There’s no love like brotherly love. And there’s plenty on tap in this week’s episode, as we welcome Kailesh Solanki, brother of podcast host Prav.
Kailesh talks about his journey from growing up in Manchester in the shadow of his elder brother to forging his own path as one of the UK’s busiest and most prolific dentists.
Warning: As Kailesh lets us in on some of the secrets of his success, there will be expletives and maybe even some tears.
“I made friends with my breadman who delivered bread at the shop, and one of his really close friends was a dentist. So he said, “Why don’t you go and see my mate. He’s a dentist, he does super well, he’s got the best Mercedes in the golf club. The guy’s chilling. He does two days a week.” I was like: “Let’s have a look.” – Kailesh Solanki
In This Episode
00.51 – Backstory
15.04 – Into practice
21.32 – Kailesh’s secret
23.50 – A day in the life
28.47 – Being prolific, polymathic
36.22 – On failure, success and mentoring
47.06 – KissDental and family business
57.51 – A traumatic experience
01.06.08 – Future plans
01.10.41 – Efficiency hacks
01.16.53 – The dream
01.30.42 – Advice for the next generation
About Kailesh Solanki
Kailesh Solanki graduated from Manchester University in 2003 and went on to gain implantology qualifications.
In 2005, Kailesh purchased a practice in central Manchester which he rebranded under the KissDental moniker and quickly expanded the clinic to a group of three.
Kailesh: In the next five to 10 years, that’s where I want to be. I want to be that guy that helps other people. I don’t want to retain all this knowledge and think, “Yeah. It did well for me, but screw everyone else.” I want people to say, “Do you know what? He was a top guy, and he taught me a lot. And I am where I am today because I listened and I used what he said, and I moulded it into how I wanted to do it, because that’s important.” I don’t want you to be me, I want you to be you with the tools that I teach you.
Intro Voice: 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.
Prav: So it gives me great pleasure to welcome my brother to the Dental Leaders podcast. Seems a little bit surreal that we’re going to be interviewing my younger brother who I spent most of my life growing up with. I seem him as one of the super heroes of dentistry, and often misunderstood in dentistry, but absolutely talented at what he does, both in business and clinically. But I’ll let him take the stage now. Kailesh, let’s take things back to me and you growing up as kids, what our childhood was like, what it was like growing up, and take it from there.
Kailesh: Yeah. Yeah. Obviously I was the black sheep of the family. Pravish, he’ll happily tell you, he was golden balls. Everyone loved him, my dad, my grandad, the milkman that delivered the milk every morning. Literally everyone thought the sun shined out of his ass, so I was the kid that basically wanted to emulate him. He was my hero growing up because he was super clever, and anything he put his mind to he was good at, he took sports or made all the teams, and that kind of thing. So from my point of view, growing up, I grew up in Pravish’s shadow in a way.
Kailesh: He was a year older than me, so he started high school before me, he was in pram school before me, he went into the six form before me. And everything that he then achieved, it was pressure is on really for me to push myself and ensure that… it was not like I was going to ever do as well as him. And he was just a very clever cookie in that respect, but it allowed me to want to have someone that I could look up to and push, really. And drive myself to ensure that I had focus, really.
Prav: But Kailesh, your focus was on the chicks, right? Let’s be honest, mate. I was the academic, and you was the lover.
Kailesh: Well, yeah. I mean, I’m going to be honest, he didn’t fare too well with the ladies, our kid. And I’m not saying I’m a perfect oil painting or anything, but yeah I had different dreams and aspirations as I was growing up. And I’ll give you an insight into Pravish’s day, he’d wake up, he’d have his breakfast, he’d go upstairs and study. He might come down for a bit of lunch. He’d go back upstairs and study, and then probably about 9:00, 10:00 he’d come back downstairs. We might watch a big of telly together, and then it’d be bed.
Kailesh: For me, I’d wake up, I’d probably want to play computer games. I’d want to go out with my mates, just knob about basically. Yeah. Probably chat to girls, want to be with girls, and so my focus was very much more social. My dad owned a corner shop, so I enjoyed being in there and socialising with the customers that came in, making great relationships with them people. So we had very different focuses, and although I was still reasonably academic, because I had to be, because my brother was and my dad essentially pushed us to be academic, you’ll get a treat if you know your 10s times tables, or if you don’t do your seven times tables before such a thing, you ain’t going to get this.
Kailesh: My dad was super geared to pushing us and wanting us to be clever, go to school, do well, go to college, do well, and so on. So I had to be that kid, but there was another part of me which always wanted to come out. Sometimes it was suppressed because of cultural stuff and my dad being pretty strict, and my brother like I said being this super human, literally never put a foot wrong, so I’d be the fucking guy that getting bollocked for going out and lying about it and stealing alcohol from the shop or sealing cigarettes from the shop and selling them to my mates and trying to make a quick quid. Pravish generally wouldn’t do those things. I’m not saying he never got in trouble because of course he did, but-
Payman: Do you remember when he went off to study medicine at Oxford, do you remember thinking what am I going to do and how did it come to dentistry?
Kailesh: Yeah. It was a lonely time because you can imagine my mom and dad split up when I was quite young, probably I think I was, when they finally, finally split up, probably like 10. Pravish was 11. So it was just me, my dad, and him for essentially 10 years. And then Prav decides to go all the way to Oxford to university, and for the first time it was just me and my dad. So it was really, really weird. It was really lonely. I mean, it put pressure on mine and my dad’s relationship, because Pravish was essentially the peacemaker. And then dentistry came about because I didn’t want to do what he was doing. I mean, Christ, he studied hard before university.
Kailesh: The kind of energy and effort when he put in when he was at uni and what I saw of that, I was like there is absolutely no way I ever want to do anything like that. But I knew that if I was going to go to university, and by the way during all of this my dad thought I didn’t have a brain cell in-between my ears. So he kept saying to me, “Son, it’s okay. You can work in the corner shop and then if things go well, maybe I’ll buy you another shop and you can work in that.” And I was thinking to myself, I mean, I don’t want to do what my brother’s doing, I definitely don’t want to do what my dad’s doing. And so I was like what the fuck am I going to do.
Kailesh: So I made friends with my bread man who delivered bread at the shop, and one of his really close friends was a dentist. So he said, “Why don’t you go and see my mate. He’s a dentist, he does super well, he’s got the best Mercedes in the golf club. The guy’s chilling. He does two days a week.” I was like let’s have a look. So he managed to arrange for me to go and see him and literally I just fell in love with the profession there and then, and not because this guy had a nice Mercedes or whatever. I straightaway saw that this guy was a businessman. He owned I think four dental clinics in [Wigan 00:07:29], he owned a lab. I went to his lab, I went to all his different clinics, I saw the teams that were working, I saw the nurses which obviously is always a plus.
Kailesh: And literally I was like this is a perfect thing for me. I can talk to people, I was, I’m not saying I’m massively artistic back then, but I enjoy doing stuff in my hands, and I thought I can’t go too far wrong. This is a 9:00 to 5:00 job where I can pretty much run a business, do well, and felt like it may be something I could do long turn. And in university terms, it was like a professional degree. And it also meant my dad didn’t think I was a complete fucking failure. So I thought this is actually a real good shot. I was trying to get on to this degree and be something.
Payman: That guy, who was that, do you know the name of the dentist?
Kailesh: Dennis. Oh. The dentist? The dentist, a guy called John Randall. He actually was really big with the DDU I think at one point, and the GDC, and retired due to being overweight. I mean, the guy was a unit, I mean talking 30 stone plus. I think he did actually genuinely retire in the end due to weight issues, but I actually met him at a conference probably six, seven years ago. Might be a little bit longer. And I actually went up to him and said, “Do you know what? You are the reason I took up dentistry.” We had a bit of a chat and a laugh about it, but yeah I still remember and really nice guy. Nice guy then, and when I met him 10 years ago, nice guy again.
Prav: Prior to that our kid, you were involved in business buying and selling computers, going to trade shows on the weekends, making quite a lot of money. At that time you would go maybe on a Saturday morning, go into Bowlers Trade Fair or whatever and start building computers, selling computers. Do you want to just tell us about that?
