Let’s meet the Brand Ambassador of Manipal’s American University of Antigua College of
Medicine, the cricket legend, Sir Vivian Richards. He is as charismatic in his brand-new avatar
as he is in his avatar of the legendary cricketer. It was a cold, wet, breezy afternoon in
Hyderabad on 17th December 2018, that I have had my lifetime’s opportunity to have tea with
Sir Vivian Richards the way he loves it, the Indian way that is. And I am mighty bowled over
by his humility and sense of humour.
The fearless and ferocious player is performing an unmatched job of being the Ambassador
of American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine, a part of Manipal Education and
Medical Group (MEMG), India’s largest higher education and healthcare service provider.
The ‘Made for Medicine’ Tour in India with Sir Vivian Richards is one of Manipal Education
and Medical Group’s universities initiatives to reach out to aspiring medical students inviting
them to learn about one of the most prominent medical schools in the Caribbean.
As one of the most celebrated cricket legends, and as a native of the Caribbean, Sir Vivian
Richards role in promoting the college and his home country was passionately evident in the
chat I have had with him after enjoying the tea. I was enamoured when he said, “Because of
my connection with cricket and India, it was just easy for me to become the salesperson”!
He sold it to me! The 365 beaches, the vibrant and welcoming people, and an impressive
facility for the students coming from all over the world for furthering their education. He
emphasized on how the environment is conducive for learning and safe as well as enjoyable
for the students, for the parents to feel relaxed about sending their children to AUA. He
endorsed it by saying, “The students couldn’t be in a better environment, and the native of
the island says so”.
This is the destination for aspiring students who are focused on taking up medicine and
acquiring a global doctorate degree as well as turning out to be well-rounded doctors that we
so much need. In a nutshell it is ‘The Medical Institution’ that provides ‘quality medical
education’ for preparing ‘world-class physicians’ who can practice anywhere in the world.
AUA that was founded in 2004 with the commitment towards advancement in the field of
medicine, is one of the only three medical schools in the Caribbean to gain the distinction of
being approved, accepted, recognized and accredited by a diverse international medical
education authorities or bodies, including the U.S. Department of Education, the UK General
Medical Council and the Medical Council of India, among others.
Mamta Purbey, Executive Director of Enrollment Management & Institutional Analytics and
Joshua R James, Associate Director of Admissions – India, with Sir Vivian Richards are a great
team. Their passion in sharing all the information about AUA with the press as well as
aspiring students and their parents during the event was evident thoroughly. They
emphasized on the fair practices followed in the enrollment procedure with the importance
on the personal touch extended by them in making new students and their parents
comfortable from the very first day.
Unlike the chaotic scene in India, American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine,
a division of Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), boasts of providing a fair chance
to aspiring medical students from India of becoming doctors of supreme calibre. Doctors who
have the energy and inspiration to deal with pressure, aptitude to allow free-flowing
communication between them and their patients, and the service attitude to serve their
communities back home or practice anywhere in the world. AUA is recognized by the Medical
Council of India (MCI), which makes practicing in India after earning an MD a real possibility. AUA
offers numerous scholarships to Indian citizens and residents to help offset the cost of medical
Meeting ‘The Legend’ wasn’t in my list. No, I never dreamt of ever coming face to face with
him. And that too in his newest avatar. We spoke of Indian tea, bright colours and how much
his daughter loves bright colours, his Indian connection and his love for spicy food. Being a
voice artist, I was impressed with his voice quality. I couldn’t resist from complimenting him
for his powerful voice. His eyes sparkled with a childlike delight remembering his voicing work
with Johny Walker and how much he loves being a faceless voice actor too. He promised to
do more of it.
For now, as the voice of AUA, he is passionate to invite the Indian parents and students to
explore the 17-acre campus in his home country as the ideal place for medical education. He
promises a safe environment, a supportive community and the school’s hands-on training in
transforming them into successful doctors who could be placed in any of the prestigious
hospitals in the world.