The first question you might ask Dr. Bharat Sangani when writing a profile on his business interests is, “How do you do it all?”
A native of Bombay, India, Sangani moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1988 and launched a practice in cardiology. Currently five cardiologists and five nurse practitioners provide care at the Coast Cardiology Center, which has offices along the Coast from Bay St. Louis to Ocean Springs.
In 1992, Sangani branched out into real estate, and now is involved in the ownership and management of 21 hotels across the Southeast. His development company, Encore Enterprises, also built the Lakeview Village development located on 150 acres just north of Interstate 10 that is now home to a Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, the recently opened 14-screen Cinema Theater and a number of other retail outlets and restaurants. Sales and property taxes from that development make up nearly half of the revenues for the City of D’Iberville.
That is a just a snapshot of his business interest — not all of them. And in his “spare” time, Sangani also finds time to pen a medical column for The Sun Herald that has now been picked up by a number of other newspapers.
A simple formula…
So, how does he do it all?
“The formula is very simple,” Sangani said. “Surround yourself with smarter people than you. Second, create a system of delegation and accountability. Everybody knows you should delegate, but very few people successfully delegate. Make sure that whatever you delegate is done appropriately, on time and in budget. Perfect delegations require controlling the quality, duration and resources of the project. I have developed a system with delegation with very strong accountability methodology.”
Sangani said his life is guided by three basic commitments: One, do your duty. Two, do not hurt anyone intentionally. Three, learn to be happy.
“Happiness cannot be bought, cannot be acquired and cannot be given by any one,” Sangani said. “You cultivate your own state of happiness from within. So, if you follow these three major rules, that is the formula for success.”
After moving to the U.S., Sangani went to medical school and did his cardiology fellowship and an internal medicine residency in Columbus, Ohio. He moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1988.
‘…the rest will follow’
“My initial goal was just to be a good doctor because my dad always used to say, ‘If you are a good doctor first, the rest will follow’,” Sangani said. “After I came to the Coast, I worked very hard to be a good physician and build up a good reputation. Once that was established and the Coast Cardiology Center was considered a premier group delivering cardiology services, I started into the real estate business.”
That was in 1992. And now Sangani’s Encore Enterprises has real estate developments not only in Mississippi, but throughout the Southeast. Since Sangani and his wife, Smita, began Encore Enterprises, the economy has had its ups and downs.
“We suffered through the stock market crash in 2000, and we suffered through 9-11,” Sangani said. “Those were two big negative factors. But I strongly believe you pick your profession, and you hang in there. All professions have cycles of up and down. You weather the storm through the down cycle, and then just wait and the up cycle will lift you. That has happened in every single sector we have representation in. We are primarily involved in the hospitality industry where we own and operate hotels, primarily the Marriot brand. We are now expanding into Hiltons and Intercontinental brands.”
About a year ago Pineapple Management Services, whose parent company is Encore Enterprises, purchased four Marriott Hotels in Indiana and Kentucky for a cost of $18 million. That is just one example of the far-flung investments of Encore Enterprises, of which Sangani is chairman and CEO. Pineapple Management Services has 375 employees in eight states.
The success of Pineapple Management Company hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2002, Pineapple Management Services was ranked one of the top 100 Management Companies in the United States by Hotel Business magazine.
No. 1 priority? Medicine
While it would seem his business interests alone would keep him busy most of the time, medicine still comes first.
“Medicine is the love of my life,” Sangani said. “Everything else just follows it. I will never cease to be a physician. The newspaper column I write for The Sun Herald is a just a small token of my appreciation for what the community has done for me. I wouldn’t be what I am today if the community had not supported me as a good physician. To my surprise, the column is now being used by several other newspapers across the nation. So who knows? It may become a national column one day.”
Sangani says no one should take heart disease lightly. He recommends that anyone over the age 40 should have some kind of heart evaluation annually including a stress test. He also recommends an aspirin a day for the 40-plus set, if the aspirin can be tolerated without stomach problems.
“And absolutely no exposure to tobacco in any size, shape or form,” Sangani said. “Next is a regular exercise program. And last is maintain an ideal body weight. If you do all of these things, you have significantly reduced your chances of having a heart attack.”
Contact MBJ contributing writer Becky Gillette at email@example.com.