Kailesh: Yeah. So when I got to university the story was my dad, still being super strict as he is, and by the way I’ve got an amazing relationship with my dad now and we have had our ups and downs, and I’m sure like all families do, but he was very, very much study, study, study. You don’t need a job, you don’t need to work. I’ll provide you money to do those things. Not that he was flush. We owned a corner shop. We weren’t exactly the top 1% of millionaires in the country, far from it. But he used his spare money to make sure that me and Pravish could get what we could in respect to especially education. I never had a nice pair of Nike trainers, but I had the best computer at home. That was my dad.
Kailesh: And so, I got to university and literally he used to give me 10 pounds a week and that was to buy my lunch, to go out with my friends. And I was thinking, fucking hell, it doesn’t even touch the sides. If I got a sandwich a day it doesn’t even cover it. So I started trying to think about what do I know? How can I earn money and support myself for university. I’d donate during my college time, I was a treasurer of the sixth form so we ran certain stuff to ensure that the sixth form made money and I know I could do that. I’ve done bits and parts of my dad’s shop, and had little business ideas and run them through. So I got to uni and I thought because I was so into computers and stuff and I loved computers, so I started thinking well, maybe I can make some money from this.
Kailesh: So I started helping some friends. Their computer would break, I’d fix it, they’d pay me some money. And then I started building a few computers for a few people. And then I got involved with a guy who owned a little stall in The Arndale. And he said to me, “Why don’t you come with me, and we’ll do this together, and we’ll do these computer fairs. And throughout the week we’ll build all these computers, and in the weekends we’ll sell them and we’ll split the money.” That was perfect for me. He had time throughout the day, so he was doing business throughout the day. I had time in the evenings, so I do help him in the evenings.
Kailesh: And then we’d get a van each, a transit van each, fill all our stock up in the weekends. We’d go to Bowlers in Manchester, we’d go to Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool. And we’d go and sell these computers, and components, and hard drives, and monitors, and anything you could physically sell in respect to a computer, we did it. And we started making a killing and we got to a point where I think our initial investment was something like 1,000 pounds each, and then to the point where before we ended the business, I imagine we were spending 35 to 40k a week on stock.
Payman: [crosstalk] Bloody hell.
Kailesh: [crosstalk] But the margins weren’t big, so initially the margins were super strong. But by the time we were at 30, 40 grand a week on stock, we’d only have to have one product that would bottom out that week and we’d barely make seven or eight percent on that. So it was low margins, but I was a student. If I made three grand a week or whatever, I’d be happy as a pig in shit. So I had all the best gear, I had a nice car, I had a nice apartment in Manchester. I was chilling, because from my side, it was play money really, and it allowed me to crack on and carry on and do dentistry, which to be honest with you at that point wasn’t even something on my radar.
Kailesh: I was literally always thinking do I want to do dentistry? It got to the point in 2002 where I had to make a decision. Do I want to carry on with this computer business and take it full-time, or really knock it on the head, finish my final year in dentistry, and do teeth? And in the end I made the decision that let’s finish the degree, let’s get it done, and see where that takes me. And I said to my business partner at the time, “I need you to now take this and roll with it, because for me, I can’t be split between the two things,” because it was taking up so much of my time.
Kailesh: Year one, through university, failed both semester. Restart both semesters in the summer, luckily passed. Year two, same scenario. Year three, had 14 pass/fail [vivers] in the summer. I mean, fucking it must have been a record. I passed 13 out of 14 of them, which was great because I must have been able to fricking talk the high legs off a fricking horse, but essentially the one thing I didn’t pass I had to then resit in the summer again. So the first three years I was stressing my eyeballs out. I never luckily resat a year, but I was on that brink, and unfortunately it was because my focus was torn between different things.
Kailesh: But then year four, year five, is when I came into my own because we were doing clinical work, I enjoyed that. It was a lot more practically based, not theoretical based, and I smashed that. Won a clinical prize when I graduated, and all that kind of stuff. So it was a kind of game of two halves for me, dental school, and the first half was tricky because it was all education, and then the second half was practical, which then made me start to feel like I could do this. I could be good at this and worked it from there.
Payman: So you didn’t have a standard student life at all, but when you qualified, pretty soon after that if I remember, you got married and started your practise. Is that right?
Kailesh: Oh, yeah. Yeah. So I did have a few issues with ladies during university and the main, and it almost, it’s difficult to say scared me, but it made me feel like maybe I need to distance myself from that, and get married, and that settled me and it allowed me to focus on other things that I needed to focus on. So that’s basically what happened. So I graduated. I very quickly in 2004 got married, and in 2005 my first child. And obviously on the back of that it allowed me to really focus on work. And so, 2003 I started doing my post-graduate courses, I did the one year Paul Tipton course in pretty much everything.
Kailesh: So I signed up to his restorative, his aesthetic, his hands on, his implant course. I literally smashed every course I could do. I went abroad to do courses, I did sedation courses. I literally did Botox courses. I did everything you could physically do, just pumped any money that I had spare into doing education. And it allowed me to focus, focus, focus, to get to the point that in 2005 I was like, “Do you know what? I want my own thing now and I want to have my own clinic.” And [crosstalk] that’s where Kissdental was born, really.
Payman: [crosstalk] Had you been working somewhere else as an associate?
Kailesh: Yeah. So I did. Luckily as I graduated, and there was a couple of clinics that I wanted to be a part of in Manchester, one of the clinics had lasers, had a Cerec machine. Was just known to be a little bit more, yes NHS based, but very highly geared privately. And I didn’t want to work in, not a disrespectful way, but a poor area where all I could do is just to NHS dentistry. I always knew my view on it was to move into the private sector as soon as I could.
Kailesh: And so, this clinic was a great stepping stone for me, but it was one of those things that they chose you, you didn’t choose them back then. So I needed to make myself known there, and I did quite a few things like write them letters beforehand, went in, spoke to the reception team, tried to just literally use every physical angle I could use to get noticed. And eventually it worked and they offered me the VT position there.
Payman: So then you spent what, how long there before you decided to start your own?
Kailesh: So I did one year of VT, and that took me to like June, July, summer 2004. And then, I put the offer in for my practise the winter of 2004. So I did years VT, but I was, from my point a view, as a bit of an exceptional VT I would say. Not blowing my own trumpet, but for instance my VT trainer once, or my VT mentor who looked after the whole VT group and we had to fill out these booklets, and then in it as after month three you have to fill out what your NHS income was, and what your private income was. And so, I think that year month four or month five, my private income was something like gross figures of like 24, 25,000.
Kailesh: And he was like, “I think you’ve got this wrong. Is it two-and-a-half thousand?” And I was like, “No, no. It was 25,000. That’s what I grossed that month privately.” I said, “Obviously I don’t get that money. I was just a VT at the time.” I said, “But that’s what I did.” And he was like, “Well, it’s just not really possible Kailesh.” And I was like, “Well, no. You can speak to my trainer if you want. She’ll vouch for me.” I said, “I’m not making these figures up. It just it is what it is.” And I just had that ability, I think, right from the start to talk to patients, and talk to them about various options. To be fair, I was geared in a clinic that was like that so it allowed me to be that person. And very quickly, it dawned on me that that’s where my thought, my skillset lied really.
Prav: Well, in addition to that, bro, on the weekends you travelled to Leister or [Lufbur] was it at the time?
Kailesh: [crosstalk] Yeah, so-
Prav: [crosstalk] And do some additional private dentistry during your VT and you pretty much set records there as well, didn’t you?
Kailesh: Yeah. So I worked for a guy, funny enough, worked under his NHS number. He was a super sound guy. He was having a few issues, lost a few associates. Sanjay Vyas his name was. Honestly heart of gold, one of the best guys I’ve ever met. And I met him, I went for a job, he advertised an associate job, so I went there and then he realised I was a VT, and he almost knocked it on the head from there on in. And I said, “Come on, please. I can speak to my trainer. I’m sure she’d be happy for me to work privately under your number.” And he actually said, “Fine, let’s do it.”
Kailesh: And he took me on, and within I think three months I was his highest grossing associate he’d ever had, basically. To a point where I helped develop his business, he wouldn’t mind me saying, helped him consider other avenues of dentistry, I think, and allowed him to grow his practise in Glenfield, in Leicestershire, to another level, really. And I worked there even after VT, probably for a good couple of years. Used to go down, do big cases with him. Back then, a big case was maybe 10 veneers or something like that. I’d still dibble my hand in endo, do some private endo for him, and stuff like that.
