The urge to help people, not to make money, is what drives Neena Kanwar.
Kanwar, who earned a bachelor of science degree, wanted to become a doctor but wasn’t accepted into medical school. Undeterred, she went back to school to become a nuclear medicine technologist.
After earning her diploma in 1981, she began a six-year stint at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto as a technologist, where she chose to specialize in cardiology testing because of a family history of heart disease. “It was the place where I thought I could make the most difference,” says Kanwar, 51.
She eventually tired of the commute from Mississauga to Toronto and decided to cash in her RRSPs and sell her home to help finance a small nuclear medicine testing facility. She and her husband, Vijay Kanwar (MBA 1997), began operating the facility in 1988.
From those modest beginnings, the Kanwars built the company, KMH Cardiology and Diagnostic Centres, into the largest provider of nuclear cardiology testing services in North America. With more than 250 employees working out of eight facilities in Canada, the company generated $28 million in revenues in 2009. A new facility opened recently in Baltimore, and three more in the U.S. and one in Dubai are slated to open later this year.
Kanwar says her firm’s success is built upon a commitment to quality patient care, short wait times and state-of-the-art technology. “For me, money is secondary,” she says. “It’s more important to do what I love doing.”