Thulasiraj Ravilla

Executive Director, LAICO & Director Operations – Aravind Eye Care System

Mr. Thulasiraj Ravilla began his career with Berger (then British) Paints in 1973. However, he has been working in the field of eye care since 1981 at Aravind Eye Care System. He is an active member of the leadership team that established a sustainable, scalable model of service delivery which serves all strata of the society. In 1992, he shifted his focus to capacity building, training and consultancy by setting up the Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology (LAICO) which has worked with over 350 hospitals in India and across the globe.

With his expertise in setting up culturally relevant solutions to address avoidable blindness, he serves as an Advisor on several national and international bodies: he was the South East Asia’s Regional Chair for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (2000-2005) and was 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.

Mr. Thulasiraj is actively involved in several research activities, both clinical and operations research. He has authored/co-authored over 100 articles in peer reviewed publications, book chapters and presented papers in several National and International forums.

He is or has been on the Board of Aurolab, Sify, Acumen Fund, Dhan Foundation, Seva Foundation, IIHMR, Gandhigram Institute of Rural Health and Family Welfare and Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta. 

Mr. Thulasiraj’s contribution to the field of eye care especially its management has been well recognized:  he was named a Social Entrepreneur in May 2005 by the Schwab Foundation and at the invitation of the World Economic Forum he attended their annual meeting for several years at Davos, Switzerland. He was adjudged as the Administrator of the Year in 2008 in the annual activity carried out by Modern Medicare and GE Health. The Chinese Ophthalmological Society in recognition of the support to Chinese ophthalmology and outstanding contributions to the prevention of blindness in China has given the International Gold Award for the year 2009. Was an invited speaker at the TED Conference, India in 2009. Listed amongst the 30 most influential people in public health globally and recognized as the ‘Most inspiring Healthcare Leader of the year’ by Times of India – both in 2014. He was honoured as the distinguished alumni by Indian institute of Management – Calcutta in 2018.

Other information:

MBA, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (1971-73)

Visiting Scholar – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA (1982 – 83); U Penn (2019)

Visiting faculty: University of London – London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Invited Panelist: World Economic Forum at Davos –2007, 2008 & 2009as a Schwab Fellow