Kailesh: And his main thing was, “Kailesh, just come and actually just do the consults. If you do the consults,” and he says, “and I’ll do the treatment,” because he knew if I did the consults, it’d get great uptake, and then he could jump in and as the owner of the clinic say, “Well, Kailesh isn’t here throughout the week, but I can do it for you.” And we worked as a bit of a double team, and it worked super well for him.
Prav: Bro, you’re probably one of the highest grossing dentists in the UK, if I do say so myself. What’s your secret to sales, what does your consult sound like? A patient comes in, just take us through that experience of a patient coming in and meeting you for the first time on what that’s all about, from Doris who’s a 75-year-old old dear, to your young influencer who comes in, and they’re both totally different people. Surely you can’t have the same approach with them all.
Kailesh: No. Of course. It’s very much understanding people. And what things have helped me be that guy I suppose working in my dad’s corner shop, having to deal with the drug dealers, the drug takers, the middle class person that wants his bottle of wine on a Friday night because he’s had a heavy week in the office, to Doris, who walks the shop on a Thursday afternoon with her wheeling bag and gets exactly the same things each time. And having the ability to have a conversation with all those different variations of people, allowed me to build that in my repertoire.
Kailesh: So when the influencer comes in, I’m current. I know, I understand language, I’ll talk to them in the language they understand. If Doris comes in though, I will say to her very gently, very quietly, “Okay, nice to meet you. I hope everything’s okay. Did you manage to find us all right? Did you mange to cope with those…” just things that I know that they’re empathetic with. And empathy is a very big thing for me. And I’m not putting it on, I’m not faking it. I’m always genuinely wanting to make sure that they’re okay, and whether it is the influencer, or whether it is the 75-year-old dear that comes to see me, of course my approach is different.
Kailesh: I talk to them differently, the language I use is different, the way I sit, the way I conduct myself. The way I’ll either give body contact or no body contact. All these little things just to create some reassurance massively helps. Yeah. My uptake is mega. It always has been. Everyone that’s ever worked with me, or worked for me, or worked alongside me will tell you, I can literally get 95% uptake of all treatment plans. The only times they don’t go ahead is if they can’t afford it, end of. And past that, they will go ahead. And so, it’s easy to, I don’t even think about gross figures, it’s easy to do a lot of dentistry if the person trusts you and allows you to do it. And I think that’s what I do on a day to day basis.
Payman: But okay, you build trust. And you’re saying you almost do that as a second nature thing. You don’t go, “Oh, I’m going to build trust with this person.” That’s the person you are. You build trust. But then, from such an early age to be treatment planning comprehensively, and having the confidence to come out with a 20,000 pound treatment plan as a VT, I mean where’d you get that confidence from? I mean, both of you are quite confident people. [crosstalk] Where does that come from? From working in the shop? Plenty of people work in a shop, guys.
Kailesh: Yeah. No, I get what you’re saying. But from my point of view I suppose there’s two things. There’s the ability to have the confidence to almost talk the talk, and then the reason I did all the post-graduate, and I wouldn’t say they’re not MSCs, they’re not three year degrees or diplomas, or this, that, and the other, but I’ve got the hands-on experience to be able to take that to fruition. I’m not telling you that over that time I haven’t made mistakes.
Kailesh: And I think if any dentist who does the level of dentistry that I do, turns round to you and says, “Everything that I do at every point in life is amazing,” I’d question that. Massively question that. Everyone has bad days, everyone has treatment plans which don’t go quite to plan, even though you feel your special tests and everything you’ve done is good enough to hold that treatment plan up. Some things do just go wrong. Sometimes shit just does happen. And essentially that’s also learning, that’s also taught me a lot. That now allows me to make even better clinical decisions for patients.
Payman: Kai, take us through a typical day. Not your busiest day, yeah? A typical Kailesh clinical day. A Kailesh day. What time do you wake up? What do you do? What time do you get to the clinic?
Kailesh: A Kailesh day. Okay. So I usually work four days a week. So my working week is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I have Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday off, and then the following week I’ll work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And so, I try to keep that structured so that I do have some time off. Because when I’m in, so let’s talk about a regular day now, I’ll start my first patient probably 7:00.
Kailesh: So I’ll be waking up at 6:00 usually, sometimes I’ll do a bit of exercise before I shower, get out the house from maybe 6:30, into the clinic at 7:00, first patient 7:00. So my team are already started. My team are there at work at 6:00. So they’re ready. At 7:00 I’ll probably maybe do a full arch immediate load case. So there may be some extraction work, sedation work, take teeth out, place some implants, and restore that with a fixed bridge.
Kailesh: So let’s say that’s patient one. That’ll be completed, the surgical aspect, about half-past 8:00. So by about half-eight, I’ll probably generally have a coffee, wait for the team to clean up. So about a quarter-to-nine to 9:00, I’ll have my first patient then… well I’d class as my first starting patient. Because my 7:00 patient is generally what I would class as before hours. So I pick and choose who goes in those slots. Not my team. So like 9:00 I might have 20 veneer preps, that’ll take me to maybe 11:00, 11:30. And then-
Payman: 20 veneers in two hours?
Kailesh: Yeah. Like to prepare them. Yeah. I would say unless it was really compressed, comprehensive, complex perhaps, if I’m working conformatively, generally, and if I’m working maybe facially only, I’d put two hours as ample for 20 veneer preps from my point of view. That will be an anaesthetic, prepped, temporised, photography, everything from start to finish in respect to that. And then, about half-eleven, maybe do a few consultations. So two or three consultations, and then probably lunch at one. And then maybe we might have some restorative work. Then in the afternoon [crosstalk 00:28:47]-
Payman: Do you work over lunch or do you stop?
Kailesh: I generally stop. Generally if I have about half-an-hour to 45 minutes I’m cool. And then, I’ll start back again. Maybe some more consults after lunch. Usually a few single tooth implants thrown in in the midst of the afternoon. Maybe some more preps or some more fits. To give you an idea, I’m generally… I was working my day off on Monday, I had a 20 unit fit case, and a 20 unit fit case, and that was being done, but I chose to come in for them. So I started my first 20 unit fit case 7:00, that was done by 9:00. My second 20 unit fit case started at 9:30, that was done by 11:30. I was out the door for midday. I had other things going on, meetings and so on.
Kailesh: So I still had pretty much my whole afternoon, and I’d fit 40 veneers in the morning. But essentially I work reasonably quickly. I think people see that. And even my associates that come in they just say, “We can’t do it like you.” And I don’t expect anyone to work like me. I work like myself, I work like this, and I wouldn’t know how to work any different. I don’t work any slower, I don’t work any faster. I’m not trying to rush. It is just that’s the level of time stuff takes me. A single tooth implant, if it’s not complex, it’ll take me five, 10 minutes. Full out it should take me an hour. If there’s no extractions, it’ll take me an hour-and-a-half for those extractions. It’s just the way I work. And I suppose on the basis of those times, then your gross fees go up. But that’s not the reason I do it.
Kailesh: If you told me to prep a 20 unit case and do it in four hours, I would have no fucking clue what to do for two hours of that four hours. That’s my problem. Do you know what I mean? Do I polish my preps? Yes. Do I use magnification to prep all my teeth? Five times magnification for every bit of work I do inclusive of implant work. Do I feel I provide quality in what I do? Of course. You see my cases day in and day out on social media. And I don’t hide stuff. I don’t hide stuff with lips and this and that. I use full retracted shots to showcase my work. So from my point of view, I know my work stands up to most people in this country. But essentially it is just doing it at the speed it’s done. That’s just the long and short of it. But that’s then my working day.
Payman: [crosstalk] Do you know how many implants you do a year, or how many veneers you do a year?
Kailesh: Implants is easier, because obviously I get the notification. So I’m [Nearden’s] biggest placer in the country, so I place I think last year just under 700 veneer work. My technician tells me probably close to 4,000 ceramic cases-
Payman: [crosstalk] And a bunch of composite veneers in there as well, right?
Kailesh: Yeah. So obviously it’s become quite big, that. Composite veneers are one of those things now that everyone’s doing. I think there was a few clinics that Dental X, [Lintz’s 00:31:50], and those clinics that started doing them quite massively. A lot of people are injection modelling these things and trying to speed the process up. But you don’t need to speed the process up. You definitely don’t need to do things like injection modelling. You can do a good, quality, single coloured composite veneer casing in two hours, two-and-a-half hours, 10 units. That’s what I do it in.
