The choice that’s left Nauv smiling

Young Nauv Kashyap dreamt of becoming a surgeon. He also dreamt of providing financial security for his family – as soon as he could. 

It was this latter dream that won out. In Queensland, you need an undergraduate degree before you enter medicine and Nauv had chosen dentistry. Just as he graduated and was offered a place in the University of Queensland’s medical school, an opportunity arose to buy a dental practice where he’d been working part time. 

“I was at a big crossroads,” Nauv says. While he was still relatively young to buy his own practice, a little number crunching showed it was clearly a good price for the opportunity on the table.  

In the end, the practice’s growth prospects were too enticing. Born to Fijian parents who had immigrated to Australia, Nauv knew what it was to struggle financially and was determined to change his parents’ fortunes, sooner rather than later. 

“Money was always tight growing up. Buying a dental practice would give my entire family, including my parents, a lot of financial security. They weren't going to have to support me through four or five more years of medical school when they had already sacrificed a lot for my studies.”

Quick off the mark

Nauv was just 23 when he purchased his first dental practice. Fast-forward 10 years and it’s clear the investment has paid off. 

Over the past decade he’s started or bought 17 dental practices around South East Queensland as well as sold some. Having satisfied his surgical bent by training in wisdom teeth surgery and dental implants, Nauv’s also invested in advanced procedures, ensuring his practices have ultra-modern equipment to offer services like same-day caps and root canals. 

Rather than being overwhelmed by the size of his business empire, Nauv enjoys a relatively calm existence these days, his managers assuming day-to-day responsibilities. 

“I get involved when there's a big equipment purchase to be made, or if we're going to acquire a practice. But once we own them, their running needs very little input from me,” Nauv explains. “To be honest, that's one of the things that other people in the dental industry are always quite amazed at: the fact that we've got all these practices and my day-to-day is quite relaxed.”

“There's a lot of people out there happy to give you advice. You might think some successful people won't have a conversation with you, but usually they've become successful on the back of advice from others.”
- Dr Nauv Kayshap, Multi Practice Owner

The value of expert backing

There are a range of reasons for Nauv’s incredible success. One is his natural business sense. While dentists once had little call for such skills – having enjoyed a monopoly well into the 21st century – an exponential growth in competition now means the traditional patient base can’t be taken for granted. 

Nauv was up for the challenge, immediately looking for new ways to grow his business that had been largely unknown in the dental industry. As he notes: “The level of success that I've had is because I was probably one of the first people, especially in Southeast Queensland, to identify the opportunities that marketing and social media would bring our industry.”

Nauv’s also enjoyed a great deal of expert support along the way by “asking the right question of the right people at the right time”. As he explains: “There's a lot of people out there happy to give you advice. You might think some successful people won't have a conversation with you, but usually they've become successful on the back of advice from others, and when they get to the top they see it as a duty to give back.”

The entrepreneurial dentist has also had the backing of his bank, NAB – including its specialist financing arm, MedFin, opens in new window. The two have been there to finance both his personal and business goals over the years, putting time into understanding some of the bigger risks he’s taken. Furthering his connection, Nauv’s practices use NAB-owned HICAPS, opens in new window, the leading electronic claim and payment solution for the Healthcare sector.

That’s meant a lot to Nauv. “Because they’re specialist lenders, they learn about the equipment, they learn about the return on investment that certain pieces of technology can give to us. So when I ask for another $200,000 to fund another piece of equipment, they understand that equipment’s ROI and are happy to lend on that.”

In fact, meeting NAB Medfin banker Jason Savage was pivotal to Nauv’s rapid expansion. With the banker’s support, Nauv set up a second clinic just two years after buying his first. “When I look back, it was a massive leap,” Nauv says. “But then I met my NAB banker.”

In fact, Jason facilitated the financing of all Nauv’s subsequent clinics. “He’s been with me ever since – on the whole journey,” Nauv explains. The NAB banker is also part of the reason Nauv’s day to day stays under control, as he meets the dentist any time that suits him. “Night, day, after-work meetings – whatever I need. It’s been a real partnership.”

“Because they’re specialist lenders, they learn about the equipment, they learn about the return on investment that certain pieces of technology can give to us.” 
- Dr Nauv Kayshap, Multi Practice Owner

The next step: Finding meaning

Nauv hasn’t always had it easy and not so long ago had a crisis of confidence, wondering what his success was all for. 

Turning to a friend for advice, the dentist realised he needed to do something more; help others achieve the same success. After considerable thought, he decided to help his employees, particularly his senior staff, realise their own dreams. 

“I'm not talking dentists; dentists can buy into practices easily,” Nauv says. “I'm talking my practice managers – who have been integral in my success.” This was what gave Nauv the sense of purpose he needed. “For me, it's how can we be so successful in what we do as a business that all the senior staff who work for us enjoy an amazing life?”

Nauv’s now looking at different options, one idea being to give staff members equity in the business. Whatever route he takes, history shows there’s every reason to believe he’ll succeed.

Watch Nauv’s story

How a smiling dentist built his empire.

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