Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital (KNMH) is a non-profit, non-government trust organization that is managed by the Gandhi-Nehru family, India's premier political family which gave the country three generations of prime ministers. Members of the family continue to be at the helm of the board. The hospital specializes in the areas of Obstetrics and Gynecology (O&G) and Oncology and has several supporting departments. It is a very reputed hospital in Allahabad, in the highly populated state of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, and draws patients from nearby states, primarily from the Eastern part of India where infrastructure is largely underdeveloped, and from other developing countries such as Nepal and Bhutan. The hospital is endowed by the Trust. Due to its reach, it attracts funds from governmental and non-governmental agencies as an implementing agency for several of their health schemes and initiatives. The hospital operated independently and without a formal administrative structure for many years. Consequently, the governance as well as the efficiency of hospital operations had been going downhill for some time, with the result that patients were choosing other hospitals and nursing homes over KNMH. Decreasing revenues and inefficient operations led to operational losses. After the next generation of the Gandhi-Nehru family joined the governing board, there was some rethinking at the top about the way forward for the hospital. They decided that the time had come to manage the hospital professionally in order to be able to serve patients in a more efficient and effective manner. It was in this setting that Dr. Madhu Chandra, a pathologist and PhD, who had served at a corporate hospital (Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad), was appointed Chief Executive Officer of KNMH. Her goal was to streamline hospital operations and put it back on a growth trajectory.
This case could be used in courses related to corporate development and growth to apply the concepts that are primarily taught in the context of profit maximizing public corporations to a non-profit setting. This case can be taught after the class has covered the core concepts of corporate strategy, about mid-way through the course. It can be a good final closing case to test how far students have understood those concepts and whether they can apply them when the context of application changes.