Kailesh: And I think there are processes out there and people are trying to say, “Oh, well we can do these quick. We can do this like this, we can do this like that.” In actual fact, once you know what you’re doing and you’ve got the experience and the artistic ability, they’re pretty simple, quite straightforward treatment. So yeah, I do a lot of that as well. I do a lot of composite veneer work. Probably some weeks 40, 50 veneers, composite wise. And yeah, it’s just another skill set. People do stuff, so you think, I could do that. It doesn’t look that complex.
Kailesh: I learned from Andy McLean, who worked for the Kiss for three, four years. And did my first case, it was okay. Did my second case, critiquing it. By fourth or fifth case I was like I love this. Because it does give you a lot of satisfaction at times. You rebuild a whole smile in composite and it’s all freehand, and it shows off what you can physically do. So [crosstalk] it’s lovely.
Payman: Do you remember when we started doing composites back 10 years ago, I actually came to you and said, “Do you want to be the composite guy,” and you said, “Nah, I haven’t got time for that.”
Kailesh: [crosstalk] Yeah. And do you know-
Payman: [crosstalk] Do you remember?
Kailesh: Yeah. Of course. It’s one of those things back in the day 2007 to 2010 I was the Cerec guy. And people probably don’t remember, but I did Cerec before all of these guys that are doing it now. All these guys who are saying, “I’m the Cerec king, and I do this, and I can do a same day crown, I can do a same day veneer.” I was doing that shit in 2006. I was getting technicians in, doing full 10, 20. I’ve still got cases come in 15 years on that have got 20 veneers done in Cerec all done same day. So from my side, I’ve been there and done all that. But for me I was running the business as well, and I’m growing the business as well, so I’ve got to make sure that I do the things which are going to be the best for the business.
Kailesh: So Cerec was great. It was a great product. But is it as profitable as me prepping 20 units and sending it to my lab, and me cracking on and doing something else? Of course it’s not. So then that essentially is then the approach I need to take, moving onto implants as opposed to doing composite veneers. The reason I did do composite veneers was two reasons. First reason is, can I do it? I wanted to know because I’ve done everything I can physically do in dentistry, and apart from endo, I’m not a big fan of, and like posterior composites and stuff is just not my bag. But anything a bit more complex I want to make sure I’ve got that skillset. So that was the first reason.
Kailesh: And the second reason is, I don’t want my clinics to ever be behind anyone. So if there are clinics around me that are doing that, I want us to be the best at it. But to be the best at it, I need to understand how to be the best at it. And that’s why, for me, it was important that I could do it. And I could do it to a very good standard so I could then say to my guys, you’ve got a benchmark in your own clinic, and that’s what I need you to be able to do. Because as I don’t know if you guys know, but I run a private VT scheme and I have been doing that for the last three to four years.
Kailesh: And so, I trained newly qualified dentists that have literally just come out of university and ensure that if they want to go into the private field of dentistry that they are armed, they are well educated, both by myself and independent courses that I generally recommend, and make sure that these guys are well protected as well by the group that is Kissdental that is headed by me. And allowing them to feel safe, but not to be scared. Not to just want to align, bleach, and bond, because it’s easy and there’s less issues and less people are going to see them. I want the dentists that I produce to be all around very good dentists, if they want to, to provide comprehensive dentistry, advanced dentistry, safely, and to the best interest to the patients.
Payman: Amazing. I mean, I’m sure doing any stint of time with you is one of those things they say surround yourself with people better than you. Tell us about a failure, Kailesh. What’s been your biggest clinical failure? Your biggest mistake you’ve made clinically? We’re asking everyone.
Kailesh: Biggest clinical failure. Let me think. Difficult really. I think there’s cases that come to mind, clinically. I suppose my biggest one was treating a patient who basically had radio and chemotherapy previously, thinking it was going to be okay. Explaining to her the risks of radio osteonecrosis. We were doing some implant therapy for her. Well, we needed to do extraction work for her. Her teeth were falling out. Would have the outcome been any different if I would’ve referred her to the hospital? Probably not. But she did get radio osteonecrosis and it always plays on the mind that did I do her a disservice?
Kailesh: I don’t know. I still don’t know. A lot of the times when you get issues or clinical failures you kind of sit around to yourself and say, “I wanted the best for the patient at all times, and that’s how I’ve always worked.” And past the business side and everything else, I want everyone to know that hears this, I am a clinical dentist that loves and has a massive passion for providing dentistry. And all my patients hopefully would say he genuinely does care, and I do. Yeah I make a great living out of it. I don’t ever hide that fact. Listen, I’m not some young guy that shows off his Louis Vuitton belts that he’s buying, or his new Lamborghini that he’s just bought.
Kailesh: I’ve got all those things. I don’t care. Essentially, I’ve been that guy, again like I said, for many, many years. And I’ve gone through that motion of this is what I’ve got, and this is how successful I am, and yada, yada, yada, yada. But in the end, I’m a clinical dentist. And that’s what I want to be known for. When you look at my Instagram, is it all about me? No. It’s about the teeth I provide, the smiles I do, it’s about wanting to showcase the beautiful work I feel I do to ensure I get more patients through, and make sure that Kissdental thrives. So I think I don’t know if that answers your question, but-
Payman: [crosstalk] It does. It does. I mean, there’s one example. But I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it. The volume of work that you’re doing over the number of years that you’re doing that volume, I mean I reckon in the last 15 years you could’ve done more work than 20 dentists put together. If stuff wasn’t going to go wrong [crosstalk] it’s a huge amount of work.
Kailesh: And I’m very pragmatic about it. I don’t look at a complaint that comes in and think god. Because you’re right. I’ve got to look at the level of work I provide, the risk of work I provide. And every year I’m better. Every year I feel I handle things better. But that can only come with experience. You can’t be that guy in 2004 or 2005, just graduated. I can’t provide the quality of what I provide today back then. I didn’t have the experience. And one unfortunately will not come without the other. So you have to have that. I didn’t have a mentor like me, so I had to do things myself.
Kailesh: And everyone, not everyone it’s unfair to say that, but a lot of people say this young kid, who’d opened his cosmetic clinic, tried to go for all the awards, tries to do all this dentistry, goes to every course under the sun, and just thinks he’s going to be here today, gone tomorrow, him. He’s fly by. And we’re 15, 16 years on. Kissdental has got a massively great reputation in the northwest. We get patients now from all over the UK. Our Instagram following, our social media presence, our just presence just generally is super good. And that is testament to us holding our ground, or Kissdental holding its ground and saying, “Listen, we’re here to stay,” from my point of view.
Kailesh: And now, I think moving forward long-term plan is to ensure that maybe I can be a mentor for some people. I do it now in my private VTs and they do super well. I’ve got my private VT that’s going to be moving to [Fee Brigthum 00:41:06] just in the next coming month, and before that, he’d studied dentistry in Latvia. So it’s not like he had experience in UK dentistry. It’s not like his mom and dad were dentists. It’s not like he’s grown up in the profession all his life. We was wet behind the ears. He had no idea of dentistry. And for him to safely, that is the key, to safely providing very good quality dental treatment, not rushing. And this kid doesn’t rush. He still shadows me one day a week.
Kailesh: So he’s still only doing four days clinical dentistry a week. And for him to gross 100k in one month before he goes [inaudible] great for me, great for my business. But that’s not the reason I’m doing it. Because I’m producing, I’m hoping, not lots of mini-mes, but I want to produce people that are not scared, that understand dentist is something that needs to be provided past a basic level, but happy to provide it. Because he knows I’m his mentor, I will help him, I will go through that with him. And I will go through every journey with him. I check his preps, I check his imps, I check his final fits, I check his [crosstalk] tents, his treatment planning-
Payman: [crosstalk] We used to talk about this here. Prav and I have talked about you. I mean, you introduced emergency to Prav, let’s start with that. You introduced me to Prav. And Prav and I have talked about you a lot, and Prav does marketing for hundreds of dentists, and he says that in the end, you are the one of all of his clients, who converts the most.
