You wouldn’t know from it his calm demeanour, but Rajiv Ruwala is a busy guy.

Things have always been that way for Rajiv, who purchased his first practice with his sister Aneeka before starting his VT year and quickly grew the ailing three-chair practice into a successful seven-surgery clinic.

He’s since opened a second practice under the 2 Green Dental brand and is poised to open a third, just weeks after the arrival of his first child.

Rajiv talks about the ups and downs of his journey so far, reflecting on what defines success, building organisational culture, and much more.



In This Episode

01.44 – Current practice and ownership

07.39 – Structure, management and culture

18.33 – Mindset and communication

26.44 – Why Rajiv loves clinical work

30.07 – Growth and marketing

37.00 – Brand positioning

40.44 – Plans and project management

45.38 – 2 Green Dental

52.06 – Keeping going

01.00.19 – Associates and the comfort zone

01.08.31 – Defining success

01.10.10 – Blackbox thinking

01.22.09 – Cultivating culture

01.31.39 – Last days and legacy

01.38.52 – Fantasy dinner party


About Rajiv Ruwala

Rajiv qualified from King’s College London in 2008 and joined his sister Aneeka in purchasing and running Croydon-based 2 Green Dental.

He earned a Postgraduate Certification for Dental Education from the University of Bedfordshire, acted as a clinical demonstrator at King’s College Dental Institute, and is now a foundation tutor with the London Deanery.

Rajiv is a prolific lecturer for the British Dental Association’s Squadron strategy on professional development and patient communication and has also addressed audiences on behalf of Invisalign and SmileFast.

[00:00:00] What tends to confuse people or tend to confuse patients where you end up just listing a whole load of options and hope that they’ve got the knowledge of a BDS, which took us five years, by the way, minimum, so that you’re trying to explain it to them in 15 minutes and then they just get confused. And the typical answer they give is, I’ll have to think about it. Can I let you know? And the moment you hear that you’ve lost that patient, they do not understand what you’ve talked about. So I think I think the biggest take home, I said, is just give them an honest opinion. And obviously the second thing is, which is probably more important, is listening to them, is asking them a question and the art of shutting the hell up and letting them talk. I think it’s it’s a lost art and it’s the easiest thing to do. Be quiet and let them talk and they will tell you what they’re looking for.

[00:00:57] This is Dental Leaders. The podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry.

[00:01:06] Is a principle at clean dental.

[00:01:09] Your house Payman, Langroudi and Prav Salon Kick.

[00:01:25] Been up giving your opinions on a lot of different forums. Reggie, welcome to the show, Rudy.

[00:01:32] Thank you. I don’t know whether those opinions are welcome or not, but I gather people like what I say sometimes. Sometimes they don’t.

[00:01:44] But if you worked at lots of different practises, or have you been at this one for most of your career?

[00:01:50] Actually, I’ve only ever really worked at two practises where I did my feet training, which was an amazing practise, actually. Still is an amazing practise with an amazing trainer.

[00:02:01] Who is.

[00:02:03] His name is Shani Kalsi. Lancaster House in Croydon and Centre Practise. And he is the most kind, patient, helpful man in dentistry. The loveliest guy you could ever imagine. Great guy. And the practise I work at, which is mine, believe it or not, I actually owned the practise before I did VTE, so I don’t know if you guys knew that. Know how that came about? Long story. Well, I mean, I was at university and I just hated the politics in the hospital. You could even as a student, you could feel it. And I knew I never really wanted to have a hospital job or do anything. And I’ve always wanted to work for myself. And I own the practise with my sister Mika. And I think Amica felt the same way. She’s a couple years older and she had just finished her vet and my father passed away when I was in my second year sorry, first year of university. So luckily we had a bit of inheritance money and when we were in the final year, my sister was in a second year, my mom said, There’s this guy in some random place selling a dental practise. Why don’t you just go and have a look just for experience, to see what this is like. We both turned up. We looked at each other effectively and were like, Well, there’s no way we can make this worse. It was kind of in the right place, the right time sort of situation. It was a really old, shambolic NHS dental practise and we thought, Well, why not? We’ll give it a go.

[00:03:39] Was it in your house where you lived?

[00:03:40] It’s built. Yes. I grew up in Dulwich in south east London. So the practise is in an area called Crayford, which is about half an hour drive. So it was local ish. I mean, that’s a definite commutable and it was in an area where it was improving, gentrifying. The practise, as I said, was tiny. It was an effectively it was a one chair practise open three days a week. And it was very old school, very old school. I mean, you wouldn’t find bite wing holders in there when we first went. So it was it was, you know, we turned up knowing that we can improve this.

[00:04:24] So you knew during your VTE you knew that straight afterwards you were going to go into practise ownership. Yeah. Did that have an element of sort of trepidation to it?

[00:04:33] Well, you say that straight after, but you know what it was? It was quite nice. I said, my my vet trainer was absolutely amazing when I first told him. He was obviously taken aback a bit, but then he helped me so much. He gave me lots of advice, you know, and I think actually I helped him out as well because because I wanted to learn how to do these things. Whilst also the vet, I actually took on a lot of those roles as a vet. So as a vet I was doing stock ordering, I was helping train nurses because I needed to. And sometimes, you know, you jump in the deep end. The learning curve is great, but it’s it’s it’s helpful.

[00:05:16] Would you do it again like that? Or do you think in retrospect, on upon reflection, do you think you would do it the ordinary way, sort of do it, have a team.

[00:05:24] People if somebody asked me if they should do it, I’ll tell them not to do it. I would do it again. Yeah. I mean, it’s but I’m like that. I will quite happily take big risk if I feel that’s the right thing to do, I will do it.

[00:05:43] So a three chair nurse practise with no right wing holders.

[00:05:49] Yeah, well it was actually one chair with three rooms. One of the rooms didn’t have a chair and one of the rooms was completely dead. Like it was prehistoric, I think.

[00:05:58] Take us through take us through the sort of evolution of that and how long it takes and what moves you made and what were the key sort.

[00:06:06] Of.

[00:06:06] Cornerstones of going from that situation to this? I guess it’s quite a high end, fully private, is it?

[00:06:14] Now it’s actually has a little bit of NHS. Oh very, very little. We haven’t changed our contracts since we bought it and only we only had seven and half thousand days to start off with. But now it’s a seven surgery practise running from eight, 730 in the morning to eight at night every week to every day, pretty much seven days a week, not Sunday, but and Saturday we run half a day. But it’s a it’s a pretty big outfit. And then we’ve got another one practise that’s six surgery, doing the same thing in Mitcham and then a new practise, which is also seven surgery. Yeah, a seven surgery squad, which which is a little bit of a gamble for us, but we’ll see how it goes.

[00:07:00] So a lot of it has been sort of building works extensions, that sort of thing, surely, right?

[00:07:06] Well, yeah, we took over in 2008. This would be our fourth. The current project would be our fifth project building project. So it’s either building or extension or. Yeah. So we’ve, we’ve had five building projects effectively. I’ve always had a builder on, on, on the go doing something. Wow. Yeah. It’s been, I think about it. I should probably get myself a builder and hold on to the projects.

[00:07:39] The both courier practises doing 12 hour shifts. Six days. Yes. Yes. Just out of curiosity, how would you make that work in terms of staffing and management and all the rest of it? What’s your organisational structure and team structure across that?

[00:07:58] Yeah, sure. Well, it’s you know, I don’t think anyone can work for 12 hours.

[00:08:02] No, no, no, of course. Yeah.

[00:08:04] So we actually run a purely shift based system. So effectively there’s two shifts. We have a whole new set of staff working in the morning and then completely different set of staff working in the afternoon. So there’s a the staff turn up at seven in the morning and they leave at 130 or 145, 2:00, and then the second set of staff come in at 130 and leave at eight 830. So effectively everyone has a half day every day and they do the staff do a seven hour shift. The dental, the clinical dental is 6 hours. But I find that if you work 6 hours, the efficiency is is far greater than a standard day or even a 12 hour day, which I’ve heard some people do, which is absolutely insane. You know, if I look at myself after about 7 hours, the quality of my work, it doesn’t drop. It just takes a lot longer to get there. Yeah, a hell of a lot longer.

[00:09:03] Out of curiosity, Rajiv, do you have like a huddle or some kind of team meeting?

[00:09:08] I mean, these are always things that we have to work on. Cultures are really difficult. Yeah, we were 9 to 5. It was a lot easier because we’d all have lunch together. Sure. So culture is always. Is always a little harder when you’re running. The bigger, the bigger the operation, the harder the the harder it is. We don’t do anything like a huddle or anything like that. What we’re trying to do is having more of a team meetings and not in the traditional sense. So Fridays we tried to get together and we tried to keep the Friday afternoon shift a bit lighter, and then we try and spend that afternoon doing more administrative, you know, talking to each other tasks. You know, in my head I call it a Friday reset, but the culture is always the most difficult thing. The bigger you get, the harder it is. And that’s just impossible. It’s just a numbers game that.

[00:10:03] And I’m just curious about this because obviously I’ve not run practises like this and don’t know of any that do. So I’m really, really curious in terms of like just the day to day now. Like for example, our PM is our firefighter, right? And she’ll be putting fires out left, right and centre or whatever or dealing with like, you know, whatever, whatever the issues are of the day. Right. So do you have like two shifts to PMS as well or what’s the like the structure of the of that, the higher level management?

[00:10:34] So we have, we don’t actually have a PM. I know that’s crazy, but we don’t we have, we have a team, an administrative team. So what I try to do is I’d rather outsource administrative work to existing members or staff. So, you know, I think one of the crying shames of our profession is that especially in the nursing sector and the reception team is that there’s actually very little progression. Once once you are a nurse, you know, I think I think a lot of nurses get bored after two or three years and there’s very little for them to carry on doing. So I try to give them more things to do. So one of our nurses ended up doing h.r. One of our nurses has ended up becoming a patient coordinator. One of our administrative team now basically does payroll and banking and all the finance teams. So one of our old receptionists and I like to promote that. So I try and give people tasks and then get them to build that into a career and move forward. So we don’t actually have a specific practise manager. And personally, I’ve always found it a bit dangerous to have one practise manager. You know, if, if they leave, all the knowledge goes with them quite, quite honestly, and they may leave for any sort of reason.

