Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The blue pill - 2

(This is the second part of the short story The Blue Pill. You can find the entire story here.)

It was about a week after the middle molecule experiment. Dr. Achinta Roy woke up at around 5. He washed up and then opened his laptop to check his email. There was an email from an Indian guy in  Babylon Corporation requesting an appointment. This could be interesting, thought Dr. Roy. He responded immediately asking them if 10 a.m. the next day would be ok.

Babylon Corporation was a manufacturer of dialysis equipment. They also had dialysis clinics in some parts of the US and were soon expanding to other countries as well. They were neck deep in competition with Planet Renal Incorporated who were one of the US' big dialysis center chains. Both were headquartered in the US but were eager to build their presence outside the US as well.

By mid-day, Dr. Roy got a confirmation for the 10 a.m. meeting the next day. Dr. Roy spent the rest of the day giving finishing touches to his paper presenting the latest results from his device and sent it off to the American Society of Nephrology journal for review.

The next day at 10, as Dr. Roy was sipping his cup of coffee, his secretary ushered two suit-clad men into his cabin.

"Good morning Dr. Roy!"

"Good morning!"

"Satish Raju", said one of them as he handed out his card. Dr. Roy couldn't help smiling at the rather flashy business card he was given. It looked more like an entertainment company's rather than a dialysis provider's!

"Kanwal Nambiar", said the other as he presented his card. Another Babylon card.

"Nice to meet you gentlemen. What can I do for you?"

Satish Raju began by indulging in some small talk by enquiring where Dr. Roy had done his MBBS and then mentioned that he had been with Babylon for the past seven years. He had moved to India recently and had assumed charge as the President of Indian Operations. Kanwal Nambiar was the Vice President for Marketing and had only recently joined Babylon.

Raju then got to the point.

"Dr. Roy, we have been closely following your new dialysis device. As you know Babylon is one of the world leaders in dialysis equipment. It is natural that we would be interested in any device that would eventually improve the quality of dialysis being offered and benefit patients."

"Yes, of course", said Dr. Roy, "I have been very excited about the possibilities this new device brings to dialysis treatments. I am sure you know that I alone and my little team here can do only so much. To take this device to the masses, it would definitely need the power and the money that corporations such as yours have. I fully realize that."

"I am glad you see that Dr. Roy! So, you would be open to some kind of partnership on this device, wouldn't you?"

"Yes, of course."

"Do you have any thoughts on the broad parameters of such a partnership?"

"Oh no, none at all! You see I am new to all this. You could talk to me about how the device removes water or you could talk to me about how the device consumes very little power. About other things, I have no clue! However, I have some friends who know more about this than I and I would like to get them involved when we start talking."

"Oh yes, absolutely! That makes sense."

The men exchanged greetings and left.

Dr. Roy was visibly excited. Finally, his device would get to the actual beneficiaries - the patients.

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