Payman: And then this question of is it just, okay some people have an X factor and they can do things, or is it teachable? And now you’re telling me, it’s teachable, which is different to what I thought. I thought okay, Kailesh is special. There he is. Since you were saying you were grossing and knocking people’s socks off from VT. All right. You’ve got something. But the idea that it’s teachable, that’s beautiful.
Kailesh: Yeah. From my side we’ve had two VTs now have gone through the programme up to now. I would say, before my second VT, my biggest success and biggest failure. Biggest success because I felt he was the right fit. I felt he was genuine in what he wanted to achieve and the reasons he wanted to do dentistry. And I think I’d say he’s my biggest failure because although he again did super well year-and-a-half in, I moved him from a salary to fee per item I think too quickly, because he was quite greedy if I’m being honest. But he was my cousin, and I wanted to help him. Everything we had, which was verbal, it was a verbal agreement, and he basically let himself down, he let the agreement down, and so on the basis of that, my biggest failure.
Kailesh: But while he was with us, he was smashing numbers. Was it teachable? 100%. Was he wet behind the years when he started? 100%. Did he know about dentistry? He couldn’t do a composite in two hours this kid. He was academically amazing, academically super clever. But it took him two, to two-and-a-half hours to do a posterior composite when he first started. That’s the level of these people that are coming through the dental hospital. When he finished with me, when he left, and he left on bad terms and I’m open to say that, but when he left he was taking home 13 to 15k a month a year-and-a-half in. He could speak to patients, he could get acceptance of treatment plans, he was clinically getting better and better.
Kailesh: And I feel for him. In the future I hope one day he understands that in the end I was only trying to look after him, because he wasn’t ready to go out in to the big bad world yet. Not in private dentistry. But that was his choice, whereas the next associate I’ve been super strict with. It was all contracted. It’s all been followed by the book, the programme has improved, and I think the education level for him has improved, and the proof is in the puddling. We now have taken on two more new VTs, and I honestly believe that in three to four years time, I’ll have a team of these guys that will A, do super well for themselves, but will do so for Kissdental as well. I’m building a team up. I always think of people like Alex Ferguson when he built United right from the start.
Kailesh: And I’m not a massive football person, but I understand his ethos, I understand his ethics, I understand actually I’m not going to buy these people at real big money, I’m going to invest right from the start. It’s going to take time and energy. And I’m happy to put that time and energy in because I know I will produce these super stars, because I know it’s teachable. And both of those two guys that I’ve already taught it to are testament to that. I mean, you see all these people now, two years they’ve owned a practise. All of a sudden they’re giving out business advice like they’re some business gurus. I’m like, you guys are kidding me. I’ve ran three practises for 15 years. I’ve been through recessions, I’ve been through floods, storms [crosstalk 00:46:31]-
Payman: But to be fair, you were doing the same when you were a new boy as well. You were. You were. You were.
Kailesh: [crosstalk] But I wasn’t-
Payman: [crosstalk] It’s a level of confidence people have. You were doing the same. You came out of dental school running a Cerec course I remember. That’s where I first met you, right? It was a double side.
Kailesh: But what I’m saying is, understand your mentor has got to be… there’s got to be some volume in what you’re gaining.
Payman: Sure. Take us back to when you decided [crosstalk 00:47:04]-
Kailesh: [crosstalk] And that’s what I’m saying.
Payman: … to do Kissdental.
Kailesh: Okay. So Kissdental was basically born from me wanting a clinic, and I’m very impulsive, very, very impulsive when I purchase things. My shoe collection will tell you that. There’s about 1,000 pairs in there. And-
Payman: You’re not joking.
Kailesh: I am not joking, no. Unfortunately I’m not joking. I wish I was actually, but I’m not.
Prav: Bit more expensive [crosstalk] than night trainers and it was lonely.
Kailesh: Yeah. I know. That’s the reason why I wish I was joking. So basically I wanted a clinic, and there was a clinic on the market. And it was funny actually, I had a really close friend at the time who was a dentist. And I said to him, “I’m thinking about buying this practise.” And he said to me, “Oh, no. Don’t buy that. It’s a lemon. A lot of my friends have been to look at it.” He already owned a clinic in Manchester, may I add. And he said, “Oh, don’t buy that. It’s a lemon. The numbers are poor on it and so on and so forth.” So I kept looking at it, and in the end I thought do you know? Screw it. I’m going to buy it.
Kailesh: I didn’t actually have a lot of money. I had sold the computer business, I had about 50k of that money. I’d worked a little bit, but I’d been spending. So it was what it was. I put a business plan together, I managed to get funding from the bank. Back then, we’re talking 2004, ’05, they were giving you money for whole rope, they were giving you like 110% loans. So it was happy days. So I got a 500,000 pound loan, bought this clinic. I think it had something like 200,000 pound was the building, and 300,000 was the goodwill. I lost pretty much all the goodwill day one, so now I had a 200,000 pound building with no goodwill. And I decided to spend about 400,000 doing the place up. So I was in debt for about brinking on a mil.
Kailesh: I hadn’t even opened the doors yet, but I had brilliant branding. I called it Kissdental, I got these designers to do everything, I got a website. Before I bought it, it was called [Woodsen Circle 00:49:13] Family Dental Practise. And the population base was 65 to 80, all coming in for their little cleans and polishes, and that was it. And I was saying I’m going to open this fantastic cosmetic clinic in Manchester and we’re going to provide all the outskirts and people are going to travel from the city centre, and so on. And that was my business model.
Kailesh: We were close to the network links, we were close to a train station, we were close to the motorway, and we were close to the traffic centre. And from my point of view, they were landmarks, people would come to us, we just needed to open our doors and crack on. And that didn’t quite go to plan, because literally within about a year-and-a-half to two years I was severely in debt, the business wasn’t doing how I wanted it to go, and really, it was a real struggle.
Kailesh: And because I was doing such good numbers, it was the only reason it was staying afloat. And Pravish was just finishing university, and I’d said to him, “Listen I need your help.” Because I’ve got this marketing company that are smashing through the money like this is going out of fashion and I think one month we’d spend with a PR marketing company I think we’d spent 80,000 in one month. [crosstalk] And I was like [crosstalk 00:50:34]-
Prav: [crosstalk] And that was back in 2006.
Kailesh: … [crosstalk] when you come home from university… Yeah. Yeah. And I was like, “I need someone that can do this shit for me and not charge me the money.” And he was like, “Right. Let me see what I can do.” And he’d just come back from uni, didn’t want to do medicine anymore he’ll be happy for me to say, in a position where he was just in limbo land. And I said to him, “Fucking do marketing. I’m telling you, you will make a cream. You’ll understand it within days, and you’ll smash it.” And it’s essentially what you did, wasn’t it? And-
Prav: Yeah. And the one thing I’ll say is that he gave me an open chequebook, and he gave me full autonomy. So he said, “If it’s good for the business and you think it’s good for the business, spend the fucking money.” And those were pretty much his words. So it was full pages in the Manchester Evening News, it was splashing it all over the radio, it was Google AdWords, it was everything you could think of to get coverage. Sponsoring gyms, TV screens, everywhere you looked in Manchester our brand was out there. And I think we made a lot of mistakes back then. We spent a lot of money and didn’t get return, but it put Kissdental on the map. Road signs, roundabouts, billboards, you name it, it was all over the place. And I guess that’s where I started learning my craft.
Kailesh: Yeah. And I think it went well for both of us, because then I used to go and do my Cerec training. People would say to me then, “God, I’ve seen your marketing, I’ve seen your website, I’ve seen this.” And I’d say, “Well, there’s a real good guy that does it for me.” But I never wanted to say it was my brother, so I was like, “This company called [The Fresh 00:52:16] would do it. Maybe speak to them, they might be able to take you on as a client. They’ve done fucking super well for me.” Because the problem was I didn’t want to cloud their people’s judgement and say, “Yeah, my brother does it for me.” Because I wanted him to be his business in his own right.
Kailesh: Even like I said to you right at the start of this that I was always in Pravish’s shadow. And I think if Pravish became a dentist, I would have stayed in his shadow. Luckily we’re super diverse in the things that we do, so I would hope people would say we’re businessmen in our own right. And so I didn’t want him equally to be part of Kissdental. It was never the plan. It was never that he wanted to buy into my business, and neither did I want any piece of his business. I always said we want to help each other. But I didn’t want to help it on the basis that help him out because he’s my brother.