[00:12:02] So you sort of say like the so called, you’ve almost like separated out the management tasks into separate chunks and then give that to several different team members to handle. So it’s not there’s not one particular person who’s overall responsible.

[00:12:17] Well, I mean, as we get bigger and bigger and our projections are for the end of next year to be almost on 200 members of staff. Wow. Which is a hell of a lot of people. Wow. You can’t run on on on a simple practise manager system. You have to have an administrative team. Sure. So, I mean, we’ve got in my head, I’ve planned for an HR team, a payroll team, a sick team, a team to just be in charge of learning and teaching and practise progression that way. I’ve I’ve even got a person who’s just purely there to fix things chairs, breakdowns, maintenance, painting, get the door lock fixed or whatever it may be. But when I think as you get bigger, you have to start evolving that part. And I think that’s actually a very interesting business concept in that people don’t realise that you can’t stick to the same system as you get bigger and bigger. It’s something I’ve had to learn very, very quickly.

[00:13:19] And then so Rajeev, what part do you play in that in terms of your day to day? Like as that organisation grows to like 200 members of staff? Like where, where do you sit in that in terms of like your typical day or your typical week, who you’d be interacting with, what you’d be doing?

[00:13:38] It’s interesting because I still love clinical dentistry. The more I do it, I still absolutely love it, but the more I feel that I have to give it up at some point. But I’m holding on. I’m still doing three and one half days a week, so I absolutely love it. I think we’ve already touched upon it. Culture is probably the most important thing when you’re in the position I am, so I jointly run it with my sister and luckily we’re very, very different people. So I tend to hold the more role of forward thinking for planning. So I try and do anything, practise development, deciding where the practise goes in the future. Obviously with her blessing and she helps me with that and we discuss things together, whereas my sister is very much a hands on nitty gritty, she tends to make sure that the administration is done. She’s she’s a bit of more of a taskmaster and she’ll keep an eye on everything effectively. Yeah, it’s, it’s luckily we’re so different that it works that way. So I think as you I think as things progress, you, you end up being the person steering the ship, but you can’t be the person pulling the oars.

[00:14:57] But what happens regarding something like recruitment? Do you yourself get involved at all now?

[00:15:03] I mean, at the level of recruitment we’re doing at the moment, I only do the clinical side.

[00:15:09] Dentists and hygienists.

[00:15:10] Scientists and hygienists, whereas the receptionists and the nursing team is done by one. As I said, one of our existing staff members, in fact, two of them, the two people interview, they both have a veto. If they don’t like someone, then that’s that’s fine. And we actually don’t we don’t look to hire someone. We look to see whether they’ll fit into the team. We’re not really looking for specific qualities, if that makes sense. We make we’re trying to make them fit into a team rather than whether they’re qualified X, Y and Z. They’ve got this skill or that skill. Our thoughts are that we can teach skills. We can’t teach attitude and we can’t teach you can’t teach personality whether they fit in your team. I mean, I’ve seen so many lovely dentists who have got amazingly good skills, but I don’t think they’ll fit in our organisation just because of their personality. And that’s not to mean that they’re a bad personality, it’s just not our fit.

[00:16:09] And so, Rajiv, what is your culture like if you if you had to just sort of whip up in a few sentences or whatever to describe when you become a member of your team, what what is it that they become and what does that mean for me? I was Strohm and asked me to do a piece for them the other day about what their culture is.

[00:16:31] Right.

[00:16:32] And I didn’t know until I’d interviewed all of like a big chunk of their team. And it was very, very clear then that their culture revolved around family values, helping team members outside of work, progressing from within and promoting from within. And so I got a real sense of values, but I only learnt that after interviewing all their team members, right? So how would you describe your culture and your values in your organisation?

[00:17:02] So our culture I would I would say is it has to be quite relaxed, it’s quite natural, it’s quite free flowing. But more importantly than that, the key thing for us is that everyone needs to progress. You can’t stand still, you have to get better and better and improve. And we were having a little chat about this earlier. We were saying that if a staff member joins us, whether they’re a nurse or a trainee nurse, I don’t mind if they leave after a year. I really don’t. As long as they left better than when they joined us and as long as they leave for an opportunity. I actually hate it when people leave and I think they’re taking a step down. I want them to take a step up and I’ll happily do that. I mean, I’ve got two hygienists who were previous nurses for us. One of them is training to become a dentist. So she doesn’t work for us anymore. But she she wants to come back. I’ve had patients who are going on to study the industry and I’d love them to come back and join us at some point. As I said, we want our reception team to progress and do an administrative role or whichever role they’d like to do. But the key thing is they’ve got to leave better than they started. They cannot go back. And actually, I find it really frustrating when people stay still. That’s that’s the biggest bugbear for us.

[00:18:33] How would I demonstrate that I’m that dentist that. Forward thinking that progressive not standing still, is it through a track record of my post-graduate education, what my personal development plan looks like moving forward? What’s the thing that you’d look for me as maybe an associate working for you?

[00:18:52] So education is obviously very important in clinical skills, but I think clinical skills is actually, I hate to say, overvalued. That’s probably the wrong word, but I think more correctly, I think the other part is undervalued. And when I say undervalued and the other part, what I mean is that being able to progress in your own personal life is really important. Being able to progress in terms of being able to communicate with patients, dare I say it, financially progress. I’ve seen so many good dentists, not progress financially, but improve their clinical skills and and get deeply frustrated and not understanding why they’re going on all the best courses yet they don’t end up converting that into a career payment. I’m sure you’ve seen it with many people doing the Mini Smile makeover. Yeah, they come on the course. You see them four years down the line and say, how is that cost for you? And they’ll say, Actually, I’ve never done a case that.

[00:20:00] We’re trying to figure it out and say, why? Why is it one guy ends up being Matty Parsons booked up eight months ahead with composite veneers and then another guy just doesn’t even do one?

[00:20:13] Well, this is the thing I find really frustrating, because if you have a dentist who has got no skill at all, but they’re able to talk to patients and get them to do the work, they’ll very quickly progress. Even if they were born handed, they’ll eventually become a decent dentist and they’ll build a career because they can talk to people, whereas you can have somebody with the skills of mode, Monica and Jason Smithson all combined and multiply by five. But if they can’t speak to anyone and they can’t explain anything to patients, they’ll end up nowhere. And that now I feel it is really upsetting. You know, if someone like that joined our practise. Well, firstly, if they did, I would show them how to do how to do the other thing and actually speak to patients. But because I think that’s really undervalued. Massively undervalued.

[00:21:05] Do you think that’s teachable?

[00:21:07] Oh, yeah, 100% teachable. Well, you know, no one was born with that way. Some people are more naturally gifted, but I would say I’m probably the least likeable person in the world, naturally. And I’ve had to work on getting my patients to understand where I’m coming from. So if if I can do it, I think other people can. And I have to say that, you know, this is I didn’t learn it. I didn’t make up a system. I learnt it from an amazing guy called Asif Syed, who not many people have heard of, or if they have heard of him, they’ve never really met him because he kind of is one of these people who has quite a lot of influence in the dental world but hides in the background. And he taught me, you know, his version of how to talk to patients. And actually I think he’s actually trained over 400 dentists. But as I said, he kind of is a personality that likes to hide in the background, is more of a have you have you guys see non knockers or anyone see narcosis is more like the Kelly cartel. You know, they like to be in the background while working efficiency efficiently.

[00:22:29] Taff was that guy for seven, eight years and then suddenly one day he came out of his shell. What would you say that a couple of takeaways that you’ve learnt from acid.

[00:22:41] In terms of talking to patients, I would say very simply, tell the patient what you think is best and I mean that in a in a very blunt way. I think a lot of dentists get bogged down in options. They don’t like to give an opinion of what they think is right. You know, if a patient tells you, you know, they’re really upset that they’ve broken a tooth and, you know, it’s hurting and they can’t eat on it and they’re getting food stuck and it looks crap. You know, it’s quite easy to say, well, you know, you need root canal and a crown and it would be nice to have a white one because I actually I think it will fit what you want, and that’s the one I’d go for. There are other things we can give you gold crowns, amalgams, etc. but that’s the one I would recommend based on what you told me. And I think if you just say that to patients, most of them, as long as you come across likeable and trustworthy, they’ll say, Actually, yeah, I’ll do that. Hmm. I think what tends to confuse people or tend to confuse patients where you end up just listing a whole load of options and hope that they’ve got the knowledge of a yes, which took us five years, by the way, minimum. So and that you’re trying to explain it to them in 15 minutes and then they just get confused. And the typical answer they give is, I’ll have to think about it. Can I let you know? And the moment you hear that you’ve lost that patient, they do not understand what you’ve talked about. So I think I think the the biggest take home, I said, is just give them an honest opinion. And obviously the second thing is, which is probably more important, is listening to them, is asking them a question and the art of shutting the hell up and letting them talk. I think it’s it’s a lost art and it’s the easiest thing to do. Be quiet and let them talk and they will tell you what they’re looking for. It’s so true.

[00:24:38] So true. Although what do you think is the reason that people don’t naturally do that?

[00:24:47] I mean, I think we’re a product of the system. Partly the system doesn’t help. It really doesn’t. I mean, I think every dentist at some point has gone through an industry, whether it be for 5 minutes or 50 years. And obviously that’s a time pressure where, you know, the NHS doesn’t really value you talking values are you doing or it doesn’t even value you listening even less than you talking, which is which is even worse. So the system doesn’t help. Secondly, I don’t think that there’s enough emphasis on that part of it in university teaching. For the life of me, I have no idea why I spent a year learning histology. Just no idea. I’d rather they spent a year telling to teaching us how how to communicate with patients. It’s just. I don’t know. I think the focus is is very academic and less practical. And I think that’s also down to universities picking on academia as well, rather than being able to pick on soft skills. But I mean, there’s a vast, vast reason. But one thing I have noticed is that coming out of university is the most successful dentists are not the dentists who are very successful at university. They were the people who had to scrap effectively to get through. Those people have done incredibly well, whereas the academics haven’t done badly, but they haven’t excelled.

