At least it gives you money for them. Don’t close them. I know you can’t recruit for them, but we will get to do. We’ll do brand you. And then we did. Wow. So we saw the opportunities and then we we just went for them.
[00:35:30] And so during this whole process, there must have been I mean, obviously there have been successful days and growing these practises and increasing the turnover and all the rest of it. What’s been your darkest days, your darkest moments whilst building this empire? You know, I always say that the most complicated part of growing any business is people, and you’ve got a lot of you’ve got a lot of people. You know, what have been your darkest moments during ruling this whole thing? I look at it and you know, the numbers scare me in terms of how you leverage yourself upon this war and then you get the other one, you get another million quid and you do this and you do this and you do this. And obviously, the only reason you do in that is because you’ve got confidence in yourself and what, what, what you’re capable of doing. There’s a lot of pressure on you as well, I’m guessing. What have been the the sort of darkest moments of business during the last few years?
[00:36:27] I think it’s been it’s been tough dealing with personalities from people. I’ve realised in business that it’s everyone’s got the ability to do what you want them to do, but you’ve got to be able to draw it out of them and try and deal with that. Deal with that personality. And eventually, somewhere deep inside that person, there will be the ability for them to do that and to give you that product that you want to give them or to do what you need them to do for the business. But it’s it’s trying to work around round dealing with those individuals. Some individuals could can be very tricky and you’ve got to kind of just shake hands and say goodbye. But thankfully, touch wood, we’ve never had anything horrific happen to us. We’ve just tried to just run with it and just just be as good as good as we can in terms of other dark, dark kind of moments. I mean, COVID was quite tough when everything just seemed to collapse in the end of March and patients appointments were being cancelled and just thinking how unless I can, because I didn’t at that point announced that they were going to pay, you guaranteed pay. So I’m thinking, what about if no one gets paid anything and how am I going to service these loans? And thankfully, the NHS came, came through and came forward.
[00:37:41] That helped us as an organisation. That was pretty tough. There’s been moments as well because as a as a provider, I get sent anything from the GDC and anything from the GDC just comes. There’s a there’s attached file or most of the time it’s 99 percent. At the time it’s about an associate. You think, Oh, thank God for that, but then your heart sinks when you think I was just one for me, is this about me? Because it’s just it’s just a hassle dealing with process as it were. So that’s that can be tough. And but I mean, it’s just it’s just there’s not been horrific dark times. I mean, most of it is sacrifice, really, which as I get older, I kind of regret slightly sacrifice family. There’s been many times where I’ve missed out on birthdays, events, Christmases. I remember, you know, it’d been Christmas Day and I’ll be in another room making a business plan, talking to a broker. Things like this. So so missing out on things and those sacrifices is a bit tough. And when I look back at it, because you can’t get that time back. I try not to look back at it, but it is what it is, is, is reality.
[00:38:54] And what about clinically? Have you ever made any one? We always ask this question is, you know, what’s your biggest clinical mistake? And it could be anything from communication right through to yanking the wrong tooth out and realising what I’ve just done. Have you made any sort of major what is your biggest clinical mistake and how could you learn from it?
[00:39:13] I say to my associates, any mistake you’ve made, I’ve done it and I’ve probably done it tenfold, better. I’ve I’ve I’ve made every single mistake you can possibly think of drilled drilled out the wrong side of the tooth, put a pin in and it has come out the other way. You know, you’re working on the floor of the mouth and the patient then swallows and the tongue comes up and the bird gets wrapped around in the floor and then you. You then try and pull the bear out, and half the patient’s tongue comes with it, taking out an upright and then all the tube porosity, plus all the soft palate coming away with it. And you’re looking at it and thinking, Great, this is great big hole I can see and then thinking, I’ve got a suit to this thing and trying to remember how you would talk to do suturing back the university and thinking, How the hell am I going to do this? So, I mean, the most memorable thing for me was and I didn’t have it wasn’t me causing the mistake. But a patient of mine came in and he had a full on cardiac arrest in the surgery. He just came for a denture stage and his dentures, so we didn’t give him anything, but he just arrived at the door and then just collapsed.
