Pai’s wake-up call came when, as a teenager he failed to gain admission into his own family’s prestigious medical school. Later during his hospital administration fellowship in the US in 1996, he realised he could expand the existing family business further. In 2000, he set up the Manipal Education and Medical Group, which has integrated businesses in education, hospitals and healthcare services, as well as facility management. It runs six private colleges in Malaysia, Antigua, Dubai and Nepal, and a stem cell research company. Pai, 42, plans to start a venture capital fund that is aimed at women entrepreneurs.