[00:26:27] You know, I find there’s the odd person who. Who’s good at both things.

[00:26:33] The unicorn. Yeah. Yeah. There are a few unicorns. Yeah, but that’s. You know, there’s always an outlier somewhere. Yeah.

[00:26:44] So what if you said you love clinical? I do. What is it about clinical that you love? Is it that getting to the bottom of what the patient is after and.

[00:26:55] Not finding that I’m quite unlikeable? I don’t actually care that much. I actually like the technical work. I mean, I do love it when you change a patient and you can visibly see them change. I love the technical work. I actually enjoy it. I love the problem solving and you know, I love my patients. I genuinely do. There’s some patients who I’ve had from day one who are NHS, who I treat for free now, you know, on a private basis because I just love them and some of them I’ve seen, I’ve got deeper relationships with them than they have with their own family sometimes. And one of my patients said to me, I see you more as my family than some of my family, especially around the cove. Around Cove, the time when I had some patients who had a only son, she’s by herself is in Australia and I see her twice a year, once, once a year even. But that’s, you know, she hasn’t seen a son for three years and I love seeing those patients. It’s really hard to give up. But I think the further along you go in the journey, I’m going to have to give up at some point. I just don’t know when.

[00:28:18] What about clinically? What kind of work do you like the most?

[00:28:24] I like the variety. I genuinely like the variety. I consider myself a true gdb. I’m quite happy with a hand scaler doing Perrier. Equally, I’d rather do surgical Perrier. I love doing a bit of Indo. I like doing some orthodontics. I like doing some straightening. I like. I love putting implants in. I like, I like doing whitening. I genuinely like it. Or I think I’d get bored doing one thing. I like seeing a patient and being able to deliver everything. Obviously there are some cases where I can’t and I have to refer out, but I would consider myself a true GP in that I genuinely like everything. The only thing I don’t really like to do myself is is paediatric dentistry. It’s just I’ve never liked it. It’s never been my forte. I’ve always felt like I can’t deliver high quality care with children, but that’s just me. But everything else I love doing.

[00:29:21] I’m in the in the practise.

[00:29:23] You’re sort of.

[00:29:25] Clinical lead, is that.

[00:29:27] Right? Yeah, I would say so. I mean, we’ve got some really strong dentists and I mean, some really.

[00:29:34] Strong you have specialists as well.

[00:29:36] We don’t at the moment, but with our new venture, I think we’re going to look that way to.

[00:29:42] 15 chairs that all.

[00:29:43] Generalists. All generalists. Yeah.

[00:29:47] And maybe private.

[00:29:49] Yeah. Well, between the 14 chairs, we’ll have 7000 users. So effectively, we’re all private. Yeah, we’re all generalists. And we. We we have waiting lists that are, you know, an arm, you know, six months down the line at the moment. So it’s a very, very busy place.

[00:30:07] So what’s the secret, bud? What’s the secret? You’ve you’ve grown this thing so quickly. Is it the very basics of treating people well? Word of mouth?

[00:30:16] Yeah.

[00:30:18] Do you have a marketing machine behind it?

[00:30:20] No, I. I don’t understand marketing. It’s. Perhaps you can have to help me at some point. I genuinely don’t understand it. My wife actually, believe it or not, as a degree in marketing, and she she doesn’t.

[00:30:33] Understand it either.

[00:30:36] Dentistry. But she works for a massive company. She works for Diageo, which is huge as a one under a company. But I personally, you know, I’ve I don’t I don’t understand. Definitely not external marketing anyway. I’m quite happy to ask patients to write a Google review and things like that. My sister’s way better than I am. She’s far more personable than I am. But yeah, no, this is it’s always been word of mouth for us. I know it’s still old fashioned, I suppose, but we’ve always managed to, you know, we see one patient, we get two back, and it’s always been that way. I don’t know why I actually.

[00:31:14] In some ways do you system either systemise the wow moments or do you just you’re just nice people.

[00:31:23] I would personally. I’d love to be able to systemise it. I just I don’t know what it is, in all honesty. It would be nice to know, because then I can box it and repeat it. Yeah.

[00:31:34] Do you know what? You’re doing? Something right? Right. You see one patient, you get two back, right? And this takes me back to yesterday evening. I was out for dinner and I spoke to Payman about this great customer service is so frickin rare that when it happens.

[00:31:55] You want tell everyone you.

[00:31:56] Fucking rave about it. Right. So true. So I went out for dinner yesterday to a place I’ve never been before. Right. And. My usual thing is, first of all, I never, ever order anything off the menu. I’m just twisted like that, right? So I always want a bit of extra chilli garlic. The first thing I do want to walk into an Indian restaurant. Do you do masala chai knowing very well it’s not on the frickin menu? Of course they don’t do it right. And the guy goes, We don’t do it. I’m going to ask the chef to put a couple of pots on for you that’ll keep you going. So it’s like, Boom, he’s got me once. Second thing is, I don’t know if you’ve got young kids ready, but when you take them to a restaurant, right, you want to feed them and get them out of the way first so you can enjoy your meal. Right. And for us, when we feed the girls, we get them plain rice and we ask them to put loads of veg in and not too much spice. Right. So that fills them up. But the guy goes to me, Yeah, I’ll do that. I’ll throw some egg fried rice together, I’ll put loads of virgin. And we didn’t ask for this because and I’ll bring that first so your girls can get sorted. Yeah, he’s just like, shit. Wow. Then I was like, Can I have my tandoori roti rodley? Just just just thin. Really, really butterly and thin. Yeah, it goes thin and crispy. I’m like, bang on, mate, boom. That’s the next thing that comes a little bit later as he’s bringing the starters out. Bring some extra starters out, right, some alley tricky and some Raj Kutcher. And he goes, Try this, try this. This one’s on me, buddy. This one’s on me. Just try it. I want your feedback on this dish at this point. May I’m getting quite emotional. Right? I’m overwhelmed with the surge.

[00:33:33] Yeah.

[00:33:35] Seriously, seriously, buddy, I’ve got a.

[00:33:37] Tear in my to Buddy.

[00:33:38] Yeah. And then and then, you.

[00:33:41] Know, I always speak to my eldest daughter about what great services. She’s smiling at me, beaming and giving me that look like this guy’s got his shit together. Yeah. And then comes along and goes. Just before you leave. Just before you leave. I’ve got Indian afternoon tea. I’m launching that soon. Yeah. And then says to me I’m right in my mobile number on a card for you. You take that away. Yeah. What the actual fuck. Yeah. Like amazing customer service as I’m walking out. There’s a couple stood there studying the menu here. Bloke says to me, food any good, mate? I said to him, Fucking amazing, mate. And the service even better. Get in there. Yeah. Give him a fist pump, smile it and look at it and he walks in. So word of mouth translated instantly at that point. Then I proceeded to write a Facebook and Instagram post about it. Right. Because that was because I was so blown away. Reggie. You’re probably doing that every day. You don’t fill 14 surgeries by accident, mate.

[00:34:47] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Maybe you say that. I’m not sure I am, but I honestly. I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m not sure I am. I think I like to use the Tibbs analogy since we’re talking about Indian restaurants. Yeah. You know, Tibbs doesn’t have amazing customer service, though. That’s the thing. But yet on a Friday night, well, pretty much every night they’ve got a queue of, you know, 200 metres down the road.

[00:35:14] Because lamb chops.

[00:35:16] For the lamb chops because that product is just absolutely amazing. So as I said, I don’t really understand marketing, but I understand what a good product is, and I really do. And I think for what we offer, our value of the care for the price and for what we do is that I think is unbelievable. So I think of it more that way. Yes. Obviously, you get amazing customer service on top of that and it accelerates even more. So, you know, as I said, I don’t really understand marketing, but my wife has kind of taught me a few things and she taught me about the the five P’s of of of marketing, of which the most important thing is product. And if you can get your product right, I think that that’s the most important thing. Yeah, customer service makes a massive difference and you’re absolutely right. And it’s definitely something we need to improve on. And I believe that. But I think our strength lies in the fact that we can deliver great industry efficiently, well, in a really beautiful environment, at a cost that I think and this what makes me feel comfortable when I do a crown, I get I deliver that. I look at my patient and I genuinely believe they’ve got a bargain. I genuinely believe they’ve got a bargain. I think, God, I’ve I’ve you’ve got a bargain here. And I think if I can do that and obviously it has to be profitable and it is. Yeah, but if we can do that efficiently and beautifully, then I think that’s for us that’s really important and that’s what our practise is about. We want to give people great dentistry at a bargain and make money at the same time.

[00:37:00] So is that is that the positioning of it? One of the other piece. So are you not the most expensive practise? No.

[00:37:07] Not not by not by a long way. We we’re not we’re not the cheapest. We’re not the most expensive. We’re you know, if we were a supermarket, we’d be we’d probably be somewhere between Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. You know, we’re not like a Whole Foods, we’re not an Iceland. We’re kind of that’s our position and that’s a position we’re very comfortable with.

[00:37:33] And all three clinics of the same positioning. Is that is that.

[00:37:36] Yes. On new clinic, we’re trolley probably. We’re trying to position it slightly higher. But as I said, the way we try to deliver it is we might be priced like a Waitrose. But, you know, we’re we’re we we try and give a product that’s even better.

[00:38:00] Do you know? Do you know that, Rajiv, that value piece that you’re talking about there? Like some people say, hey, you know, what’s the magic formula to sales in dentistry or whatever? Right. I really believe truly it’s about value in what you do, because if you think you’re providing exceptional value, you ain’t got to try to sell because it’s coming from the horror. You’ve the passion that you’re showing now is that it’s a bloody bargain what you’re giving, right?

[00:38:27] I genuinely believe it. I genuinely believe it’s an absolute bargain.

[00:38:31] So you don’t get a struggle.