[00:40:17] His head smacked the floor. I ran over thinking and it was like a five o’clock ended. The day I was thinking, Oh Jesus, here we go. We’re all going to be late now. But I just thought it was a feint. And then I went down and I tried to say. To him, you know, hello. Everything, all right. Don’t worry about it, and my nurse knows I’m going to get the glucose, and I remember looking at my nurse and saying he is dead because there was nothing. He wasn’t breathing. There was no pulse. There was nothing there. And we then pulled him into the waiting room. And again, I thought, No, no, no, this can’t be happening because again, you double check. And he was you could hear a pin drop. There was nothing, no breath coming out of his mouth and then just thinking, Right, here we go. So you go into the chest compressions. Everyone started running around, you know, bringing the oxygen, the d fib. We had a trainee nurse that started that day. She’s sitting in the corner, crying her eyes out. You had conditions that are like 10 years experience. It’s just sitting there not knowing what to do. So it’s just me and my nurse and we just literally just cracking on cutting people’s clothing and cutting this guy’s clothing and everything.
[00:41:21] And then we put the DFB on, and then it shocked. And then again, we restarted the compressions and it shocked again. By the time the ambulance turned up, we just revived him, which was good. He was then taken to hospital and he survived. He lived two years and then passed away, but enabled him in that two years. So obviously make arrangements and say goodbye to his family. But I remember when I was doing his chest compressions, my basic life support had run out a week before I was thinking, If this guy dies, you know this patient dies. The coroner might say, You know what? You know you are. Maybe your basic life support was out of date. You know, you should have redone it and you know, you just you just all these things go through, as well as the fact that obviously this is a life as well. Of course, it was worrying. It was worrying and it was horrific as well. You know, there was there was vomit everywhere, phlegm. You know, it’s not a pretty sight. It’s not what they teach you. It’s it’s pretty bad. Well, that was a I was a bat bow, wow, wow.
[00:42:23] And so on the on the brighter side of things in the more positive side is obviously you’re running a successful business now. You’ve got, you know, you’ve got a lot of people working for you and I’m assuming you’ve got managers in place now. What’s the structure of your business? And with the 23 practises, every I’m calling it, every corporate and adult, whether you class yourself as a corporate or a mini group or whatever is then must have their own values or their own vision or what they’re trying to achieve or how they operate. Do you have is every practise almost like an independent or do they feel like they’re part of the group and you all operate in the same way? Have you got some practises that are fully NHS and some that are fully private and some that are sort of halfway down the line? What’s the overall
[00:43:08] Structure? So we we like to refer to ourselves as a community of practises. We’re not big enough to be I don’t think we’d be enough to be a corporate, even though we do get referred to as a corporate. Mm. Hopefully, by the end of this year, we might hopefully get up to about 40 practises that might change things. But we like to have a personal touch. So we do have a head office team which is based in Crawley and Gatwick Airport. So that’s obviously you’ve got myself as the CEO. Then you’ve got we have clinical directors, we have HR managers, assistants, finance managers and their assistants, clinical governance team that does all the clinical compliance. And then we have area managers and then individual practise managers in each of the sites. And then from there, then the dentists, receptionists and nurses. And we try to appoint lead clinicians in practises as well, which is kind of easy if we’ve taken over a practise where the principal stays on because they by default like to actually take that and to take that role. Yeah, most of the practises function as a community, as a group, we we like to do things together, have a consistent approach throughout every where we like to have quarterly management meetings where we call the managers up. So we like it to be uniform and structured rather than each practise operating completely different policies and models. And things like this is much easier from a compliance point of view to do it all in one in terms of the the way individual practises are structured.
[00:44:37] We have some that are 90 percent NHS and they tend to be in the in the places like Margate. In some places, Southampton, where it’s pretty damn the demographic is pretty poor. We have some practises that are 50 50 where we have big NHS contracts, but then a huge demand contracts and huge private pay. As you go ones, we do like to promote private. We don’t own any fully private practises because it doesn’t fit into our business model, our business model, such that we have to have guaranteed income coming in in order to service our loans and debts and in order to have that peace of mind that we’re not going to have income of how many million per year, one year. And then all of a sudden it drops down because we have had issues with maybe some private dentists moving on, moving somewhere else. So that’s where how kind of we structured attractive things we’re at the moment buying a freehold premises in in Crawley, which we’re going to. So we’re going to renovate for our own head office and we’re going to have there a training facility, phantom head rooms in order to be able to put on courses for our associates. And because it’s right next to Gatwick Airport, it’s really easy to to get to. So it’s going to be huge. It’s going to be like a university school. So sort of thing is going to be conference rooms and things like this.