Kailesh: I wanted him to say, “Speak to this guy, see what you think.” And once he spoke to him, again, it was a done deal for them. And so, for us, both our businesses grew exponentially, because I think it was our synergy just super worked. And anything he wanted to try, any new idea, he tried it with Kissdental, fucking brilliant. And if it didn’t work, he’d be like, “I’m not going to fill it out to my clients,” and if it did work, he’d be like, “Super, I’m going to now fill it out to my clients.” So it’s fucking win-win for him. I was still spending the money, but in the end for me it was about that growth and being on the map and knowing that actually we helped each other, really.
Payman: But then, guys, I mean I get the picture of this in his shadow and all of that, but isn’t it strange that now Prav owns other dental practises, and you guys could’ve done an empire together?
Prav: If I’m speaking honestly, we’re like chalk and cheese, mate. And I’m being open and honest here. I love my brother to bits, right? And would do anything for him. But I couldn’t go into business with him. And I think he’d probably say the same about me, is that we are very, very, very different in the way we operate our businesses. And for that reason, I don’t think it would’ve worked.
Kailesh: Yeah. I mean, I’m a very emotionally driven person. I buy off emotion, I work off emotion, I wear my heart on my sleeve, it sometimes gets me in a lot of trouble. I understand that. But then also, it’s one of my big strengths as well. Whereas Pravish, he’s so calculated. If it doesn’t make sense on a numbers model for Pravish, it’s done. And I don’t care if he’s known the person for 25 years, has like wet fed his kids and shit like that, he’ll still sack him. He’s got like zero care. Zero care. There’s no emotional attachment there.
Payman: I get it. I do get it. But often those partnerships are best when the two partners a very different. I mean, look at me and [Sanj 00:55:28]. Totally different to each other. But I’m not saying that you have to go into business together, because you’re both super, super, successful, and it seems to have worked well. It’s not like there’s regrets. But for me it would’ve been a nice thing. And it could still be, right? Going forward something like that could happen, right?
Prav: [crosstalk] Who knows?
Kailesh: Yeah. You never know. But I think as well, mine and my brother’s relationship works super well, and I think it works super well because he’s got his own thing going on, I’ve got my own thing going on, he’ll ask me his advice on certain things, I’ll ask him advice. And it works that way. And he gets involved when I need him to. I’ll say, “Bruv, can you sort this out for me? Can you sort that out for me?” And he’ll be like, “Yeah. Of course I will.” But I just think clouding our relationship with business because we’re family as well, I think it would create a dimension which I think would be difficult for us both. Because we both are very headstrong as well.
Payman: And your dad’s involved in both businesses to some extent, right?
Kailesh: [crosstalk] Yeah.
Prav: [crosstalk] He helps with finances, so-
Payman: In both sides?
Kailesh: In both businesses, yeah. He does like my bookkeeping now, he does all that accountancy side of things, the daily stuff. Making sure the money’s come in, the money’s gone out. He stops me spending money, basically. So he limits how much money I’m allowed every month which is a fricking nightmare when I need something, like when I want to buy a new car or something like that. I have to go cap in hand like I’m about 14 again, “Can I have this money dad, please?” Even though it’s my own money.
Kailesh: But to be fair, he keeps my grounded to a way. I am a spendaholic. I will buy stuff and buy stuff. I can spend it quicker than I can earn it, so for me to make that statement is quite worrying. And my dad knows it’s worrying as well. So he says to me, “Son, I’m quite happy with you having nice things and doing stuff, yada, yada, yada, but you really also need to ensure that you’ve got something for the future.” And I get that. And so, he keeps me on the level and he makes sure I’ve got savings and all that kind of stuff.
Payman: So Kailesh, you’re quite out there in the Manchester sort of scenario, right? You’re known.
Payman: When we do Mini Smile Maker in Manchester, you take us out and every person, every doorman, in the street, people recognise you and all that. But it kind of worked out against you at one point, wasn’t it? These guys came and… tell us that story, man.
Kailesh: Well, I think what genuinely happened was I treat a lot of variation of people. You get to be known in Manchester. And I was known to treat probably some of the unfavorables, but they come in, their money spends as well as your middle class guy who’s just bought a Porsche, these guys are coming in track suits or shorts and mainly pay in cash and things like that. But essentially I treat them all with the same respect, and that’s where we go back to that same conversation, how do you treat that person different to the other person? Of course it’s a different relationship.
Kailesh: But I was quite, I would say flash is the wrong word, I like what I like, I loved watches back then. I thought of nothing about wearing a 100,000 pound watch on my wrist, to give you an idea. I used to wear it to work. I used to wear it to the gym. You know what I mean? It wasn’t the fact that I was posing, showing off my 100,000 pound watch. I like watches, I liked that watch, I’d wear it. And I’d wear it if the drug dealer came in, I’d wear it if a classy gentleman came in who appreciated nice time pieces. It was what it was.
Payman: It was your watch.
Kailesh: But it attracted a lot of attention. Yeah. What was it? It was a-
Payman: No, no. [crosstalk] It wasn’t what was it.
Kailesh: … [crosstalk] AP-
Payman: I’m not saying that. I’m saying it was just your watch. As far as you were concerned, it was your watch.
Kailesh: It was the items that I wore, yeah. And it was just my watch. I also like to see my cars. And I’ve got a lot of cars. And I see them as [crosstalk] vehicles-
Payman: [crosstalk] So what happened? What happened?
Kailesh: … [crosstalk] and I like nice vehicles.
Payman: What happened?
Kailesh: So we have a full security system at home. I go downstairs and my wife shouts me and she’s like, “Someone’s outside. Someone’s outside. I’ve seen them.” So I look on the CCTV and I see three masked men outside roaming the side of the property. At which point I said, “Go upstairs, I’m going to try,” and at the time our alarm system had some panic buttons, but they were downstairs. It was all a bit of a mess. So I aimed to run through the kitchen where we had these large bi-fold doors. Press this panic button. I’d already rang the security company to say there’s somebody on our property.
Kailesh: And as I run through the kitchen, one of them sees me, he smashes through… It felt like it was instantaneous, but literally I froze, I was wearing no top, I remember I was wearing a pair of shorts. He just had this sledge hammer. He smashed through this patio door and literally within seconds he was on me. And he had a hammer to my head, and the other guy then ran through and he had a machete to my neck. And they just said, “Get me your watches.” And at which point I said, “Listen, no one’s getting hurt here. I will give you what you want.” And at that point they started saying, “Fuck it. Obviously hurry up.” They roughed me up a bit, hitting me a little bit, which it was what it was.
Kailesh: Obviously we had a safe at the house, so I opened the safe, gave him everything that was in the safe. I mean, and it’s not unknown, it was about a quarter-of-a-million quid that they took, at which point my wife was screaming upstairs. She then was forced downstairs by one of them. My two young children at the time were probably one and two. Luckily they slept through the whole thing. And obviously my wife was distraught and I was like, “Stay calm. I’ll give you everything you need.” And they said, “If you don’t hurry up we’ll kill your children. We’ll go upstairs and we’ll kill your kids.”
Kailesh: Which was quite like obviously it’s upsetting and you don’t know what these people are capable of, so you’re just trying to keep them downstairs, just trying to keep them downstairs, and trying to pray that the kids don’t wake up. All this is happening and you think it’s taking 20, 25, 30 minutes. I think from start to finish when we looked back at the CCTV, the whole incident was six minutes. Obviously shook up. People get traumatised by these things, and my wife especially, Michelle, was super traumatised by it.
Kailesh: Myself, of course I was upset about it, and I was upset about the not being able to be the person I am, because I felt like I was reducing the person I am. And those things don’t make me the person I am, by the way. It was the fact that I couldn’t wear those things. Do you know what I mean? For me it was super important. That’s my persona, that’s who I am, that’s what I like. So why can’t I do things I like anymore? Why are these people restricting me? But then, two months later, they came again to the practise.
Payman: Oh my goodness.
Kailesh: Did it again. And then held up some patients and all sorts of stuff. So that was the second incident within two months. So at that point for the safety of my family, the safety of my staff, I decided that maybe it’s Apple Watch time and just toned down that aspect of my life. I didn’t mind. If it puts me in danger, then I take that risk myself, like anything in life, don’t you? You want to drive at 120 miles an hour in your car? You put yourself at risk. If there’s no one else in the car, all right, you might put other road users at risk, but you make that decision yourself. When you’re in now I’m putting all my staff at risk, I’m putting my family at risk, in the end I said this is not for me.