[00:38:32] But you say you know nothing about marketing. Marketing is is communicating your value.

[00:38:37] Yeah.

[00:38:38] Yeah, that’s it. That is marketing. Communicating your value.

[00:38:42] Yeah you say that, but I’ve never done anything on marketing. I don’t understand.

[00:38:47] I’m doing it right.

[00:38:48] You’re doing it.

[00:38:49] Coming out of your mouth.

[00:38:53] So I might be saying things that I don’t know, but it works. It works for.

[00:38:58] Us. Do not fill 14 chairs by accident.

[00:39:02] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:39:04] Have you done anything like influencer work? Have you treated a particular patient who went and told 100 other people like nothing? It still seems amazing in that time frame.

[00:39:15] I’ve had patients that I’ve told 100 people, I haven’t paid them for it and I’ve never.

[00:39:19] Been paying for them. But but you know, what I’m saying is inflexion points.

[00:39:23] Yeah. There are a few patients who who who generate more leads than others. To be fair, I found that’s more with businesses. Yeah, there’s a couple of local businesses where I think I treat everyone.

[00:39:36] Because people talk in the business that the talking shop the good news and the bad news, by the way. Yeah, of course. Quickly.

[00:39:42] Yeah, well, our new practise is next to one of these businesses, so as soon as we got the lease, I popped in next door and said, Oh, by the way, we’re opening next door. And that’s actually helped us a lot.

[00:39:54] But have you have you have you gone to other businesses and introduced yourself?

[00:39:58] No, not not, not not.

[00:40:00] Not.

[00:40:01] Consciously. Not consciously. I have spoken to other people and owners, but very, very you know, I’ll see them in the street and I’ll say hello and have a little chat, but I won’t specifically go anywhere to speak to anyone. But yeah, I found it’s happened with businesses. It feels like I’ve treat every teacher in South London at the moment for some reason, which is quite nice. When you’ve got two young children, you get to hear the ins and outs of every school is quite nice. Yeah. So it seems to me, you know, there have been spheres of influences rather than specific individuals.

[00:40:44] What you would you explained to me of of Mike what your plans were for the new place. And as you said it to me, I thought I thought to myself, what a confident guy, man. You know, like it takes a degree of I want you to outline.

[00:41:02] It for delusional.

[00:41:06] I want you to outline it for whoever listens to this so that they can get a feel for what you explain to me. But now that I’ve got the context of of what you did before, it seems to me mean if it really is like this, that, you know, you just this successful thing happened and you don’t know how it happened. You know, it’s it’s it’s an interesting sort of situation. Situation, but I’m feeling like either either like you lucked out big time or you’re just being really humble because, you know, like, go on. Let’s start. Let’s start with what are your plans? What are your plans?

[00:41:44] So, I mean, at the moment we’ve got I’ve already mentioned it seven surgery practise in Crayford Green Dental and we’re opening another squat just down the road and it’s a two or three minute walk down the road. And the idea of that was to effectively double our size. So that’s another seven surgeries. And within that, we’ve I’ve we’ve built the seven surgeries. We’ve built a lecture theatre, we’ve been the dedicated admin area. We’ve got a photography studio built in there that we kind of lucked out because we managed to get a lease during the middle of COVID where everything was nosediving in prices. So we managed to get that ridiculously cheap rate for 20 years. Was it before it was, believe it or not, a hairdresser? I have no idea how a hairdresser occupied a three and a half thousand square foot place, but.

[00:42:40] Three and a half thousand square.

[00:42:41] Feet. Yeah, it’s a pretty big.

[00:42:43] The size of enlightened the three floors of enlightened.

[00:42:46] Yeah, it’s a big place. It’s a big place all on one floor. So when we were looking at it the all on one floor. Yeah. All on one floor or ground floor. Bloody hell. Yeah. The frontage of this place is huge and it’s next to a Nando’s and opposite a pure gyms. That’s right on the high street.

[00:43:07] How far are you with it now?

[00:43:10] We’re probably going to be opening in the next two months. Two and a half months.

[00:43:13] Oh, wow. You you’re in the middle of it. You’re like you’re you’re doing stuff right now. Today, builders.

[00:43:19] I told you, the builders are always on on speed dial. Always on speed dial.

[00:43:26] Do you enjoy project managing. Oh, I love it.

[00:43:29] Property stuff. Yeah. I don’t like I mean, I don’t want to be in the rental game ever. I became an accidental landlord when I got married and I had a flat that and I hate that I hate being an accidental landlords are just I’ve given that to somebody else to manage now but I like it on the business level. I don’t know why I like making I just, you know, the way I see it is I spend 50% of my time at work and 50% of my time at home. So I should feel comfortable in both places. And I see one as the extension of the other, you know, and I would, you know, you invest into a business and you get money back from it. You don’t do that at home, but you do that for comfort. And I feel that they should feel the same. I like to feel comfortable in both.

[00:44:21] Yeah, I agree with that.

[00:44:22] And I want my patients to I don’t know if it’s a very Indian thing where you feel like you welcome someone into your house. I feel the same way at work. I feel like I want to welcome them in freaky.

[00:44:34] Tells us he knows nothing about marketing, right?

[00:44:37] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I don’t know. Is that marketing or is that.

[00:44:44] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:44:45] Yeah, yeah.

[00:44:45] Yeah. I mean, I think I think like Lexus. Lexus tell all their employees that whenever you speak to anyone, imagine they’re in your house for the first time and you treat them like that. So if you’re spreading that message that this is what we are with your team and all that and and, you know, running. How many people are you now? Like 100?

[00:45:07] Yeah. About that.

[00:45:08] You’re running a hundred people.

[00:45:10] On.

[00:45:10] Message and on on culture, having the keeping the culture. It’s not easy, man.

[00:45:16] It’s not. No, it really isn’t. I think that’s the biggest learning curve I’ve had is trying to keep. And we’ve been hiring a lot recently. So trying to hire people and make them understand or get them to understand what we value and what we expect. That is definitely been the hardest part for us.

[00:45:38] So take us take us through the steps on this new one, the squat. Is it also going to be called to green?

[00:45:45] It’s called to green dental as well, but boutique to dental boutique. So it’s it’s just a slightly elevated version.

[00:45:53] Of Giorgio Armani of the Emporio. Armani. No, not.

[00:45:56] The whitening brand.

[00:45:58] No.

[00:45:59] I got a little jitter in.

[00:46:01] Your face then. Yes, definitely not.

[00:46:06] So go on. You now near the end of it? Yeah. Yes. But for someone. For someone who’s never done a squat before, go through it. Go through some of the processes. You know, like I want to really about decision making is a big one, right? To decide to do a squat. It’s a big thing to decide, isn’t it? The risks are high.

[00:46:25] You say the risks are high? I don’t know if they are. I really don’t. I think if people are going to open a squat, now is the time and the place, because the price of buying at the moment is is too high. Yeah, I think that’s I personally I think that’s a higher risk. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I was talking to a colleague yesterday. I won’t mention who they are, but I think they’ve regretted borrowing the amount that they’ve borrowed because they can’t not make ends meet, but they can’t forge themselves the lifestyle initially just because of what they’ve bought. It’s really it’s really difficult, the pricing. So and I don’t see ours as a risk because of the proximity and the brand that we have. You know, that’s like saying McDonald’s opening a new chain down the road is a risk. It’s not that if you understand the product, you go in, you’re going to buy a Big Mac, you know you’re going to get a Big Mac. I don’t see that as a risk. And I think because we’ve we’re opening a squat within the geographical location or the influence of our existing practise. I don’t see that as a risk. I just think of it as a adding another seven surgeries to the to the existing practise just happens to be a bit further down the road. So I don’t know, I personally, I don’t think.

[00:47:47] You made the decision to go ahead thinking it’s not such a big risk. I like that. Then find the property.

[00:47:53] So we found the property which actually kind of fell in our laps. It was literally the first thing I looked at. As I said, we kind of decided to do this in the middle of the COVID period. There was an abundance of property at that point where lots of businesses had gone under. It was in the right geographical location. The price, the rent for it was very, very low.

[00:48:14] Had we already had the COVID bump in dentistry, like where we’d come back and we were busy as hell that one was. It was at the time.

[00:48:21] No, it’s just it was actually we started looking whilst I was sitting at home doing nothing.

[00:48:26] But when you scared like what if patients weren’t going to come back to practises or or you you were cool with it.

[00:48:31] No, no, I didn’t think that at all.

[00:48:33] You were right. I was wrong. I was thinking no one’s going to come. They’re going to think they’re going to get infected by viruses in the air. If you remember.

[00:48:40] I remember you were shitting yourself, mate.

[00:48:43] I think we both were, to be honest. I don’t know. I just never thought of it that way. You know, even with the house prices, my wife was like, the prices are going to drop. And I said to her, I don’t think they are. I think they’re going to rock it up because people are going to move away from London and go into suburbs. And I think I mean, I was proven right, which was a bit crazy because in the middle of COVID, we sold our house and we’ve just put another one. So we I went against my own advice and bought an A in a when the price of going up but that’s another story. But yeah, I didn’t see it as a risk. So we got the practise. You know, we’ve spent effectively a third of what we would have bought if we had to buy it outright straight away with, with a patient base luckily is that we’ve got the patient base already, so we didn’t have to buy that. So for me this is a no brainer. I think we can we’ve got waiting lists of people who are trying to access treatment. So this for me is an extension. The biggest thing is, is staffing. And in getting more people, getting people to buy into what we’re doing, getting the right people to be able to deliver that sort of work where, you know, we see as good quality, highly valued with patients who already value us and more importantly, that they can progress into something.

[00:50:08] Is it easier to hire when you’re offering shift work like because you probably meet certain people’s, I guess, patterns because obviously there might be somebody who wants to do the schoolrooms in the morning or whatever and they want to stop. Does that make it easier to hire or.

