Dr. Trasi’s clinic, the goto place for looking good
If you are in the business of looking good, makeup and cosmetics is a must. Today general awareness on how to look good has gone up and there are a number of options for people in the market. Incision or surgical corrections are still not high on the list of options, but is certainly an option for people who would like to consider it. In cases where there is no choice but to undergo a surgical correction, the specialists are still called upon. And Mumbai, the land of dreams, has many such specialists. Each have their own set of privileged VIP customers, who rely on these specialists for helping maintain their fountain of youth.
YourStory recently caught up with one such specialist, who cannot reveal her clientele because of the sensitivity of the matter, but is a well-known name in the field of dermatology, venerology and leprology. Dr. Shrilata Suresh Trasi is a renowned doctor, who has been helping many celebrities, politicians and well-known people look good for the last 25 years. But something that not many know is her spirit of entrepreneurship. Dr. Trasi was a medical professor with many colleges in Mumbai including the famous Nair hospital and Rajawadi hospital. But an early marriage to a dentist at the age of 23 years, changed many things in Dr. Trasi’s life.
Introduction to skin
Dr. Trasi’s father-in-law was a respected skin specialist who used to consult well-known clients in the early days, much before plastic surgery or Botox became commonly known. After marriage, Dr. Trasi would visit her father-in-law regularly at the clinic and started working as an intern there. One thing led to the other and Dr. Trasi found her interest in skin growing day-by-day. “At college level, your theory and fundamentals becomes very strong, but you lack the practical experience and I was very keen on applying all that I had learnt over the years. I wanted to do something of my own,” says Dr Trasi.
After her internship, Dr. Trasi went to Pennsylvania in 1982 to study beauty and all things related to it. On her return to India, she introduced the concept of dermatosurgery in Nair hospital. She was also the first lady to be trained in the use of Botox from Hongkong. From teaching the subject to joining her father-in-law in his practice, was a smooth transition for Dr. Trasi. When she joined practice full-fledged in 1988, she introduced a lot of new age techniques. Skin polishing, peels for pigmentation, derma surgery, techniques for dealing with pimple and scars are some of the early techniques Dr. Trasi introduced at the clinic.
“It is very important to stay updated with new techniques in this profession. Every six months we have tried to offer something new to our customers and this strategy has been appreciated by all,” explains Dr. Trasi.
A growing client base
Varied techniques and the finesse with which Dr. Trasi treated her patients, soon spread through word-of-mouth and that has primarily been the way customers have found her. Today she has three clinics in Mumbai and also visits Ramakrishna Mission hospital, Asha Parekh hospital and is on the board of organizations like Indian Airlines and Air India.
Today the business of beauty is a very lucrative space and as a result a number of people have entered the space to make a quick buck, and Dr. Trasi like a purist is not too happy about the fact. “Many people are calling themselves skin specialist without actually having the qualification. So when customers tell me that your services are expensive, I tell them to go ahead and try the other and come to me if something goes wrong. I like taking care of complications created by others, it is a challenge for me,” smiles Dr. Trasi.
Dr. Trasi is now assisted by her daughter Dr. Shefali Nerurkar who has completed her MD in skin. Dr. Shefali is the third generation doctor to enter the space of skin in the family. Dr. Shefali had the option to choose other fields like gynecology or dentistry – the two other areas where she also had her expert family members. But her choice for skin emanates from the fact the she finds this space more challenging. “There are newer techniques coming up in this field constantly, which makes it an interesting space to be in. Besides treatment is the last stage of things. There is still a lot of learning and knowledge sharing that has to be done with patients,” says Dr. Shefali about what excites her about the space.
The mother-daughter relation
Dr. Trasi is very proud of her daughter and that was amply visible during the interaction. She is very proud of the fact that Dr. Shefali chose skin over the other options. “Shefali is a very obedient child and always has been,” smiles Dr. Trasi.
Reminiscing about her childhood, Dr. Shefali says, she has always seen her mother working and being busy. “At times we would miss her, like at the school’s annual function and such, but we knew she was doing something important,” says the daughter. While they continue to grow and expand their practice, Dr. Shefali is also open to the idea of corporatization of the Dr. Trasi brand. “If corporatization can help us serve more patients then we shall definitely look at it,” she says.
However one thing, both mother & daughter have stayed away from is being associated with any cosmetic or beauty brands. “I don’t think it would be right as doctors to say a particular product is good. There are a number of cosmeceuticals out there and we do recommend that to our patients as and when there is a need. But we cannot say one is better than the other,” says Dr. Trasi about the ethics. Ethics and principles are very important part of their profession and Dr. Trasi and Dr. Shefali attach a lot of value to that.