Kailesh: Did it traumatise me? Initially, yeah. But and Pravish will openly tell you, we worked in a corner shop in a counsellor state. People used to come in with fucking balaclavas and bats every bloody over day trying to do the place over. It was almost a passing joke like are you actually going to use that or do something, or are you just going to… what are you going to do? And the majority of them, you fucking knew who they were behind the balaclava, they’re just local kids from the counsellor state. So I’d just be like, “Jack, can you take the fucking balaclava off? You want a bottle of milk until next week, I’ll give it ya, but you don’t need to try and rob us.” You know what I mean? And it would be a bit like that.
Kailesh: And I make it a bit funny and I put a bit of jest into it, but essentially we did get confronted with those things growing up. So did it traumatise me that badly? No. Am I more weary? 100%. Do I wear those things now? No. Would I love to? Of course I would, because I enjoy those things. Some people enjoy what they enjoy. Some people like alcohol, like a nice glass of wine or a nice whiskey, then you should be able to enjoy that. I enjoyed wearing a nice watch. I enjoyed those things. And now I can’t do it. But I don’t do it because I want to make sure that I don’t put anyone at risk. That’s the key thing. But it was a shit time. A really shit time.
Payman: Yeah. I bet. What do you reckon going forward, Kai? You’ve achieved so much in dentistry as far as a practise situation, and definitely one of the most successful practises in the country and all that, but what are your ambitions going forward? Where would you like to go in the next five, 10 years from the professional perspective, what would you like to achieve?
Kailesh: I’d like to do more on the education side, if I’m being honest, Pay. Both from the mentoring side with like minded dentists that want to do better, want to perform better, want to achieve more. I love the education. I run obviously an implant course twice a year for [Neasden 01:06:27], like single teeth and full arch. We’re currently setting up a little composite veneering course for people that want to do freehand veneers.
Kailesh: And I want to just build on that, but not just doing dentistry based courses. I want to, I think in time, build upon that mentorship programme. I want to feel like people can come to me and trust what I say, trust my clinic judgement on certain things, and feel secure and safe in providing dentistry. I feel the profession at times is dying because not as many people are providing comprehensive treatment.
Payman: [crosstalk] People are being defensive, aren’t they?
Kailesh: People are being too defensive. And I understand the reasons why. Listen, have I been sued? Of course I have. The level of dentistry I do, you’d be fricking nuts if you didn’t think I had. But does that stop me doing what I believe is right day in and day out? Absolutely not, no. And I want dentists to understand that. And I’m not saying it’s for everyone. And some people are super anxious, some people are scared and worried, and they can’t get past that anxiety to then provide certain things. I get that. But there are some clinicians out there that I think really want to. They just need the handheld in the right manner, and have the right dental level of education. And that’s what I was saying about mentorships before. I wasn’t trying to take the mick out of anyone, or belittle anyone.
Kailesh: I just believe if you’re going to use a mentor for a certain particular thing, make sure they know what they’re doing. Make sure they understand the hooks and crooks of dentistry, or the business of dentistry. You can’t understand the business of dentistry by running a dental practise for one or two years. You just physically can’t. It has to be ran successfully for a period of time. Has it grown? All right. You’ve got one successful clinic. Can you emulate that? Can you create two? Can you create three? If you can do that, then listen, I’ll hold my hands up and I’ll say, “Maybe I’ll take some advice from you.” But equally the same in dentistry, if someone wants to understand full mouth rehab, go to someone that does a lot of full mouth rehab. Let them hold your hand.
Kailesh: And I’m not saying that me every time, but what I’m saying is, I have that experience at level to say to a lot of people that I will help you, I will guide you, and I think make you a better dentist both clinically, both the way you speak and converse with your patients, and also give you better uptake. And I think in the next five to 10 years, that’s where I want to be. I want to be that guy that helps other people. I don’t want to retain all this knowledge and think yeah, it did well for me, but screw everyone else. I want people to say, “Do you know what? He was a top guy, and he fucking taught me a lot, and I am where I am today because I listened and I used what he said, and I moulded it into how I wanted to do it.” Because that’s important as well. I don’t want you to be me. I want you to be you with the tools that I teach you.
Payman: Okay. I can understand with these VTs immersed in the practise with you, you can teach it. If the average GDP turns up, how long will it take to learn?
Kailesh: I think two years.
Payman: Two years.
Kailesh: It’s going to be a two year programme, I think. The problem is, people that are already set in their ways, that have already worked in general practise for a period of time, they’ll have their own ways to do things. I’ve had a lot of associates that have come in and said, “This is how I want you to start doing things. This is how it should be done. I’m not telling you the way you did it previously was wrong. I’m just telling you it wasn’t how we do it. And I need you to do it how I do it. And then and only then will you learn, and you learn to stand the processes and why we get the uptake we get.” And some of those guys just don’t want to do it. No matter what I do, no matter what I say, no matter how much I try to instil it in them, getting them to mend. But then, were they the right fit in the first place?
Payman: Kai, the amount of work that you’ve done, the volume of it, you’re bound to have a bunch of clinical tips, efficiency hacks, in implant dentistry and veneers. Can you think of a few things that you’ve come up with? At the rate that you’re working, you must have. I mean, one you said to me was you’ve got an extra nurse that does all your notes on top of your nurse.
Payman: Kind of seems obvious, but I’m willing to bet you might be the only dentist in the country who has that.
Kailesh: It’s the simple things. It’s all the things that you can delegate out that doesn’t effect you clinically. So I have two nurses at all times. Do I need two nurses at all times? Of I don’t. But essentially one is going the clinical work with me, the other one is writing all my clinical notes. Then one, when you have downtime, is writing on my consent forms, is going through all those aspects of things that I then don’t need to stress myself about.
Payman: Super important. But actually, on the clinical, the way you set up-
Kailesh: Yeah. [crosstalk] clinical-
Payman: … the way you do things, tell us, how do you [crosstalk 01:11:53]-
Kailesh: [crosstalk] Little things.
Payman: … sneak that many implants in in one patient in that time frame?
Kailesh: It’s because you’ve efficiently used your time. When I’ve mentored full arch for dentists, the biggest problem is, they have no confidence in what they’re doing. So even from cutting the flap, to giving the anaesthetic, to placement of the implants, they will faff. I mean, I went on a course to Brazil, three years ago, a full arch course. I did my full arch. It was hands on. I did my full arch, hour-and-quarter. Now I was not doing the restorative, because they did the restorative in a very strange way out there, so I let them crack on and do that. So I did my surgery from start to finish, from giving anaesthetic, hour-and-a-quarter.
Payman: How long did everyone else take?
Kailesh: There were still people there at five hours.
Payman: So what is it? Where are the hacks?
Kailesh: The hacks are to I think visualise. I always visualise what I’m going to do before I do it, and I know that sounds pretty straightforward, but if you actually just look at something and go, “Right, this is how I’m going to approach this.” And then I’m efficient so I give the anaesthetic, I cut my flap, I raise it, I place my implant. But at no point [crosstalk 01:13:07]-
Payman: But it seems second nature to you, yeah? But-
Payman: … you’re definitely doing something different to most dentists, and you need to be able to bottle that, right? And discuss it.
Kailesh: It’s the [faff 01:13:20].
Payman: It’s not the faff.
Kailesh: Honestly, it’s the faff. It is genuine the faff. They will look, and they’ll look, and it’s the inability to make a clinical decision. So placement of an implant on a full arch, you would think that was pretty straightforward because there’s no fricking teeth. But honestly, the position of that osteotomy, it takes sometimes a clinician 20, 25 minutes to make a decision on that. You do that times four, you’re into an hour before you’ve made a decision on every placement.
Prav: I think it comes with experience as well. Well the volume of implants you’ve placed, you’ve been there and done that so many times, that it’s almost instinct, it’s second nature with the sheer volume of work. So you repeat that thing [crosstalk] time, and time, and time, and time again.