[00:50:26] I’m not sure. I think it’s a bit of both. You know, when we first moved our existing staff to shift system, we were met with some heavy opposition. Now we’ve started most of them. In fact, I think virtually all of them have said, I don’t think I could go back to the other system. I think people value having that extra time every day, whether it be in the morning, whether it be in the afternoon. It doesn’t matter so much whether they’ve had kids or not. I think makes it does it make a difference either? Because what we found is that the ones who do have kids either drop them to school or pick them up rather than both. There’s a there’s a variation. Some people have obviously some preferences. Some people are naturally one, either morning people or night night people. I’m a night person. I think Payman yours are the same. You tend to message each other at two in the morning. Yeah. Whereas I think probably you’re probably just about to get up at two the morning. Yeah.

[00:51:33] So yeah, yeah I’m on the opposite. So I went through a phase of being a night person and me and Payman had a lot of evening calls and then and then Payman started eating this one meal a day. I don’t know if he’s still on it now, whether he’s telling me lies, but he messages me at 11 p.m. at night, which tells me he’s probably eating at that time now. But yeah, I’m definitely morning and trying to be unusually in bed for ten.

[00:52:01] Usually what I get from you like talking to you now, this sort of.

[00:52:06] Calm.

[00:52:08] Person who if I if I didn’t if I didn’t know the story, I’d say, this cat, this cat. He’s just he he doesn’t like things to change very much. But looking at the story like you are continuously pushing.

[00:52:24] Yeah, I’m not changing. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:52:28] It’s strange. It’s almost like that sort of.

[00:52:29] Calm top.

[00:52:31] Of the water and. And underneath it, like. Like a swan or something like the bottom, the paddling away. But, you know, the just the fact that you’ve done this thing up to now is super impressive, number one. But but, you know someone who just wants to keep on doing things. Yeah. And now 14 years later, you’re like, oh, well, let’s do a new squat and the double up again. Yeah. Would you have plans to keep going? Like, are you thinking possibly 100 practises? What are you thinking? What’s yours? Are you staying regional or do you think you’ll go national with it or are you thinking about all this?

[00:53:12] I would like to expand. I mean, if if it if it keeps going and we keep being successful, why not? I don’t see why not. I’ve never had plans to be a mini corporate or anything like that. I just like to do what the business wants to do. So if it feels natural to expand and it’s the right time and the right place, we’ll expand. If there’s appetite for it, we’ll expand. We’d like to deliver. If patients keep asking, When can I get in? How can I make this appointment? Are you going to be closer to me? You know, then yeah, we’ll expand and you know, as long as we can keep the quality and the people happy, there’s no there’s no reason why we can’t. It’s never really been about that. It’s never been a significant part of the thinking. Yeah, expansion is important and I do want to expand and you know, but more for as I said, I’d like to do what the business is trying to do. I think a lot of people try and make the business work for them, whereas I like to I like to work for the business. If the business is saying to me that more people want to access this service, then yeah, we’ll expand.

[00:54:22] Yeah. But where I’m going, where I’m going is I mean, we’re going into kind of a different era now. But, you know, just a few months back, right, there was loads of cash available for businesses. And you could have done it like a Series A and say, hey, look, look at my track record. I want to put one of these in every city. Yes, you could you could get together with some sharp talking Eton boy or some lawyer or somebody who put the thing together for you. And it would be a credible story. Yeah, but the headaches would go through the roof, of course. But you seem like you’re kind of up for headaches.

[00:55:07] You know, I think I think I take very calculated risks. I don’t like to take crazy risks, even though they may feel crazy or to the outside like they’re crazy.

[00:55:17] Not just about the risk, the headaches, you know, like that one guy would say, look, if I’ve got seven shares, I’m doing well, I’m going on three holidays.

[00:55:25] I’m good.

[00:55:27] Another guy says, Well, why not make it 14 or 21? Another guy?

[00:55:32] I have an answer that for that. So you say that’s a headache? I would say that is a headache as well. But you can plan for that headache. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You can you can line up the paracetamol before it happens. What I would say is that yes, if we’re going to expand, I would like to get the system in place before we expand. And then yeah. Rather than expand and then try and deal with the problems as and when they come. So that’s what I mean by calculated risk. If, if I, if we’re planning to expand, which we will. That’s why I want to build up that the administrative part now with three surgeries effectively most people who run three surgeries do not have they have a PM in each surgery, three people, whereas I want to build it into a 20 person, behemoth, administrative, effectively a business in its own right, and then I’ll use that power to expand. So yeah.

[00:56:34] By the way, let’s not forget 21 chairs, as you know, in its own way, it’s like seven practises or something.

[00:56:40] It is. It is. But you know, there’s a big difference between having seven in one building and to to sell for it actually is a huge difference. It’s a lot easier to control.

[00:56:53] You’re right.

[00:56:54] His seven chairs is 14 chairs, remember.

[00:56:57] Because that’s double shift. Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. It’s no bloody joke.

[00:57:07] It’s interesting. And it could be someone else’s faulty.

[00:57:10] Practises.

[00:57:11] If they weren’t fully optimised, you know.

[00:57:14] Yeah.

[00:57:14] So interesting, interesting way of looking at it.

[00:57:17] So that’s, that’s my expansion. That’s, that’s the risk we’re taking. You’re absolutely right. If that’s the way we’ve seen it, if we run a shift system, we can literally double up. Yeah. And which patient doesn’t want to have access between seven in the morning and at night.

[00:57:36] I’ll tell you what’s really interesting, Rajiv, is, you know, we operate our practise like 9 to 5 or whatever. We do the odd one late evening. Right. And, you know, I have my team members who I call lead ninjas. Right. Who deal with our, shall we say, inbound marketing, which which you know nothing about Rajiv, because you’ve just got you’ve just got 28 chairs filled at the moment. Right. So you can’t do anything about marketing. Let’s put that to one side. And we find that the best time to get hold of patients if you want to book appointments. Right. Or get through to them or follow them up. Right. Is after hours or on a Saturday and you’re open all that time, do you find that your reception team are more optimal around that time in terms of success? Have you not analysed that? We’ve not looked at that. I’m just curious about it.

[00:58:26] Analysed it.

[00:58:27] He’s not looked at it, man. He’s just just a winner. Some people are just winners, dude.

[00:58:31] But you’re right. I mean, naturally what you’re saying is absolutely correct. People, we do get more phone calls outside of ours. And at lunchtime, that is definitely a massive benefit. And when I tell people that we’re open from 730 to 8, they’re like, Oh, okay, you know, that that really suits me. And in the area we’re in, we’re actually in quite a big commuter area. A lot of people travel into the city. And I think since going doing these hours, we’ve hoovered up a lot of that clientele. I bet just just because we’re the only practise in the area that that kind of does that.

[00:59:11] But does the name come from Buddy?

[00:59:14] It’s not original. We’re on to Green Walk. But we didn’t like the name because, you know, we try and do things sustainably. We try and do things naturally, and we like the nature representation. If you look at our logo, it’s it’s a bit different. It’s a it’s like it looks like a shell. And that for us represents. You guys know what the Fibonacci sequence is? Yeah. Naturally occurring number. And so we like that. We like the name and we kept it because of the the, you know, we like the we like to blend in with our background. We like we like to be natural. We’re we’re, we’re never going to paint our practise bright orange or do anything crazy like that to stand out. We’re not peacocking. But what we are trying to do is we’re trying to ingrain ourselves with whatever feels right in the right area and do what patients want and do things correctly. Mm hmm.

[01:00:19] What’s your what’s your bugbear with associates?

[01:00:23] With associates?

[01:00:24] What bothers you about an associate?

[01:00:27] I mean, luckily we’ve had pretty good associates. And, you know, what tends to happen if if we get associates that don’t get along? And actually, now I think about it, I think it’s what I came back to earlier is people trying to do the same thing. So associates who.

[01:00:43] The same treatment.

[01:00:45] Yeah, not necessarily the same treatment but.

[01:00:47] Oh is it not progressing.

[01:00:48] Well progressing. You know, it does it really does bother me when I see a dentist who’s stuck. He’s really stuck. More importantly, they’re not willing to try and change that. I don’t mind if they’re stuck, but they’re trying things that that’s quite nice. The ones that are stuck and don’t listen in terms of of improvement, that’s that’s the thing that bothers me. You know, I’ve I’ve asked many dentists, what where do you see yourself in five years time? I’m sure you guys are asked that as well. To many of the people on this podcast, and no one says doing exactly the same thing I’m doing right now. No one says that. Do they know so? So what bothers me is if that’s what you are feeling and that’s the way we want you to go. You’ve got to you’ve got to challenge yourself. And I think the biggest bugbear I have is is dentists who don’t challenge themselves. And as I said, it doesn’t necessarily have to be going on courses. It could be any sort of thing. But I want them to improve.

[01:01:52] The thing is, dentistry don’t challenge themselves. But by the way, I’ve I’ve been through parts of my career, I think from from around 2012 to 2015. I feel like it didn’t go anywhere. It didn’t progress.

[01:02:05] Yeah. But was that was that a period of a consolidation as opposed to progression? Because you still need periods of consolidation.

[01:02:13] I don’t think it was I don’t think it was. I just I just don’t feel like I progressed whatever. I didn’t analyse myself enough to figure out why I didn’t progress. But what I’m saying is a lot of times people who don’t move forward are uncomfortable being uncomfortable. Right. That that and you’re clearly the opposite. You’re you like being outside your comfort zone and learning and you know, the kind of person that led the first three day a week NHS practise must have evolved into a whole different person who was on a four day a week for four surgery, private practise and then a different person now and a different person going forward. Yes. And you know, you’re comfortable being uncomfortable.

[01:03:01] Why? I don’t know. You’re right. I just. I don’t like staying still. I mean, I just feel like. I don’t know, I just. I just feel like I need to do something. I need to. I feel that’s. Maybe that’s what I feel. Success is is growth is the growth is actually the success.

[01:03:26] A lot of like. Another person could be sitting here saying, look, I too, think the success is about that.

[01:03:31] But I’m I’m scared of.

[01:03:33] Trying that thing that’s going to going to going to make you like, I don’t know, taking on some new bit of digital workflow. There’s loads of dentists, you know, really good dentists who haven’t made that leap into digital. But I’m sure you have. Have you?