[00:45:58] And at what level are you involved in with your team? So obviously, with such a large team assuming you can’t have a connexion with every one of them, right? It just wouldn’t be practical. So if we look at the look of the structure, is it you working with, I guess, the higher level people in the head office plus you meet in the managers on a quarterly basis? How how does that work in terms of you as a business owner and your input at what level
[00:46:27] Where all the associates and the hygienists know that they have clinical directors to go to, but they can always come to me, so my phone is always there for them. So I chat to some in an evening, we talk about cases. I deal with their contracts and I do their own appraisals and things and peer reviews and things like that. Like, obviously, we need to renegotiate rates
[00:46:46] With all your clinicians,
[00:46:47] With all our clinicians. If they’re happy to talk to the clinical directors, that’s fine. The clinicians do that, but a lot of them don’t. They like to talk to me. Yes, they do with the clinical directors when it comes to complaints and governance and things like that, because for me, I find it very tedious and boring, but the exciting things I do with them. So there is that direct kind of line they all have with me, the associates which they enjoy and I like as well. I then communicate, like you said, with the the head office team and most of the managers, but then I just don’t have the time and effort. You need to communicate directly with like receptionists and nurses, albeit they’re they’re an integral part of the team. But I just couldn’t do it. So they tend not to contact me themselves. They tend to go through managers and their gets passed on to H.R. and that all gets usually dealt with. And I only get involved if there’s a huge decision to make like a significant pay rise that needs to be made or or a change of contract or relocating someone or various things like that
[00:47:45] In terms of just transitioning from one to two to five to 11 to twenty three and then soon to be maybe 30 or 40. Have you had any formal training in business or have you just figured this out as you’ve gone along that OK, right? I’ll need a head office now. I need a HR team, I need a compliance team. How to structure that, where to put the how to sell the management structure. Where did that come from?
[00:48:14] Just because when you have one or two or three practises, even up to 10, you’re doing yourself, you’re doing it yourself. Pretty much you’re sleeping in your car. I remember once I went down to practise in Southampton because I was doing my own, you know, had, you know, up up of frames myself and it got to like 2:00 in the morning, I thought, I can’t drive back from Southampton to Crawley now, so I just slept on the floor in the surgery. And then at six o’clock, got my car and then went home. So it comes to a point where you can’t physically do it and then you think, Right, I need someone else now. So it came to a point where I needed someone to do with H.R. because I couldn’t physically do it myself. So then you then just researchers think, OK, what’s an HR manager? What’s their role involved? What was their pay structure like? How how are we going to do this? How are we going to do that and do this? So whenever I come to a point where I physically can’t do it anymore, I then make a role and then obviously do that. So now I’ve had no formal training. The only thing I’ve done is read books or maybe some management and business, but otherwise it’s just it’s just learning from your mistakes. That’s the best thing. Just failing cocking things up and then thinking, You know what, in order to me not to cock up again, I’ve got to do X, Y and Z. That’s the best way to learn. The best way to learn is to make mistakes, because you’d never do it again.
[00:49:28] What’s your biggest business mistake you’ve ever made? Oh, absolute absolute clanger, where you thought shit, I wish I hadn’t done that. And if I could do that again that I could have fixed a whole load of problems that that maybe would have helped me grow quicker or whatever that is. I did because I
[00:49:51] Fail every day. I think a huge mistake we did is, as you might not might know and listeners might know, there is three lists. These are GDC lists, your performers list and actually a list on the BSA. Now, a lot of people, in order to in order to check if they’ve got an NHS, perform a number of you check to see if they own the GDC, register a dentist and then you just check on the BSA if your name comes up on campus. When you’re entering onto the entering that petition onto your card form, you think, Oh, great. So one year I did that. Check the GDC, the guy who said he’s been working in the NHS for 15 years, Paul Grey, pin him on the contract, and he’s working away for nine nine months. And I’ve got a phone call from the NHS and said, You do realise that guy that’s working on the NHS who’s transmitting claims and claiming for you isn’t on the performers list. I said, no, I mean, I checked that I checked the BSA list and the dude here. Right now, the performance is different. You can actually hear it. He was actually removed from the performers list like five years ago because he left the country and then didn’t do many years.
