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Sep
02

Blog 5: Reflection – My MBA

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As he prepares to return to study for his MBA after his Summer break, Nilesh Parmar reflects on the last few months of his time at Imperial College and all that he has learnt about running a business!

The entire dental team is continuously facing new challenges, from regulations and managing patient expectations, to keeping up-to-date with the latest techniques and product developments.  Additionally, many forget that the dental practice is a business and like any other business it needs to be well managed. However, after dental school, we leave with no formal training in business or economics, thus establishing and running your own practice can prove challenging.

This is why as a “Young Dentist” (not sure I can say that for much longer) I decided to embark on a 2-year MBA so that I could gain the necessary skills to run, manage and understand the practice(s) I work within.  So how have the past 6 months been? Eye opening, tiring, difficult, inspiring – all of the above!

Term one: When the going gets tough…

The College eased us into our first year, as we were introduced to the programme and I was looking forward to learning about Managerial Economics (that’s tough stuff), Financial Management and Accounting (even tougher stuff), Marketing Management (the fun stuff) and Organisational Behaviour (that’s scheduled for next term)!

It wasn’t too difficult to get back into the mindset of a student with the fancy iPad Airs we were handed and it certainly eased the blow when we were thrown into the accounting element of the programme. And oh boy, I now have a newfound respect for my accountant – it’s HARD! Do you know what a ‘deadweight loss’ is? What ‘gearing’ means? How do you work out EBITDA? Neither did I!!

It wasn’t long before we had our first group project, focusing on using KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to assess which of the UK supermarket chains an institutional investor should put their money into. It was a bit different to deciding if a tooth is hard to extract or not, but that’s why I enjoy doing my MBA, it’s completely different to what we do as dentists.

Term one concluded with this comment from my tutor. “If you think this term was difficult, wait until term two – You haven’t seen anything yet Nilesh!”  *Queue dramatic music*.

Term two: …the tough gets going!

It started on a positive; I passed my Harvard Quantitative Methods online course, however, I sometimes found myself asking, “Why am I doing this again?” Exams were looming and we had a lot of coursework due! But just before the Summer break my enthusiasm was reignited as we got stuck in with marketing and had to pitch a marketing plan for a product of our choice.

My group worked on a new Instagram based geo-tagging app called ‘Loci’, as we decided this might be easier to sell and promote to the crowd. We created a teaser video for our presentation, which we sent out to all group members via WhatsApp and delivered subtle messages to spark the interest of the audience. We used guerrilla marketing and had everyone downloading the app, giving anyone who did, some chocolate as a reward! Unfortunately though we were defeated!

So what have I learnt so far?
The MBA has broadened my horizons and made me think outside the box. We have had sessions on how to negotiate, about price structure and how to develop our knowledge further in team management. I certainly feel it’s becoming even more beneficial when I’m bringing the newly collected information back to the dental environment.

About the author

Dr Nilesh R. Parmar BDS (Lond) MSc (ProsthDent) MSc (ImpDent) Cert.Ortho was voted Young Dentist of the Year at the 2014 Dental Awards and Best Young Dentist in the East of England in 2009 at the Dentistry Awards. He is also voted 18 in this year’s Dentistry Top 50. He was shortlisted at the Private Dentistry Awards in the category of Outstanding Individual 2011 and received Highly Commended for Best Dentist South at the 2013 Dental Awards. 

Nilesh has a master’s degree in Prosthetic Dentistry from the Eastman Dental Institute and a master’s degree in Clinical Implantology from King’s College London. He is one of the few dentists in the UK to have a degree from all three London Dental Schools and has recently obtained his Certificate in Orthodontics from Warwick University. His main area of interest is in dental implants and CEREC CAD/CAM technology.

Currently studying for his MBA at Imperial College, London, Nilesh runs a successful seven-surgery practice close to London and is a visiting implant dentist to two central London practices. Nilesh has a never-ending passion for his work and is famed for his attention to detail and his belief that every patient he sees should become a patient for life. He offers training and mentoring to dentists starting out in implant dentistry, more information can be found on his website www.drnileshparmar.com.

Twitter: @NileshRParmar

Facebook: DR NILESH R. PARMAR

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