GNRC (formerly known as Guwahati Neurological Research Centre), the first super specialty healthcare centre in North East India, was established in 1987 by neurologist Dr. Nomal Chandra Borah. Born into the family of a marginal farmer in Sonitpur district of Assam, Dr. Borah has scaled professional and entrepreneurial heights through the sheer dint of his intellectual capability and indomitable spirit, steadfast in his pursuit of delivering ‘Health for All, Smiles for All’, through his social enterprises.
Dr. Nomal Chandra Borah received his medical degree from Guwahati Medical College in 1975 and joined the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi as Senior Resident, where he completed three years’ training in Neurology, leading to DM degree. In 1984, to address inadequate availability of quality healthcare in North East India, Dr. Borah decided to return to Assam and set up neurology clinic at Maligaon in Guwahati, which was known as Guwahati Neurological Research Centre (GNRC). On October 17, 1985 the clinic was registered as Guwahati Neurological Research Centre (Pvt) Ltd. In 1987, the first super specialty healthcare centre in North-East India – Guwahati Neurological Research Centre, in Dispur, was established. During this period, Dr Borah was guided by Dr. K V Mathai, well-known neurosurgeon from Vellore, who supported Dr. Borah in his endeavour. Dr. Mathai’s presence helped Dr. Borah to consolidate the vision of creating a centre of excellence in Neuroscience with clear goal of quality patient care, teaching, training and clinical research. In 1994, Guwahati Neurological Research Centre became a public limited company and on January 19, 2001, Guwahati Neurological Research Centre was registered as GNRC Ltd.
In 2004, Dr. Borah established Asian Institute of Nursing Education with the vision to provide quality education in nursing. It presently offers courses in B. Sc Nursing, Post Basic Nursing and M. Sc Nursing. In 2006, Dr. Borah established Medishop Retail Chain to facilitate employment for local youth. In 2008, Dr. Borah established another facility of GNRC in Guwahati – GNRC Sixmile.
In 2011, concerned that most private healthcare facilities, including those set up by him, were unaffordable for the majority of the population, while public healthcare facilities were over-burdened, Dr. Borah initiated determined efforts to formulate a model that enabled access to quality, affordable healthcare for majority of the population. He conducted numerous conversations with members of the local communities, in the attempt to understand the challenges they face in accessing affordable, quality healthcare. These conversations led to the formulation of an operating and service delivery model, which found its expression in GNRC Institute of Medical Sciences, which commenced operations in early 2014 at North Guwahati.
In the same year, this initiative by GNRC was recognized by the World Bank Group (WBG), through its India Development Marketplace (IDM) initiative, to receive a grant of US$150,000 to help scale its operating model. This campus, popularly known as GNRC Medical, provides affordable access to quality healthcare services through an ultra-low-cost model.