[00:50:59] But we just didn’t. You just forgot to remove him from the BSA list. Thankfully, though, because I was able to prove to NHS England that genuinely I didn’t know that they accepted all of his claims. They put him on the list. They said, Look, just don’t do it again. I said, I’m really sorry, but that was tough because he’d done all those udas. They paid him for them as well. So I could and say to him, Can I have the money back? Yeah, you know, because I need to give back to the NHS. Things were very good to me at the time and said, Don’t worry because we understand and you’re not the only person that’s done this. And yes, we need to provide more clarity. But that was a huge thing because I was sitting there thinking and I might have to end up giving back about one hundred and fifty thousand pounds to NHS England. Wow. Plus the fact they’ve already paid out. So yeah, that was that was a pretty big clanger.
[00:51:45] Where’s your business going? What’s the big, hairy, audacious goal that you’ve got in mind because, you know, looking at it now, you’re already incredibly successful. I’m assuming you could sell it and retire tomorrow if you want it to, right? And there’d be plenty there. You’ve already we’ve already spoke about perhaps taking it to 30 or 40 clinics, perhaps this year. What was the ceiling for you? What where are you taking this?
[00:52:14] I don’t think. I don’t think there is any ceiling. Oh, you’re right. Yes, we could sell it tomorrow to a private equity or something like this and live on a yacht. You know, both the co-founders would be well looked after, but the the thing is, is that it’s never been about money. We haven’t done this for money because if we if we were doing it for money, we wouldn’t. We wouldn’t have. We wouldn’t have a chain of Dental practises. We would do something without so much red tape. And so it’s much more profitable, you know, maybe a chain of restaurants or nightclubs or God knows what you know or investing in like stocks and shares and all this kind of stuff. So it’s not it’s never been about funds and money. It’s more just about a vision of just trying to be a really good group of community practises. We I would like to grow to get to 100. That’s a that’s a nice number for me. It’s very even it sounds good.
[00:53:12] It’s a nice round number.
[00:53:14] Exactly. But then, as with again, going back to bodybuilding, it never stops. You know, when is when is too big or big enough, where there isn’t any. So if we ever got to 100, maybe would then say we’re about 110 120. I think the best I think the for us is I just keep doing this until I until I’m dead. I think that’s the point for me. If I’m not around, then it can’t be done.
[00:53:44] So there’s no there’s no big vision in your mind at the moment to say, you know, when the business gets to this magic number that I’m going to walk away, walk away from this thing and, you know, sail off into the sunset and I’d consider it done. You just see yourself doing this all the time.
[00:54:05] Yeah, at the moment, yes, unless things change. But also as well as that, we’ve developed incredible relationships, friendships with head office team members that I don’t regard and managers and dentists and associates. I don’t regard them as employees colleagues. I regard them as friends and not say it family as well. I don’t think I’d be ever be in a position where I could turn around and say, You know what? I’m tracking this in. And whoever takes you over will so be it. If you’re then out of a job, you’re out of a job. If they decide to take the company in this way and relocate the office to here and it causes you trouble, then Serbia. I don’t think I could ever do that to these people that have been putting not only they put in blood, sweat and tears into into this vision, that is our vision, the co-founders vision. But they’ve they’re running with this as well.
[00:55:01] She feels like you’ve almost got a sense of responsibility to your to your team. Stroke, should we say family? Yeah. That you’re almost there sort of providing for them, right? That yeah, through your creek, through your ecosystem. And I look I look at my business like this actually, is that through the ecosystem, you know, when I sit down and, you know, sometimes I’ll say to my wife, she’ll say, Well, why are you working so hard? You don’t have to do this and you have to do this? I’m putting food on the table for a lot of families. Yeah. And that comes with a great deal and sense of responsibility, not only my family, but those of my my colleagues, right, and friends and other families, so to speak. And is that how you feel about your organisation, that there is this overwhelming sort of sense of responsibility that actually this is your family now and you would never hand your family over to someone else?
[00:56:02] Exactly. Yeah, you just can’t. And I mean, when I wake up in the morning, what I mean, you know, when we will wake up and we’ve we’ve rotting a cold or we’ve got a mild fever. I drag myself into work through the responsibility of knowing that it’s not my mortgage. The to you paid. It’s three hundred mortgages need to be paid because I know that if I don’t go in for a day and make sure that this business is successful and I know if if I take a month off, it’s truly successful, but it’s just that it’s that thought, then it terrifies me to think that it’s going to affect someone else. And you just you just can’t do that as a morally, as an individual, you can’t. And I think you learn that over a period of time of growing a business and building it from scratch, if you put into a position of responsibility, you might not appreciate that. But because you’ve you’ve grown that and you’ve worked with these people and you know, and you hear their frustrations every day in their hardships and you know them coming to you and saying, I’m struggling with paying for this and you know, my cars, you know, you look at their bump hanging off their car and you’re thinking, Oh, God, you know, that’s that’s horrific. And you know, that’s that’s bad. It’s, you know, it’s it’s that it’s that level of responsibility that you you just take and you have to honour almost.
