In this second article, Zuber Bagasi shows just how effectively the strategy and ethos behind the
Joint Venture Partnership can be tweaked and pivoted to compliment an existing, more established
practice for associate dentists.
s a practice owner and clinician myself, I know all too well, the struggle of balancing the many
duties of a multi-role dentist.
Whilst we have been developing the JVP model for over a decade, ensuring that each element of the
strategy works in harmony with the rest, allowing our associates to step up and to invest in our
existing practices or procure new brand new facilities, the whole pandemic allowed us to take a
step back, assess the situation and think slightly differently.
As an existing practice owner, you might have built a really strong practice over the years, you
would have obviously put a lot of hard work into what you do, you’ve secured a loyal patient base
and cultivated staff within the practice you have looked after. Now this pandemic hits and there is
a lot of stress and uncertainty. Anxiety within the industry is surely through the roof.
Immediately, a lot of questions came to mind. What is the future of dentistry? Both NHS and
do you do? What are your options? Option one is to ignore everything, imagine nothing has happened,
try to follow the regulations and advice that’s been offered by the CDO as closely as possible and
just carry on as much as you can. Option two is to throw in your towel, enough is enough, and sell
on to an
associate, to other corporates or an incoming buyer. These have been the two main mindsets I have
come across when speaking to colleagues across the industry. I know that a lot of practice owners
are thinking ‘I’ve had enough, I want to sell up, I want to have an easy life, I want to see my
children grow up, I want to spend time with my family’.
But there is a third option, an option that diverged from the Joint Venture Partnership model. In a
situation where an owner doesn’t really want to sell up, and they feel they
have had their hand forced with all the new regulations, difficulties, and uncertainties. The
option we propose is that you, as a practice owner, would keep your brand identity, keep your
practice, you would retain full ownership and you can allow us, with the experience
that we have, to take over the running of your practice and support you whilst you either stay in
the practice and continue with the work you love or even take a back seat.
Within a Joint Venture Management model, we will do just that, exactly like the Joint Venture
Partnership model except for the
fact that we don’t have an equity within your practice. Taking care of the nuances of practice
ownership, allowing you to focus on your career and your patients. We’ll do everything for you,
marketing, HR, recruitment, training,
appraisals, we’ll handle the operational aspects of practice management for you whilst you sit back
and get involved as little or as much as you want. Allow your practice, yourself and your staff the
room that’s required sometimes and when you are ready to step back in, whether that be in a
clinical or managerial capacity, that’s absolutely fine, you can.
The Joint Venture model that we’ve developed has allowed each practice that we handle to increase
its revenues, its turnover, its EBITDA. One possible outcome could be for you to have it valued
two, three years down the line and your EBITDA will have improved, your value will have improved,
then exit at that point. This strategy is
something very new to dentistry, but I believe it is an exciting offering for the professional and
I say to all practice owners looking for options ‘There is another way’.
Our Joint Venture Management model can be tailored and customised to suit the individual and will
be negotiated on a case-by case basis. For example, it might
be that practice owners want to allow us to invest in their practice as a 50/50 partner or even a
20% partner, or even a 70% partner, whatever you feel comfortable with. It might be that practice
owners want to fully sell their practice and remain on as an associate,
BDJ IN PRACTICE | VOL 34 | ISSUE 2
IN DEPTH: PERSPECTIVES
‘It’s exciting times and it’s
refreshing to see the work that we have dove over the last decade has been very successful over the
wider healthcare economy and has finally been brought into dentistry after rigorous trial and
whatever it is, this Joint Venture model that we have created will work for you.
It’s exciting times and it’s refreshing to see the work that we have dove over the last decade has
been very successful over the wider healthcare economy and has finally been brought into dentistry
trial and testing. The central support network that we have developed, human beings, all very well
supported, trained, and nurtured to provide the level of skill and attitude that the centralised
team require. Supported by the system they operate in, with bespoke software developments, whether
that’s through our accredited, IDDA award-winning training platform, as well as our business
management solution, SynPro which allows practice owners access to all the governance, accounts and
marketing at their fingertips. As a partner and practice owner, you will have your stats available
as a live feed at the touch of a button, in real-time. All your accounts data, your marketing, all
your governance and your compliance with the CQC, everything is available instantly.
The systems we have developed are
of course, the backbone of all our Joint Ventures. In the last article I explained that the
genesis of our Joint Venture philosophy was heavily inspired by outside
elements, away from the dental industry, the development and ethos behind our systems has been no
different. Take a brief look at the aviation industry and you will find that a pilot will probably
only physically fly a plane for just a few minutes during take-off and landing, the rest of the
time the plane
is on auto-pilot. But nonetheless, there is still a rigorous checklist involved to make sure safety
is paramount. Look into how the automotive industry is becoming ever more automated, from the
robotic manufacturing process, testing and development,
onboard computers keeping an eye on the functionality of the vehicle, right up to the cars
themselves driving autonomously. It is clear to see that the world is becoming less and less
reliant on human interaction in order to work for us and we believe dentistry, down to the
individual practices and associates, has to pick up that pace and keep up with that innovation if
we are to survive.
The systems of appraisals, of HR, of governance, all these things that normally weigh us down and
take us away from the face-to-face needs of our patients, we as dentists really need to have
systems in place to make that behind-the-scenes process more automated and compliant. We believe
that our JVM model is the perfect gateway to that future. Stress free and enabling the kind of
growth and development practice owners dream of. We at Synergy understand that the bottom line is
always very important but we have shown that each and every practice that we have ran, the
partnerships that we have cultivated, the practices have flourished and it’s something that we feel
you as a practice owner should benefit from too.
As mentioned previously, I am still a busy, practicing clinician even with all the responsibilities
of being the CEO and operational head of the Synergy Dental
Group. I feel it is a testament to the success of these systems and the centralised team that I am
able to maintain the face-to-face interaction with my patients that I love
as well as having a full and rewarding life outside of work, spending time with my family, engaging
with my hobbies and enjoying the fruits of my labour.
Alongside the support behind-the-scenes, as part of a JVM partnership, practice owners will benefit
from all the advancements in technology and procedures a member of
the Joint venture Partnership would. A fully stocked, cutting edge upgrade to your surgeries to
enable a smoother workflow, more predictable outcomes and the ability to embrace the latest
techniques and more importantly, you and your fellow associates
continue to enjoy and maintain your passion for your career.
If you feel that either the JVP or JVM models we offer may be of some benefit to you, we’d love to
hear from you. ◆