Ishrak tweeted a photo of himself at the opening ceremony, noting that the facility will provide therapy and procedure training to the region’s healthcare professionals.
Ishrak has spoken before about life in Bangladesh, saying that growing up there made him "keenly aware" of how people in poor countries are deprived of even the most basic medical technologies. His own mother died from kidney failure after she was unable to get access to dialysis, even though his family had the means to pay for treatment, Ishrak said in a 2011 interview with the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
International expansion has been part of the hallmark of Ishrak’s reign as the CEO of Medtronic, the world’s largest pure-play medical device maker. His global vision was spurred in part by his predecessor, Bill Hawkins, who gave Ishrak a globe as a symbolic signpost, a kind of guide to the incoming leader.
"It’s all about equalizing health care and the opportunity to extend our mission around the world," Hawkins told MassDevice.com during an exclusive interview in Boston early in Ishrak’s reign. "When I took over, 70% of our business was in the U.S. When I passed the baton, 55% of our business was in the U.S. – but 90% of the world’s population is outside of the U.S."
Ishrak has previously called emerging markets “the most important ones” to Medtronic, even as Europe and the U.S. remain important drivers of the company’s ongoing success. He’s also said that emerging markets, although sometimes difficult to breach, may be safer bets than investing further in the U.S.
"The population in emerging markets is tenfold that of developed countries," Ishrak said in a memo sent to employees in 2011. "These statistics are further compounded by the fact that U.S. market is essentially flat…reaching the global middle class opens up opportunities to us beyond anything we’ve ever seen before."
MDT shares closed last night at $51.56, up 0.1% on the day.