Dr Akhil Reddy is one of the leading practitioners at MB2 Dental, a dental service firm that offers dentists the resources and capacity to practice in many parts of the United States. It has been a long road for the good doctor, and his portfolio will attest to that. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Dr. Reddy was pretty much your ordinary kid, working hard at school and becoming involved in soccer, scouting and was a longtime member of the Red Cross. The young Reddy always knew that he wanted a career that would allow him hands-on application, and dentistry was a prime choice.
The University of the Pacific accepted the poised Akhil into their Accelerated Dental Program at a very young age, and it was at this institution that he earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences. He quickly joined the doctorate class in the same institution, earning himself a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, receiving the honors at the impressive age of 23. Upon graduation, the dentist decided to head back to Dallas, Texas, where he established a practice. Since then, he has been pretty much a part of the landscape. At some point in his career, he broadened his scope to include a harmonized provision of dental services to patients at all levels, which is how he is now an influential member of MB2 Dental.
A little about MB2 Dental
This institution was started by Dr. Chris Steven Villanueva, DMD in 2009. Its premise is the idea that dentists practice better when riding on a strong affiliation, and this is pretty much what it does. It now has over 75 employees and 60 dental offices spread across the country.
We touched base with Dr Akhil Reddy, and below he tells all about his business acumen, inspirations, and habits that have made him the successful man he is today.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
Well, I think I always had it in me, really. From a young age, I was always interested in the practical aspects of life, and I felt like dentistry or engineering were the fields I would generally fit well in. In school, things became a lot clearer, and I knew I was destined to be a dentist. My inspiration stemmed from a need to help, and once I graduated from the University of the Pacific, I knew that this is what I wanted to do.
Did you have any doubts starting out? How did you overcome that?
While I wouldn’t say that I doubted the capability of my ideas to take off, I will admit that there were challenges I had not anticipated that cropped up. Some of them had to do with staffing, while others were from a capital-revenue angle. Even when things became tough, I simply soldiered on with the belief that everything would look up.
How do you earn your living?
Most of it is hands-on dental work. I’m really a dentist, and my work is based around the practice. Consultancy is also another one of my revenue streams. If you are looking for me, your will find me either at the practice or in my office.
How long did it take for you to turn a profit?
Way too long, I’ll tell you that. When I started out, I was fresh from the university-pretty young too! After some time, I bought a practice and then had to sell it at a loss because it wasn’t going in the direction I wanted. I did eventually turn a profit in the end, but I burnt my fingers along the way. The lessons from those early times have come in handy.
How did you get your first customer to walk in the door?
When I came back to Dallas, I went right into business. Most of my original patients came via word-of-mouth marketing. When the internet became part of daily life, I used it to the fullest as well. I would say my first customer heard’ about us.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We make extensive use of the internet, gathering analytics and allowing our existing and would-be patients to provide feedback so we can repurpose our methods around their needs.
What is the one decision that kept you up at night over the last few months?
In the last few months, not much. Most of the delicate calls were made years back when things were a little blurry and I was trying to bed in. Selling that practice I talked about earlier comes to mind.
What do you believe is responsible for your success?
I care deeply about those who work below me. I believe that a well-understood and motivated set of employees will move boulders for you. As such, I listen to what employees have to say and encourage them to be better at what they do.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Seeing myself grow in this field; from baby steps to the massive operation we have here at MB2 Dental. It has been a thing of beauty.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I just want to keep helping out when it comes to rolling out dental health care service plans that do not discriminate against patients based on their socioeconomic status.
What business books have inspired you?
My source of inspiration is not business-oriented per se; Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ takes the prize any day.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
I bought a bunch of educative audio books that I listen to in the car. When stretched for time, but in traffic on the commute to and from home audio books are not only an interesting way to spend the ride home, but also provide a wealth of knowledge I might not have been privy to if I had waited to read the book.
What is your work-life balance like?
8 hours of work on weekdays, half-day on Saturdays. I steal the rest of the time to be with the fiancé, my family and of course, my Border Collie.
Here is how you can connect with Dr. Reddy online:
Dr. Akhil Reddy on Twitter @drakhilreddy
Dr. Akhil Reddy on Instagram
Dr. Akhil Reddy on Facebook
Connect with MB2 Dental on Facebook