[01:03:48] Of course.

[01:03:48] Yeah. Yeah, of course. Yeah.

[01:03:49] Yeah.

[01:03:51] And you can understand how you’re scared of. What I’m saying is that other person could be sitting here saying, yeah, exactly what you said. You know, progress is like that. And yet being so uncomfortable doing it that they don’t make the jump. But you happily make the jump. Where’s it come from?

[01:04:12] Um.

[01:04:14] It’s useful. It’s useful to, to, to know that, dude. Yeah. Because if people could get over that then and by the way, it sounds like you’ve instilled it in your teams. 100 people are thinking like this. Yeah, I’m sure you’ve got something to do.

[01:04:28] I’ve never even thought about it. I mean, I think I’ve always been like this. I think maybe it’s just my nature, you know? I’ve never been scared of doing things. I’ve always felt, in fact, I always feel like I think differently from everyone else. And in a way I have in my my thoughts. I know I think differently from other people. My thoughts are often like an outsider’s point of view from whenever whenever I talked to anyone, you know, we said at the beginning, you know, I put my opinion on Facebook sometimes.

[01:05:01] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[01:05:02] And I find often my opinion is vastly different from anyone else’s. Not to say mine is right. It’s just I sometimes feel my viewpoint is completely different. I’ve got where I was going with this, but I’ve always felt that way. I’ve never really been scared of the unknown because I feel that maybe I am the unknown.

[01:05:25] Maybe what about as a kid or something?

[01:05:29] Perhaps. I mean, sometimes you look back at your life and, you know, you look back and say, I wish that other people had done things. You know, I look at my mum’s career and my mum was a very and is a very successful pharmacist. And she retired a few years ago. And sometimes I feel that she got stuck running one practise and she loved it. Don’t get me wrong, she was very successful at it, but I felt that she didn’t progress because my father was very much different that way. He wanted to do new things. He’d take a little bit of a gamble. And, you know, he passed away when I was about 18. But I still that’s one thing I really remember about him and that he always wanted to do new things. And I remember him always. I actually remember him doing stuff that excited him. And I think I think I’ve taken that mantle off him and that doing something new is exciting. And I look back and I think perhaps everyone else, you know, if if you’re not being challenged, it’s not exciting, you know, for me, it’s just boring, actually.

[01:06:40] You know that Payman mentioned the fact that, you know you’re comfortable being uncomfortable. Are you uncomfortable? Like Payman said, making that jump to digital? Did you think about making the jump to digital and think that that makes me uncomfortable? Or do you just think I need to go digital? Let’s just get the shit and buy it.

[01:06:59] Pretty much. I mean, going digital is like a drop in the ocean for me. That’s not even a thing. You know, when I talk to other people about what I’m doing, even even right now, they’re like your mental. So at the moment, we’re expanding this practise. Yeah. So we renovated the existing degree in dental. We’re buying this new practise. As I said, I sold my home, I bought a new home. I’m renovating that as well. So I’ve got building work going on there. I’ve got a I’ve got a 12 day old son.

[01:07:31] Congratulations, man. Thank you very much.

[01:07:34] Yeah, he’s he’s he’s keeping me awake at night and my wife, but he’s absolutely amazing. Even at 12 days, they have such a personality is amazing. I’ve taken a roll with Smile Faster, which is great teaching, learning. I’m doing a diploma with implants at the moment. I’ve also taken a role with Invisalign speaking for them. So all of that in the one year I think I’ve looked back at this year and I thought actually maybe I’ve taken on a little bit too much, but I’m still happy doing it and I really enjoy it and I don’t like to stay still. I like to do new things. So it’s all been like, what’s life without a bit of risk and a bit of adventure? That’s what I think. You’ve got to make it interesting. You’ve got to make it fun. When we’re not on the on this for too long. You’ve you can’t stay still. You just can’t. Patrick.

[01:08:31] How would you how would you define success? What does it mean to you?

[01:08:36] Success. You know, I feel it’s it’s for me, I would say it’s doing. You know, that’s a really tough question. Success for me is, you know, multifactorial. For me, it’s you know, it is getting up in the morning and wanting to do what you’re going to do that day. For me, that’s what it is. It’s about progressing as a person, whether that’s clinically, whether that’s emotionally, whether that’s, you know, with family life, it’s about helping others along the way. You know, I’m always the other thing I really like is collaboration. You know, if somebody phones me up and ask for help, even if I’ve never met this person before, I will help them. And I like that. I like helping other people. I like I like working with other people. My sister sometimes thinks it’s at my detriment that I give too much time to other people just to help them out without without expecting anything in return. But, you know, I believe that you reap what you sow eventually. But success success is moving forward. That’s what it is. It’s just moving forward. And if you back it up, it doesn’t matter as long you know, you can you can move forward even if you have to take a step back.

[01:10:05] Let’s talk about some of the mess ups along the way.

[01:10:08] The many, many mess ups, yes.

[01:10:10] Take me take me through some of the errors you think you’ve made.

[01:10:15] You know, actually, at the beginning of the practise, I actually didn’t move that that far forward for maybe maybe for four years. And I think a lot of it was was down to us not understanding the business properly. So I think I think the first thing that that helped is actually understanding what the business is trying to do. You know, I talked about trying to make a practise fit, a lifestyle, and I feel that doesn’t work. We tried to do that. So we you know, when you when you buy a practise young, you go, well, if only I make 100,000 a year, and once I’m £100,000 a year, I’ll be happy. And so what ends up you try and make that business fit £100,000 a year goal, even though it’s trying to do something completely different. And what ends up you never achieve that 100,000? You always get 70% of what you’re trying to do. So I think the first thing we actually made a big difference is we understand, we understood that we’re a lot of patients were trying to access care, so we expanded. We understand that a hygienist is invaluable in that they help us deliver the care that we’re trying to deliver. So doing that made a big difference.

[01:11:32] And I talked about Assef before when we’re talking about talking to patients, but he also helped us form a really amazing business plan. And we continue to talk every three months about our business and how it can develop. And he’s really helped me out. And my sister, incredibly, he’s got a real keen understanding of what what’s the next good step, even if we disagree, is a great sounding board. And, you know, everyone needs a mentor, however it is, whether it’s through clinical business, business personal. So that’s made a big difference business wise. You know, we’ve we’ve made errors in God. You know, how we’ve talked to staff before. I’ve, you know, sometimes you get snappy and don’t mean to be like that. And I think every owner has done that. They’ve said something to a member of staff that they deeply regret, and that’s happened to me many times. And sometimes it’s not even what you say, it’s how you say it. Sometimes you try and get a message, of course, quickly, and you send something on WhatsApp and you go, Actually, I should have said that WhatsApp told you in person, you know, the human side of things. There are so many mistakes we had.

[01:12:51] We had Zeba Shaikh from Rue Dental and she was talking about what she learnt from her dad and her uncle. They owned this gigantic business like care home is the biggest care home business in Europe or something. And she was saying about body language. And ever since I had that podcast, I’ve been paying attention to that myself, you know, and, you know, it’s a growing number of of staff, this new people just.

[01:13:23] A.

[01:13:23] Nod and a wave from the boss makes you realise I wasn’t paying attention to this fact until I spoke to Zeba on the podcast. And everyone’s looking at the boss’s every move.

[01:13:37] Yes.

[01:13:37] Yeah, I was just walking in like one or the others, you know, like not not thinking that anyone’s paying attention to me. And ever since she said that.

[01:13:46] The just just a.

[01:13:48] Small body language thing of of of acknowledging people from a distance.

[01:13:53] Yes. Makes a.

[01:13:54] Massive difference. A massive.

[01:13:56] Difference. And it’s definitely something I’m not naturally good at either.

[01:14:00] Me either. I’m shy.

[01:14:01] So, yeah, you know, sometimes I feel like you, you know, you’re part of the team and you just want to act like the rest of the team. But in reality, you can’t be that person. You have to you have to step up. And it is small things. It often is small things. I wouldn’t claim to be the best boss in the world by any stretch of imagination. In fact, sometimes I think I’m an arse.

[01:14:22] What’s your biggest weakness, do you think?

[01:14:25] Oh, God. Many. I think my. My personal weakness is probably people management. Actually, I have to work on that really hard. I have to be very careful what I say, because what what I you know, I think I was born with that. You know what? You think it just comes out your mouth.

[01:14:52] No filter.

[01:14:52] No filter. That’s the one. And and I’ve been told I can be really abrupt sometimes. And I think with time and actually if you if anyone has been looking. What I see on Facebook over ten years, I think I’ve filtered it down to be less and less and less confrontational. Not because I don’t feel the same way, but more, you know, it doesn’t it doesn’t actually help anyone to be confrontational, you know. And what I’ve found is that is less important to be right. Yeah. So sometimes I know I’m right and I can argue a point and actually upset a lot of people knowing I’m right. I think what I’ve worked out is it’s not important to be right. Actually, when you’re running a business, it’s more important to be fair. If you can be seen to be doing the right thing for the right and being fair, I think that’s more important. For example, you know, if a patient doesn’t turn up twice on the NHS, know you have every right to not see them. Whereas if you speak to them and they realise that one of them was a funeral and the second one they, you know, their diabetic mother went into a coma or whatever it is, I don’t know. You know, it would only be fair to give them another chance. So you’d be right in saying, no, you can’t be seen again, but it would be fair to let them back. And I think it’s more important now, more than ever, to be fair than right. And I think that’s one thing that I’ve learnt and I’ve had to work on because my natural instinct is to argue about being right, whereas actually it’s not important anymore. Yeah.

[01:16:35] And what about clinically errors, patient management, things that stick in your mind?

[01:16:42] You know what? Luckily I’ve been quite good. I’ve always been naturally quite gifted with dentistry, you know, I was the person at university that it was quite happily doing molar endo and now as a student and not really having to need any help. Luckily I’ve been quite gifted. I think the errors I’ve made is being overconfident that something would work when it won’t.

