Mr. Thulasiraj has been working in the field of eye care for over 25 years. An IIM Calcutta graduate, Mr. Thulasiraj joined Aravind Eye Care System in 1981as their Administrator and soon after spent a year studying Hospital and Health Management at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Since then, he has been part of the leadership team that built Aravind into the world’s largest provider of eye care. During the fifteen years he spent as the administrator, he was instrumental in establishing a sustainable, scalable model of service delivery that has since been studied and replicated by providers across the globe. In 1992, he shifted his focus to capacity building, training and consultancy by setting up the Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology which by 2007, had worked with over 220 hospitals across the globe.
With his expertise in setting up culturally relevant solutions to the problem of avoidable blindness, he has served as an Advisor on several national and international bodies: he was the South East Asia’s Regional Chairman for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (2000-2005) and the Founder President of Vision 2020 The Right to Sight: India. He has been a Technical Advisor to India’s National Programme for the Control of Blindness and to the World Health Organization. He is a visiting Faculty for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and many other Business Schools across the world.
Mr. Thulasiraj has been actively involved in several research activities, both clinical and operations research. He was the principal investigator in a first-of-its-kind study that evaluated the barriers to cataract surgery. He has also designed several clinical studies such as the Rapid Epidemiologic Assessment of Cataract blindness for planning eye health services and was closely involved in a study to assess the impact of adequate intake of Vitamin A on morbidity and mortality trends of preschool children in South India, and a randomized clinical trial to evaluate long term outcomes of PC IOL implants.
Mr. Thulasiraj has authored/co-authored several articles in peer reviewed publications and presented papers in several National and International forums.
Mr. Thulasiraj’s contribution to the field of eye care has been well recognized all over the world: he was named a Social Entrepreneur in May 2005 by the Schwab Foundation. He was felicitated with the honorary Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club. For the past 3 years he has been representing eye care at the World Economic Forum as Davos.