[00:57:21] It’s amazing you talked about obviously, the impact of working so hard and what it’s had on, you know, missing out on, say, Christmases, you know, maybe there were kids parties and things like that that you couldn’t attend and whatnot if you had the chance to do it all over again. Looking back, what would you change or what would you advise your younger self?
[00:57:43] To make sure I always attend because you still achieve what you think, you’re going to achieve, what you want to achieve by attending those things because you will get it done. And you have to put family first and friendships first. And you still get to where you going to get to. I did see it as a race at the start. I’ve learnt over the years and I’ve changed as a person changed. My values have changed and and those type of things. But I would I would make more time for the people that I’ve had to almost dissociate myself. And it goes back. I remember watching that pumping iron via an assault snigger. Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. Documentary where he said, You know, I think his father died and he got a phone call and he was like, I’m not coming to the funeral, I’m going to. I’ve got my limpia coming up and then, that’s it. And that was the frame I had in business. It was, I mean, yeah, I missed. I’ve missed funerals before and I just I regret that. I feel ashamed. I’ve missed very important events that I can never take back. If I were able to do it again, I would put that first.
[00:58:52] Definitely. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:58:55] And there’s a few questions we usually ask towards the end of this obituary. Listen to a few episodes. If it was your last day on the planet and you were surrounded by your little ones, your loved ones, those important people in your life and you to give them three pieces of advice or wisdom. What would they be?
[00:59:24] Number one, don’t. Don’t die with dreams, die with memories. And whatever you want to achieve, make sure you achieve it. Don’t dream about it. I’d always say work hard. And work hard, stay focussed. And then the third thing is always take care of the people that take care of you because then you’ll be forever taken care of. So you always give back. Mm hmm. So those are the three things I would try to try to. My pearls of wisdom were lovely.
[01:00:04] And how would you like to be remembered? So Ashkan was. Dot, dot dot. Finish the sentence.
[01:00:17] The biggest, the biggest dentist in the UK. Oh, it’s a tough one. Just just a just a successful businessman that the patients first, but also put the employees and the the workers are contractors and the same level as well. Mm hmm.
[01:00:46] Locally, and then this question comes from Payman, which is this fantasy dinner party question, so imagine you could have a fantasy dinner party, three guests dead or alive. Who would they be and why?
[01:01:06] Well, it has to relate back to. My passion, which is training, so it would be Mike Mintzer, who was a nineteen eighties, nineteen seventies eighties bodybuilder who started the whole high intensity training concept, I love to have dinner with him and talk about the concepts that he is now ingrained in in training. Mm hmm. I’d also like to chat to some high profile business CEOs. I look up to Warren Buffett. I remember him saying once that any, every every business that he takes over is essentially like a cigarette butt that’s only got one puff left in it. And that’s all we’ve done. You know, we’ve taken over those kind of seen ones that no one would give a chance to. But there’s always one drag that you can you can smoke and we’ve picked it up and had a good puff and turned it around. So that would be the second. And the third one? Oh, that one’s a tricky one. Oh, that’s a tough one. Third one. I was going to probably say. My father in law, but I didn’t want to start crying. Yeah. Yeah. No longer with us, not. I didn’t know you’re going to make me cry in this Prav.
[01:02:48] I didn’t know we were both, you know, we were both going to be crying at the end of this, Oh, we’re
[01:02:52] Supposed to be strong men, we’re supposed to be immortal, you know, soldiers, warriors and we’re both we’re both bored to tears. Yeah, no. Yeah.
[01:03:04] Yeah. Cool. Well, on that note, thank you. Thank you so much for your time today. It’s been inspiring. Just listening to your story of coming where you have from today and the story of your parents. You know, it’s always inspiring to hear where you’ve come from. And you know, we can we can sit here and make our parents proud, right? Yes. Not not having to do what what they were doing right is. It’s it’s a huge thing. And even so present day, you know, those words from my father resonate with me today. Yeah. And drive me and inspire me to do what I do. You know? So yeah.
[01:03:49] Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on. Thank you. Really appreciate it. Yeah, it’s been great.
[01:03:56] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry.
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