Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Off hours: Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi chief executive

Clancey Po switches off from work the moment he steps out of the office to walk home at the end of the day.
Clancey Po, chief executive of Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
Clancey Po, chief executive of Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Clancey Po is the chief executive of Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi. Originally from India, he considers Toronto, Canada as home. He arrived in the UAE in 1993, and has spent 16 of the past 21 years here. Mr Po, 45, started work at Burjeel just over three years ago.

What are your favourite things to do on the weekend?

I watch lots of television but it’s between three channels: BBC, CNN and a little bit of the local news. My children call me boring because I watch the same news again and again. I also read a lot of newspapers. I like going out for long walks; I have a dog – a beagle called Dexter – so part of my contribution at home is that I have to walk the dog.

What do you consider to be your favourite hobby?

I love reading. The last book I read was Jack Welch’s Winning. It gives you a lot of interesting details on how to manage a large corporation. Jack Welch is definitely one of my favourite management gurus.

What can’t you live without?

My family. My family consists of my wife of 21 years and my two lovely children. One is 19 years old, Denis, and he is currently in Canada at the University of Waterloo doing a double degree in maths and business. The younger one is Clyde who is currently with us here in Abu Dhabi. He is 13 and in Grade 9 at Cambridge International School.

What do you consider the secret to your success?

I would attribute it to three points. One is hard work; the only way you can achieve success is through hard work. I also have a very supportive wife; she is a homemaker and she is the one that takes care of everything else so I can spend more time on the business. And my parents; they have given me the right guidance in terms of ethics and hard work.

What advice would you offer others starting out in your business?

There is no shortcut to success. The harder you work, the luckier you get. I always tell my staff that if you really want to make a mark in life, you cannot become a clock gazer; you have to work hard and you have to work smart. Most of my managers end up working 10, 11 hours per day, six days a week. Three years ago, if you googled the world “Burjeel” there was no Burjeel anywhere in the world. Today, we have four Burjeels and we have 10 more coming up and that’s because of the hard and smart work we have done.

How do you achieve a work-life balance?

Everything is very subjective when it comes to work-life balance. One can go home and sleep and have a complaining wife and complaining kids, but as soon as I reach home I forget about work. I switch off very easily and can spend quality time with my kids. I live very close to the hospital so quite often my wife walks with the dog to pick me up. So right from the hospital steps I am connected to the family. Often, by the time I reach home – which is 8 or 9 o’clock in the evening – my younger son is there studying, so I get involved immediately. Just before it’s time to sleep I call my son in Canada and find out what he’s doing.

How do you relax after the working day?

I like my walks with the family. When it’s summertime I like going to the gym and, again, my wife is quite often there with me.

If you weren’t the chief executive of this company what else would you be doing?

Health care is in my blood. Even if I think IT, I think health care; if I think food business, it’s patient meals. I cannot think of any other business but health care. I love my job, I love working here, and that’s the reason I am here. I happened to join a healthcare company at the age of 21. Since then I have never left that field – minus the year I was not in health care in Canada; I got a huge opportunity in a bank but I never liked it there, and after a year I left. Otherwise I was always in health care and that’s my forte, particularly private health care. If I wasn’t CEO I would have a huge garden. Now, I have a very small lawn but I end up planting flowers and things. If I do retire, I will probably spend a lot of time gardening. I love gardening.


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Updated: January 1, 2015 04:00 AM