Kailesh: [crosstalk] Yeah. Time again. You just get better at it. That’s why I say to people, “I don’t expect you to be like me. I don’t expect you to be quick like me.” But what I expect you to do is making those clinical decisions with me holding your hand. So if you’re doing to do those preps, I want to see how you’re going to do them. I want to talk it through with you, I want you to visualise it. And then when you get in there, I don’t want you to faff. I want you to know this is what I’m going to do with this tooth, this is what I’m going to do with this tooth. I want you to prep it, and then I want you to call me through.
Kailesh: And then I will check it, and then I’ll say, “Maybe look here. You need to take a look at this prep stent, look at this reason for this, and now do this, and then go again.” But like Pravish said, it is time, and it’s energy, and it’s understanding that that’s going to take a little bit longer because it’s the first time they do it. I expect that first posterior composite to take two hours in actual fact. Don’t get me wrong. But what I’m saying to you is that’s what we when benchmark it against. Because very much like a posterior composite, if you do them all day long, really, 45 minutes is probably ample in the end.
Kailesh: And the same with a full arch set of implants. I don’t expect everyone to do it in an hour-and-a-quarter, but I think if you did it in two hours and you’re comfortable and confident doing it in that level of time, I that’s a decent level of time to do surgery where the patient is not uncomfortable. And the reason I speeded up when I was back in the day was because I’d give anaesthetic, I forgot my flap, I do this and that, and then I’d been in a situation where now the patient’s starting to feel pain, and I’m thinking I’ve got to regive them anaesthetic and so on and so forth. So from my point of view, it was to ensure patient comfort. And that’s all I want my other dentists to think and understand, really.
Prav: I think there’s so much more we can talk about, but I know were getting close to time our kid. Is there anything in particular you want to mention or talk about specifically before going to any more questions?
Kailesh: No, I think we’ve covered a lot of topics and stuff. I’m happy, obviously hopefully as I said before I started this, I didn’t want to come across as arrogant, because genuinely when people know me I’m not, or I think I’m not anyway. And secondary I wanted to come across as I love the profession. I love dentistry, and I want that to come across because it isn’t all about business for me. I am not a number cruncher, and yet Kissdental makes me a great living, it always has done. But that’s not the reason I do it. That’s a byproduct I always say. The reason I do it is because of the love of what I actually physically do day in and day out.
Prav: And what’s the dream? One day sell the business or open more clinics? What’s the dream for you?
Kailesh: I think moving forward with Kissdental, I’d love to be able to expand the brand. I’ve always seen the brand as a national brand. I don’t believe it to be a local brand. I never set it up as a local brand. I think I’m at three clinics, and I have been at three clinics for near 10 years now. So I have the physical investment and energy to do that myself? I think the answers probably no.
Kailesh: I think moving forward the only reason I would want to consider whether it be a cell or whether it be energy, would be to look at being able to bring that brand two more locations to give more people the opportunity to have a piece of the Kissdental pie, and to really showcase what I believe is one of the strongest brands in UK dentistry.
Payman: If definitely is. It definitely is. And one of the pioneers. You got to look at it in the context of the time. It’s very easy now to look at Kissdental. Still a brilliant brand. And my brand I don’t mean logo. I think we all understand there’s a lot more to a brand than the logo.
Kailesh: Yeah. Exactly.
Payman: But the pioneering guys, when you guys did that back in when was it? 2005, ’06?
Kailesh: Yeah. 2005.
Payman: Back then it was pioneering thing to do. And brave, courageous thing to do. And your dad must be proud of the two of you, looking at what you’ve done in both directions, it really is marvellous. He must have done something right to make you two as determined in the different ways that you are, right? And for you, Kai, I think it’s a shame if anyone thinks that you’re, I don’t know, up yourself or something. Because you’re one of the sweetest, kindest people I’ve ever met.
Payman: You’re actually quite the opposite of that. You’re a very sweet, kind person. And maybe it’s the bravado, maybe it’s the cars and watches that make people think that this guy is… maybe it’s that. But you’re one of the loveliest guys around. And I’m sure you’re lovely to your staff, and I’m sure you’re lovely to your patients. And at the end of the day, of course you’re fast, but in keeping those different communities happy is what makes a successful person, and [crosstalk 01:19:42]-
Kailesh: Yeah. And I do genuinely believe that. I believe my business has grown, my core staff have always stayed. The majority of them anyway. I’ve got my managerial team who have been with me 10 years plus. People don’t stay if they’re unhappy, so I’m hoping we can carry that on and they can grow with the business and grow with me for the years to come. But your team, you will only be as successful as your team around you. And I do genuinely believe that.
Kailesh: And do I look after my staff more than probably some owners, business owners? Yeah. Of course I do. But they are part of my family, they are part of the Kissdental family. And anyone that’s worked for Kissdental, whether they are working for still now or they don’t anymore, I would hope would say that same thing that regardless of anything else, when I had my time there, it was a happy time because Kai did treat everyone hopefully with [crosstalk] level respect.
Payman: It’s a special atmospheric, Kissdental, for sure, man. Special atmosphere when I’ve been there for sure. Prav likes to end it. I don’t know, Kai, if you listen to this podcast or not, but Prav likes to end it with one [crosstalk] quick little question.
Kailesh: [crosstalk] Go on. Go on.
Prav: So our kid, imagine it’s your last day on the planet. Oh, a bit emotional. Imagine it’s your last day on the planet, you’re surrounded by your kids, what three pieces of advice would you give them?
Kailesh: Difficult sometimes, isn’t it? You think you’re the be all end all. I’m my little son’s hero. Just this year he got me for my 40th a little key chain and it had Iron Man on it. I suppose I know no one really sees me upset and stuff, so I try not to, but I would probably say to you that the one piece of information I’d way to say to them is know that everything that they do in life they should do for themselves and they should do because that’s what they genuinely believe.
Kailesh: I’ve always done things, and some things I’m not proud of, some things I’m super proud of, but I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve made loads of wins in life, as well. And I want them to know that not everything is going to be a win in life, but be true to themselves really. I don’t want them to be dentists just because their daddy’s a dentist or anything like that. And I’d tell them to try to save a bit of money not like their dad, and try to maybe not buy too many shoes.
Kailesh: And then, I suppose just to know that try and love. I think my biggest sometimes downfall is I’m just too openhearted, and I love a lot, and I trust a lot. And sometimes that really does bite me in the ass. But would I change myself? No. Do I still trust people openly and wholeheartedly, yeah I do. And I think if you lose that as a quality, you become quite bitter. And so I would say to them, always see the best in people. I always have. And it’s served me well to the majority of time that I’ve been on this planet. So I’d still stand by that.
Prav: And finally, how would you like to be remembered in one or two sentences, if you were to say, “That Kailesh Solanki, he was…”
Kailesh: A fun loving guy, life and soul of the party, especially at the MSN conferences. Hopefully everyone’s had a reasonably good experience with me when they’ve been out. I try to make friends wherever I go. So I just want to be known as the guy that is that fun loving person. But past that, he’s good at what he does as well. I’m not a businessman as the first and foremost thing. I’m a dentist, and I have a passion for what I do. And I love what I do. And I want to be known for that.
Kailesh: I don’t want people to think, “He ran a great business,” or “Kissdental made loads of money,” but as a dentist he was a bit shit. That’s not what I want to be known as, and it’s not what I’ve pushed time and time again to be better at because I want to be known as a good dentist, someone that has mentored many people, and someone that I think when I do go out and I do party, or socialise, that I’m one of the nice guys out there.
Payman: Well, Prav’s a blubbering mess.
Kailesh: I know.
Payman: For once Prav didn’t make our guest cry.
Kailesh: I was nearly there. I was nearly there.
Payman: Well, it’s been a real pleasure having you, buddy. And really, we could do a part two and part three. I don’t think we even scratched the surface. But-
Prav: Not even close.
Payman: Not even close. Not even close.
Prav: [crosstalk] Not even close.
Payman: I’m sure we will do it again. Thanks a lot for doing it, man.
Kailesh: No, it’s my pleasure. Thanks, guys.
Prav: Cheers, bro.
Payman: [crosstalk] Take care, buddy.
Kailesh: All right.
Payman: See you soon.
Kailesh: Speak to you later. Bye-bye, bye-bye.
Payman: See you, man.
Outro Voice: 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.
Prav: Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this far, you must have listened to the whole thing, and just a huge thank you, both from me and Pay, for actually sticking through and listening to what we’ve had to say, and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.
Payman: If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.
Prav: And don’t forget our six star rating.