The Inspiring Journey of Dr. Arokiaswamy Velumani: From 500rs to 5000cr

Dr Arokiaswamy Velumani’s life story is one of resilience, determination, and unyielding grit. From humble beginnings in a small village near Coimbatore to founding one of India’s largest healthcare diagnostic chains, Thyrocare Technologies, his journey is a beacon of inspiration for many. let's look into the life of a man who redefined the medical diagnostic industry in India.

Finding multibagger stocks is important for building wealth. Discover potential multi-baggers at Sovrenn Discovery.

Who is Dr Arokiaswamy Velumani?

Arokiaswamy Velumani is an Indian entrepreneur. He is the founder of Thyrocare Technologies Ltd. a chain of diagnostic and preventive care laboratories. He is also the founder of Nueclear Healthcare Limited, a radiology diagnostics company affiliated with Thyrocare. He is a great storyteller and public speaker.

Humble Beginnings

Velumani was born in April 1959 in a humble family. His father was a landless farmer in the village of Appanaickenpatti Pudur near Coimbatore. Velumani's early life was marked by extreme poverty. His father couldn’t afford to buy him a pair of pants or slippers. Despite these challenges, Velumani toiled hard to ensure that he and his siblings received an education. He used to travel 6 km to school daily, bicycle was a luxury item for him. Velumani’s mother played a significant role in his upbringing, teaching him to manage with limited resources and to avoid borrowing money.

Early Career Struggles

Velumani lacked both the resources and time to pursue his desire to study engineering. He decided to get a BSc, but it was 100 rupees more expensive than a He chose for 300 due to financial constraints. He studied for one month. His teacher Dr. K R Kartikayan, questioned him about it. Velumani explained everything to him, Dr Kartikayan took a hundred rupees out of his wallet and helped him to pursue BSc.

Velumani graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1978. He faced challenges in getting a job and failed in over 15 interviews continuously as he had no experience. That day he decided if he ever made a company he would only hire freshers. He began his career as a shift chemist at Gemini Capsules, a small pharmaceutical company in Coimbatore. 

Despite earning a meagre salary of Rs 150 per month, he sent Rs 100 home every month, keeping only Rs 50 for himself. However, his life took an unexpected turn when the company shut down after three years, leaving him jobless and uncertain about his future. 

Investing has built huge wealth for several HNI investors. Learn investing FREE OF CHARGE at Sovrenn Education

During this period, Velumani frequented the Central Library in Coimbatore, where he came across a job posting for a scientific assistant at the prestigious Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai. Despite a setback due to a medical assessment that found him to have colour blindness, he was eventually accepted for the position.

In 1982, he took a train from Kanyakumari to Mumbai and reached to the city of Dreams. His work at BARC involved thyroid testing, a field that would later become the foundation of his entrepreneurial journey.

He was so much liked by his would-be father-in-law. He wanted him to marry her daughter. He frequently visited Velumani to discuss the proposal. To avoid these visits, Velumani asked his landlady to tell the father-in-law that he was not at home. After telling five or six lies, the landlady refused to continue. Consequently, Velumani requested to meet the daughter for an hour. The father-in-law agreed and arranged the meeting.

During their hour-long conversation, He spoke for 55 minutes and there was complete silence for 5 minutes. Velumani presented several conditions to the girl and asked her if she agreed to them then only they could marry.

That evening, the girl's father came to Velumani, She said yes to marriage. Velumani and the girl got married in 1986 and have two children. Everything was going smoothly, they were enjoying their lives.

One day, Velumani reflected on his life, asking himself, “Jeene aaya ya jeetne?” (Did I come to live or to win?), and “Bada banna hai ya buddha banna hai?” (Do I want to become great or merely grow old?). He realized that if he wanted to live such a life, he could do so in Coimbatore as well. 

Also Read About Goyal Aluminium Share Price Target: A Tale of Wealth Destruction

He felt that coming to Mumbai should be about taking risks and striving for more. Assessing his savings, Velumani found they had enough to cover 40 months of family expenses. Since his wife was also employed with SBI, he decided to resign from his job and start something of his own.

His wife observed him worried and inquired about the reason. After Velumani explained everything, she responded, “Agar tum nahi jaoge to me bhi nahi jaungi” (If you don't go, I won't go either). Velumani replied, “Chalo sath me jeete hai sath me marte hai” (Let's live together and die together). Consequently, the couple resigned from their jobs on the same day, their children were just 5 and 3 years old.

The Birth of Thyrocare

After 14 years at BARC and having completed his doctoral program in thyroid biochemistry, Velumani pursued his entrepreneurial dreams. In 1995, with Rs 1 lakh pooled from his provident fund, he set up a testing facility in Byculla, Mumbai, to detect thyroid disorders. His vision was to make thyroid testing affordable for India’s poor, offering services at a fraction of the market cost.

Building a Billion-Dollar Company

Thyrocare’s business model was based on aggregating samples from numerous labs and processing them centrally, achieving economies of scale. By keeping prices low and focusing on operational efficiency, Thyrocare quickly grew. The company expanded from thyroid testing to preventive health checkups and other diagnostic services, establishing a vast network of collection centres across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Middle East.

In 2016, Thyrocare went public, with its initial public offering (IPO) being oversubscribed 73 times. By 2020, Thyrocare had posted revenues of Rs 474 crore and profits of Rs 119.7 crore, making it one of the most profitable companies in the healthcare diagnostic sector in India.

The Decision to Sell

In June 2021, Velumani made headlines when he decided to sell his 66 % stake in Thyrocare to PharmEasy’s parent company, API Holdings, for Rs 4,546 crore. This move was one of the first instances of a startup buying a listed company in India. Velumani saw great potential in the deal and believed that PharmEasy could take the company to new heights. He retained a 4.9 % stake in API Holdings, making him an integral part of the new venture.

Also Read About Anmol Singh Jaggi: Gensol Promoter's Journey from Risk to Reward

Life Beyond Thyrocare

With the proceeds from the sale, Velumani now plans to focus on investing in new ventures. His journey is an inspiration to many, demonstrating that with determination and perseverance, one can overcome any obstacle and achieve greatness.

Journey of Dr. Arokiaswamy Velumani.png

Who is the wife of Dr Arokiaswamy Velumani?

Sumathi Velumani is the wife of Arokiaswamy Velumani. She was her backbone in his entire journey.

Velumani lost his wife 50 days before listing IPOs due to pancreatic cancer stage 4. He says she was the main lead of the entire journey. He is often seen talking about his wife who taught him so many things and always supported him in his ups and downs.

What is the Net worth of Dr Arokiaswamy Velumani?

There is no such official data is available about his income. Dr Arokiaswamy Velumani's net worth is estimated to be 5000 cr in 2021 after selling his shares. Recently, he also lost some money in startups.

Dr. Velumani’s legacy extends beyond his business achievements. His philanthropic approach to business, focus on cost-efficiency, and vision to make healthcare affordable have left a lasting impact on the industry. He has shown that true success is not just about financial gains but also about making a difference in people’s lives. He often suggests young entrepreneurs to focus on what they want to do. He says "Suno Sabki Karo Apni" .


Dr Arokiaswamy Velumani’s journey is a remarkable tale of overcoming adversity, embracing innovation, and achieving extraordinary success. His story serves as a powerful reminder that no dream is too big and no obstacle too great for those who dare to pursue their passions with unwavering dedication.

Also Read: Zoho's Rise from 0 Funding: Sridhar Vembu’s Journey of Making 8700 cr Company

Written By Manvi