[01:17:05] So when someone comes to you and says with the classic one with I don’t know that six sets of dentures and you’re thinking in your head, I can get this right.

[01:17:14] Yeah, yeah, I’ve had one.

[01:17:17] Or two with that sort of thing.

[01:17:20] You know, there’s always a little bit of overconfidence. Sometimes it’s it’s not overconfidence. I just, you know, sometimes you look at something as textbook correct, but somebody doesn’t get along with it and you fail to see the patient side of things. You know, clinically, it might be textbook perfect, but, you know, if you haven’t communicated with the patient, the patient, the patient’s adaptability is something that is untestable. And if it’s you know, it gets harder and harder to do things like that.

[01:17:52] Have you got an example?

[01:17:54] Yeah, 100%. You know, sometimes, you know, let’s use the classic doing a crown and it’s five microns off and you get one patient who’s absolutely an agonising, uncomfortable pain from it, and then you leave someone who’s three millimetres high and they don’t care. I’ve had a patient where I’ve seen a crown put in three millimetres high from another practise. I’m like, you know, you can only bite on this one back tooth. Yeah, I know. But I’m happy with that. They’re comfortable. They adapted to it. And, you know, the more and more I think about it, the more talking to the patient and then getting them on your side is more important than the actual dentistry in itself anyway. And luckily I haven’t actually had that many clinical errors, but some errors I have had of when I’ve slightly overpromised something and haven’t delivered to that exacting standard that I do have. But again, most of the time I can get the patient on my side and apologise and say, Look, yeah, I did that, overstate that. And then, you know, in the interest of fairness and value, I would say, look, I’ll just do it for you for free. Don’t worry about it. Just replace it. Luckily, it’s only been one or two patients here or there with the bits that it’s, you know, clinically I’ve been okay and I’ve been lucky. I think it will come and bite me in the arse one day. That’s probably the day I decide that clinically I actually have to do something else. I’ll probably end up giving it up at that point. But luckily I’ve what I’ve tended to do has worked really nicely.

[01:19:33] Nice to hear all this bloody. And you know I’m in touch with you and oh yeah who works at yours and.

[01:19:40] Phenomenon she is she will become incredibly successful.

[01:19:45] Very strong on the content side if that’s what you’ve read out of it.

[01:19:48] But she she’s really she’s really humble so.

[01:19:54] Your lovely girl.

[01:19:55] Lovely, lovely. She she knows her weaknesses. And you know, one thing I love about Q&A, she thinks she’s annoying me. She messages me almost on a daily basis on every other day. And she says, what about this case? How is this going to work? I don’t know how to do this. Can you come in and help me? And I love doing it. I actually love helping her. She as she keeps thinking she’s annoying me. She thinks she’s a nuisance. But what I love about her is she’s trying new things, she’s progressing. She’s going to go somewhere, whether, as I said, whether as a as an associate with us in the long run, I’d love it to be. I really would. But as long as she comes out of it, the other end better, which I.

[01:20:39] Believe.

[01:20:39] She already is, I’m cool with that. You know, you wonder is one of these people that is destined for great things. In fact, a lot of associates are, whether they do it so publicly as you end, day is very different. But many of them are destined for great, great things.

[01:20:56] What I was going to say was she really values you as the boss. You know, she she she vouches for you as a boss talking to. And that goes a long way, man. When you’ve got that many dentists and stuff to look out for, it goes a long, long way that you’re giving your time like that sometimes.

[01:21:13] As I said, I think she feels she’s pestering me and actually sometimes I feel like I want my associates to pass through room more that way. So I’d love to help them, but I think a lot of people are scared to ask for help.

[01:21:26] But that said dude, I’ve worked in practises where the me and the principal would, even though we work in the same building, wouldn’t say a word to each other for days on end. So the guy was trying to get out of my pulpit the whole time. I wasn’t pestering him at all, but. But he just didn’t want to because he was a hands off guy, you know?

[01:21:48] Yeah, I find that insane. I mean, if if that hands off, how can you explain what we’re trying to do? That’s I suppose that’s why culture comes in. You know, it comes from the top down. It never comes from the bottom up. So you have to get involved. You can’t be a practise owner, not get involved.

[01:22:09] Have you had this situation that I’ve had at some points where it’s grown in terms of numbers of people and then you spot you see something that doesn’t feel like it’s too green.

[01:22:20] Oh, yeah.

[01:22:22] I wanted to go and snuff it out. Or would you do that? Because I find it very upsetting if someone does something that I would consider not an enlightened thing to do. And it happens more as a team grows.

[01:22:34] Of course.

[01:22:35] Yeah. What would you do about it?

[01:22:39] I mean, it depends on what it is. If it needs to be snuffed out there and then it needs to be snuffed out there, and then yeah, sometimes it’s an individual issue. So somebody has done something that is already outside of the existing set culture. Sometimes it’s it’s an inherent problem within, within the organisation itself. So for example, let’s take another bugbear of everyone, which is stock, you know, one day you’ll end up. Getting a patient in the sitting in the chair before you realise you haven’t got the materials to do the work. Now thankfully that doesn’t happen that often. It happens in every practise, sometimes at some point. But then you have to go, Well, that’s not kind of what we’re about. We, we, you know, I ethos is that we have to be prepared before the patient comes in. So before the patient’s in, the dentist and the nurse has to go look at what’s out and make sure that’s correct for that treatment. You know, that doesn’t always happen. And sometimes if there’s a stock issue and it keeps happening over and over again, one thing you need, what we have to do or what we do is we look back at the system and say, where’s the system gone wrong? So sometimes you have to talk to the person. Sometimes you have to look at the system, and more often not. I think as we get bigger and bigger, the systems fail more and more.

[01:23:59] Yeah. You know, before you can rely on a, you know, saying to your nurse, can you just order that for me? I mean, you got 200 people. You can’t have 200 people say to their nurse, Can you just order that for me? It has to be a proper system in place. And I think sometimes actually, if things go wrong, it’s an opportunity to to improve. And this opportunity to find out what is, what is, what is wrong. But sometimes you have to snuff out at source if it is somebody going against the grain at the beginning in the first place. You know, and I said, my my gut instinct is to WhatsApp them. If I’m not there, it’s like, what have you done to shake them by the head? But you have to be able to take a breath, sit back, and actually it’s really important you actually speak to that person in person. It has to be done in the correct way in building culture. It’s not always easy, and I think a lot of people think practise ownership is easy when you haven’t done it, when you when you’ve done it, you know how mad it is. You know, in fact, I’ll tell you what, that’s one of my biggest bugbears of being associates. They don’t know what it’s like on the other side. Yeah.

[01:25:17] Us and them sort of culture. Prav have you seen that? You must have seen that in the number of practises you’ve been in.

[01:25:23] I have. And you know what’s really interesting is something that Cal once said to me, which was when Barbara. Right, who’s my business partner in the dental suite clinics. And one of the things that he said to me was that when he became a practise owner, he went back to his principal and apologised. Because he he realised how much of a pain in the arse he was as an associate only when he became a practise owner and figured it all out.

[01:25:59] It’s that famous thing is, you know, you’ve got to walk a mile in somebody’s shoes before you understand what they’re doing. Yeah, in that way, you’re a mile away and you’ve got their shoes. Yeah, but yeah, yeah, it’s. I think associates don’t realise how difficult it is on the other side. No, it’s a completely different kettle of fish. It’s not a simple case of we’re taking 50% of your money and pocketing it. Usually it’s a lot less than that. In fact, most associates make a loss for the business and a lot of people don’t realise that. When I when I tell people, when I tell the associates, I look, I said when you when they joined us, I said to her, you’re going to make me a loss. I don’t care that you make me a loss, because I’m hoping that we can develop you into something that won’t make loss and you can be an asset for the practise in the future. But at the beginning you’re going to make a loss and a loss for about two years.

[01:27:01] Have you got that number of like what what an associate needs to turn over before they’re making a profit in your place?

[01:27:08] Our practise is about £1,200 gross a day.

[01:27:13] If they gross 1100. You’ve made a loss on that associate.

[01:27:16] Yes. Yes. It’s about 1200 at the moment.

[01:27:22] Jesus, is that Prav? Would you say that that’s standard?

[01:27:27] Is that is that a half day shift or a.

[01:27:30] Seven hour day? An average seven hour day? Yeah.

[01:27:33] Okay. Okay. Okay.

[01:27:34] Not. Not on the not on the whole day. On the on the seven hour day. But there’s even more. All our KPIs are done on seven hour days. Seven hour days? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s high. But as I said.

[01:27:47] Is the team aware of that number? Everyone knows that number.

[01:27:51] I’m not sure they do, actually. I think the dentists are more aware of it than the dentists. Yeah.

[01:27:58] Do you publish your daily or your weekly sales or your monthly or any of that?

[01:28:03] No, no. I mean, we the one thing we definitely do do is we do we have a dentist meeting every like every quarter without fail quarter. Yeah. Every quarter. Every three months. And it’s, but, but when we meet, we, we, we meet for 3 hours.

[01:28:22] It’s not like does that end up being what kind of meeting does that end up being where everyone’s just shouting. Would you go with like an agenda and.

[01:28:29] Oh god, no, no, no, no. It’s not a shouty meeting at all. Look, the part of the culture is I mean, we really believe that the practise can only move forward if everyone’s pulling in the same direction. Yeah. So, so the whole idea of that meeting is we, we ask what’s going on, where the issues are like on individual level. And then the bigger picture, which is, which comes from me and my sister, we have to explain what we’re doing, practise and the bigger picture. Well, actually, we’re trying to move in this direction and the next thing we see, the big thing is to do this. Whether we have to develop the reception team, we have to develop nursing team, whether you have to develop yourselves, whether we need to start focussing on one treatment over the other. That’s, you know, the the key thing is, is that we all agree to pull in that direction. And I say to them, if you don’t agree, you either have to we either do nothing. Which I don’t want because our practises are about progression or you leave. Basically, if you’re never going to agree, then our practise isn’t right for you. You know, I’ve never been in this situation where somebody disagreed to that extent. Thankfully, I think most people understand you have to do something to move forward. So we do dentist meetings regularly and once every three months. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but every 12 weeks. 13 weeks. It comes around quick and I think if you’ve got three months, that’s a good amount of time for us to see whether that what we did last time actually made any difference. You know, it’s really easy to fall off the wagon after three days. But, you know, we want to meet up every three months. You want to see what we did last time actually made a difference. And we want to see what the next thing is to make the next difference. So, you know, it’s all about progress.

