Prof Laxminarayan is an editor of the Disease Control Priorities for Developing Countries, 3rd edition. He has served on a number of advisory committees at the World Health Organization, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US National Academies of Science/Institute of Medicine. In 2003-04, he served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Economics of Anti-malarial Drugs and subsequently helped create the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria, a novel financing mechanism for antimalarials. In 2011, he created the Immunization Technical Support Unit that supports India’s Universal Immunization Programme. The Unit is responsible for supporting India’s ambitious goals of expanding routine immunization coverage and of creating a modern vaccine delivery and financing system that meets the needs of India’s 120 million children under five. Prof Laxminarayan also directs the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington DC, and is a Research Scholar and Lecturer at Princeton University.
My Definition Of Success | Success, to me, is achieving the freedom to do and think about what one wants to each and every day and to wake up every morning excited about the day that lies ahead. Being an academic, success (by that definition) came early. Anyone can be successful as long as they are clear about what that means. I have always believed in taking life one day at a time and that has worked well for me.
I Am Driven By | A responsibility that comes from having been given an education and the means to contribute in a small way in this world but a limited time in which one can do it.
My Highlights | My wife and three children are certainly the highlights of my life. Professionally, back in 2005, we had the opportunity to put in place a fund that would pay to reduce the retail price of high quality antimalarial drugs in the retail sector all around Africa. Getting that from an idea to a $350 million fund was a high point. This program has produced lasting change for millions of people. In 2014, I was able to help initiate Mission Indradhanush, a national campaign to improve routine immunization coverage in India. That effort has already fully immunized two million children in the last four months and will get India to 90% full immunization coverage in the next two years.
A Key Talent | Most of what constitutes success is just showing up. If I carefully examine the challenges of any task I set out to do and my own qualifications for taking it on, then it appears very daunting. But we all grow in the process of doing things we didn’t know how to do before and that to me is a seriously undervalued talent that each of us possesses.
Principles I Live By | To me, being happy is a practice and not an end objective to be achieved at some later point in life. If I can’t get out of bed everyone morning excited and happy about what lies ahead, its important to examine if that’s what I should be doing.
Performing At My Peak | I take the time to sleep, meditate, read and rest to match the pressures of working hard. We are all at risk of doing too much and I take two weeks off every year to do pretty much just wind down.
The Meaning Of Life | I think the meaning of life is that we are visitors on this planet for a very, very short time and it’s simply too short to do much other than to be happy, and give what we can to each other.
Advice On Building Wealth | Do what makes you happy and fulfilled. Everything else will follow.
I Am Inspired By | Nelson Mandela’s life has inspired us all. If one can be courageous in the face of what he had to face, the challenges that most of us face are no less surmountable.