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The Big Story

'Social enterprises' rise in Asia amid skepticism

New breed of company aims to help the world -- and make money

TOMOMI KIKUCHI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

BANGALORE -- Wearing blue surgeon's scrubs as he chats with a heart patient from Bangladesh, Dr. Devi Shetty hardly looks like a typical corporate chairman. But there is little about Shetty and the hospital group he founded, Narayana Health, that is typical.

In addition to his roles as founder and chairman, Shetty, 64, performs heart surgeries every day at Narayana's Bangalore cardiac facility, just one in a network of hospitals and specialty clinics the company runs across India. Among the mementos in his office is a photo of him with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa, whom he served as a personal doctor. A quote on his desk reads: "The world's biggest problems are also the world's biggest business opportunities."

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