[01:30:27] Effortless, man. You make it look effortless. Make it.

[01:30:31] Easy. You know, if you’ve got a good system, it makes it look effortless. The way Liverpool or Man City play football. It looks effortless sometimes, but that’s because they got the system. They work together. They they all know their roles. They’re all pulling in the same direction.

[01:30:47] I’m going to meet Bob. Bob is going to call this episode The Swan, because I just see you as the swan man. Beautiful and calm at the top and working hard underneath.

[01:31:02] Working holidays? Yeah.

[01:31:06] It’s going quick. It’s gone quick, man. We’ve talked for an hour and 40 minutes.

[01:31:11] I can’t believe that.

[01:31:12] Let’s, let’s let’s wrap it up, dude, because I think perhaps.

[01:31:14] Could pass Proust bedtime.

[01:31:18] And eat a man.

[01:31:21] What was the name of that Indian restaurant? We’ll go there. Yeah. What was it, by the way?

[01:31:26] Doom down in Didsbury.

[01:31:28] Okay, it’s. Yeah, the.

[01:31:31] Pictures look nice, too, but the pictures of the food looked nice, too.

[01:31:34] But it was that, you know, the food was great. Yeah, the food was great. Not the best food I’ve ever had. The food was just great. But the service was just.

[01:31:43] Emotional emotion making you emotional?

[01:31:47] It was emotional, man.

[01:31:49] Let’s move on to let’s move on to the final questions, man. It’s been it’s been brilliant, but it’s been a real education to to listen to you talk about this behemoth man.

[01:32:02] Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to delve too much into family life or childhood or anything like that. Right. But, Rajeev, I’m assuming assuming you’ve got all your shit going on at home as well and you know, you, you make time for for that as well. You were talking about 50% of your time at home and at work and stuff. But yeah.

[01:32:26] I do try to stay at home quite a lot. You know, my daughter is absolutely a joy. She’s unbelievable. And obviously my.

[01:32:36] Other kids as.

[01:32:36] Well, not just the two, the 12 day old and my four year old daughter who’s the happiest girl I’ve ever met and just such, such fun. And she constant keeps me laughing. Yeah. You know, it’s amazing to spend some time with that. And I like to dedicate at least one day with her completely when I can. So. Well.

[01:33:02] Sir Rajiv, imagine it’s your it’s your last day on the planet. And, you know, you’ve got, you’ve got your kiddies next to you and you had to pass them three pieces of wisdom. What would they be?

[01:33:17] That’s a good question. Number one is, if you if you think it’s right, do that. Don’t do what other people expect you to do if you feel that’s the way to do it and you feel. That’s right, definitely do that. Don’t care so much what other people think about what you’re doing. And that’s definitely number two. And probably the third thing I think is, as I said, as we talked about it.

[01:33:43] Early progress is get out of your comfort zone.

[01:33:47] Get out your comfort zone, progress your comfort zone. But don’t expect you can do some things perfectly the first time round because you can’t. Progress is more important than perfection. And in fact, like my four year old daughter’s very much like that. She, you know, she tries something once and when she can’t do it perfectly the first time and she throws a strop. And then you have to I have to say that you can’t do it yet. You just got to keep trying to do it. And yet it’s really important for her. And I keep saying it to her, don’t, you can’t do it yet. You’ve got to keep trying. You can’t do it yet. But the progress thing is more important than being perfect. So definitely those three bits of advice just to I think that that makes you that makes me happy. I think that’s what I would say makes other people happy.

[01:34:35] Rajiv, what about legacy? So if you if you were to. Read this on on the equivalent of a tombstone or whatever. Right. Rajiv was. Dot, dot, dot. What would you like that to say?

[01:34:49] Um. Yeah, I would probably say it should it should say Rajiv was somebody who wanted change and instigator change. I think I think in the long run. Nice. You know, I’d like to change the profession at some point, you know, the. The whole thing. I don’t know whether it’ll happen or not. You know, the politics, the GDC, the the way the profession is seen, the you know, I’d love to be able to change all that at some point, but I would say that’s what it should be. I’m the instigator of change.

[01:35:29] It’s interesting, but because, you know, you need an opinion on what’s the best lever you can pull to make that change. You know, for instance, you would classically you’d say, oh, go stand for some media post, but that in your opinion, that might not be the right vertical. It’s an interesting question.

[01:35:48] Even if it is, you know, there are lots of people who are in the BDA who are great. But, you know, the BDA has been around for a long time. And there’s a lot of criticism that the media in that it doesn’t actually make anything different. Yeah, the way I see it is, you know how I talked about lining up the paracetamol before the headache? Yeah. The way I see it is if you’re going to make change, you’re going to need to. You’re going to have to have people behind you. You know, I’ve got 200 staff members in the dental profession behind me already or going to be 200 staff. So that will help instigate change. You know, I don’t they know what I’m about. They can spread the story of what we’re trying to do. So if I do end up the BDA, I don’t think I wanted it tomorrow. I want to do it when I’ve got real influence or, you know, lot of people who know what I’m about and people know what I’m trying to do, whether they’re with us now or not, you know, so there’s 200 maybe current members, but maybe 100 other people that I’ve improved or the organisation has improved going forward. And if they can vouch for me going forward then actually I might be able to make some change. I’ve got it. You’ve got to line it up. You can’t just join the BDA and agreed.

[01:37:02] Agreed. But, but you know, it’s like here we are. I don’t know, a good 6000 people may listen to this episode on today’s figures, but who knows? Maybe. Maybe this this episode is going to be here for for forever.

[01:37:18] Yeah.

[01:37:19] So hit us with with your your key idea on how the profession needs to change.

[01:37:27] Mostly it’s about respect. You know that the GDC need to respect the profession more. The profession needs to respect patients more. The key thing for me is, you know, obviously there’s over litigation and stuff like that, transparency with the NHS.

[01:37:45] So it is.

[01:37:47] Yeah, transparency. You know, the funny thing is the GDC say you’ve got to be upfront and honest with your patients. That’s one of the key things they say. Yet they say, you know, a lot of people have taken that to be you can’t say what you’re trying to tell them. You know, if you want to tell them that they they really should pay this for that sort of crown to get the best value of money, whether it’s on the private NHS, because that’s how you feel. You know, there are rules and regulations sometimes, so you can’t say that. It’s like, hold on a minute, I can’t be on. You’ve got to be honest or not. It’s got to be one or the other. There’s got to be some sort of transparency there. And I think the lack of transparency actually makes such a difference. You know, with all this litigation that’s going on, the work force morale, which is probably at an all time low, might have picked up a little bit after COVID, but there’s some major things going on. So, you know, I think respect and transparency is major for me.

[01:38:48] For sure. But, you know.

[01:38:51] Your final question.

[01:38:52] Final question. Fancy dinner party. Three guests. Dead or alive. Who would you have?

[01:39:03] My dad. Definitely back. I’d love to be able to speak to him again and see what he thinks.

[01:39:08] Would it be proud of you, dude?

[01:39:10] Yeah, I hope so. You know, it’s really strange because, as I said, he passed around when I was 18, and I think I was changing quite a lot. You know, it’s when you become from a dependent to an independent effectively. And he never really saw me as an independent. I’d love to see what he thought of me as an independent adult as opposed to a dependent teenager.

[01:39:35] I don’t know what kind of a guy he was, but, you know, Asian parents famously don’t tell their kids they’re proud of them until until, you know, it’s well, well, years and years later when. And so but Buddy, I’m sure he was proud of you when you were 18, but I’m sure he would have been, well, proud of you now, too.

[01:39:57] So definitely my father. Who else? Dead or alive? You know what? I still say my wife. My wife? Yeah. You know, we have such a great time. You know, she’s. She’s so interesting. We keep each other on our toes and definitely, you know, any dinner parties, she’s got to be there. And I like.

[01:40:26] That. It’s a family affair. So you got to throw in Mahatma Gandhi in there, so.

[01:40:32] Yeah, she would just say. And my.

[01:40:34] Cousin.

[01:40:38] One last person. No, that’s a bit of pressure. You know what? Actually, I call it on a business point of view. Someone who I find really fascinating is is Richard Branson. I probably get him in there because I think he’s quite famous in that. I think he said once about improving his own staff and somebody asked him, well, why? What if they leave after you spent £30,000 training them and go, well, he said, Well, what’s better that we let them rot? I’m paraphrasing massively. Or do I train them and improve them? And that resonated with me. That really does in that. Richard Branson I’d love to pick his brains about many things. So yeah, that would be my, my three.

[01:41:30] You should listen to the episode with Andy much more.

[01:41:34] Okay. Yes.

[01:41:35] She hangs with him all the time.

[01:41:37] Okay.

[01:41:38] He’s like. It’s like episode seven or something. It’s in the single. It’s in less than 20. Only one of the early episodes.

[01:41:47] He’s he’s Richard Branson’s buddy. But he happens to be a practise owner as well. And I remember Andy saying to me, the one piece of advice Richard gave him was that spend the majority of your time recruiting.

[01:42:00] Hmm. Yeah. I mean, I would agree with that. Recruitment is important. People make a business. Yeah.

[01:42:07] But he’s been an absolute pleasure. Absolute pleasure. And really good luck with the new venture. I’m sure it’s going to be super duper.

[01:42:15] Thanks, Rajeev. No, no problem. It’s been fun. It’s, you know.

[01:42:18] It’s flown by.

[01:42:20] Really? It really has. And I got a good Indian restaurant tip out of it as well. Yeah, but, man, just. Yeah, well, you know what I meant all the time, so. And I’m up there.

[01:42:32] 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.

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