The power of collective vision

Oracare Group is one of the largest dental groups in South East Asia, operating over 40 clinics across Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Mr Leon Luia, the Group’s chief executive officer, and Mr Andy Cropp, chief financial officer, share the secret behind this success and how the company secures their position to become the largest dental group in the region in the coming years. 

The Oracare Group is one of the largest dental groups in South East Asia (SEA) and is the new holding company and international brand for a collection of successful national dental groups. In Singapore, the group operates under the Family Dental Centre (FDC) brand as well as the Expat Dental brand for serving the premium market. Further afield, the group has the market-leading brand, MOS Dental, in Thailand as well as a presence in Indonesia through Tawa Dental Studio. Additionally, in Singapore, Oracare operates a dental equipment and supply business called A2Z Dental and Medical Supplies.

Mr Andy Cropp, chief financial officer of Oracare Group, explained: “We decided to bring our respective dental businesses in the three countries closer together under a shared group brand with the tenet of ‘Stronger Together’. This group brand is Oracare Group.”

“Its introduction represents a further important step in both the professionalisation of our business and conveys our strengths and capabilities as a distinct group,” he added.

With the positive welcome from their partners, colleagues and other dental operators across SEA, the Group managed to continually upgrade their systems and governance structure over the last six years from a small local business to now a medium-sized international business.

Currently, the Oracare Group is helmed by Mr Leon Luia, a veteran with more than two decades of experience in public and private healthcare. In addition, the Group is backed by experienced healthcare investor, White Cloud Capital, which has invested significant capital into creating and developing the group over the last five years, expanding through both greenfield developments and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to create one of the largest dental groups in SEA.

“In Singapore, there were over 900 private dental clinics in 2020. A large proportion of these (estimated at 80%) is owned by individual dentists. As has been the case in dentistry and other healthcare sectors in the United States and Europe, there has been a clear trend of consolidation over the past decades, resulting in the development of substantial dental groups,” explained Mr Luia.

The White Cloud Capital saw this opportunity for the same consolidation in SEA and made its first investment at the start of 2016. According to Mr Luia, the investment firm chose to anchor the Group in Singapore given the country’s strong regional reputation for quality healthcare.

He shared: “From the outset, the vision was to develop a leading dental platform, so it invested early on to create a lean, professional corporate infrastructure to support dental clinic owners in their ambitions to scale and professionalise their practices as part of a group. I joined the Oracare Group in 2017 after buying into their vision and direction.”

As the chief executive officer, Mr Luia considers himself as the first among equals as the Group has a diverse senior management team.

“We all bring different skillsets and experience to the partnership and this is when we experience synergy –the whole is stronger than the sum of all parts. The camaraderie built up was tremendous and it was professionally satisfying. Besides the CFO and I, the other members are all clinicians as well as dental entrepreneurs,” he shared.

Hence, under his leadership, initial challenges in growth and expansion were overcome by rallying the team together and building a strong culture centred on teamwork guided by their core values (“PRIDE” which stands for Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Entrepreneurial); corporate and clinical governance; operating systems to enhance efficiency; and focus on excellent service.

Continue reading here. Published in Dental Asia January/February 2022 issue.