Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center – APEA – Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards

OUTSTANDING CATEGORY

Dr Steve Mark Gan
President & CEO


Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center (GAOC)
www.gaocdental.com


His is a life of action and bold ventures with bicuspids and implants, of a uniquely personal triumph in search for excellence, of hopes raised and dashed for progress in the dental industry. Steel-willed determination and vision amid unspeakable challenges reigned pre-eminent and was, in great part, the base of his good name and reputation among his peers.

And the progression of the dental profession of the Philippines — in big strides and in small steps — was largely the handiwork of one man: Dr. Steve Mark G. Gan.

Noble Beginnings
Dr. Gan’s story is not one that has not been told before. When his dream of a clinic, Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center (GAOC) opened in 2001, and when it expanded in 2006, his story of struggle became part of this dental institution’s making.

When he completed his residency and fellowship in prosthodontics at the University of Southern California (USC) and his residency in Prosthodontic Implant Training at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under the tutelage of world renowned oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Peter K. Moi, he came back to the Philippines and began a vision — to improve the status of the dental industry in this country.

“When I saw the modern dentistry in America, I felt that it was my responsibility to come back to the Philippines to share the knowledge, expertise, and technology that I learned there, and make sure that I would help the Philippine society, to change the landscape of dentistry here.” This grand declaration about nation is no mere sound bite, but it is one that fails to capture the kind of persistence that is in his story, the difficulties that the more daring and outspoken among us face.

His own parents instilled in him with the importance of hard work and perseverance. With only Php 3,000 in his bank account and a third hand dental chair, he started his practice in a tiny clinic in Binondo. “That was 1998. I’d count those as the difficult days. It was very, very hard.” It was in these beginnings after he joined with St. Luke’s Quezon City, that he learned the values of integrity amid challenges. He envisioned reviving the dental implantology practice in the Philippines, an advanced and expensive corrective procedure for tooth replacement amid a challenging economy and a dentist-skeptic community.

Early Lessons Learned
In 2001, in the months before the first GAOC opened, he faced very difficult financial constraints. While his first branch boasted of the most advanced dentals chairs and state-of-the-art technology, he needed to pay them with checks which he soon realized he did not have the funds for. It was a challenge that taught the surgeon not just about the pitfalls of being in the limelight, but more importantly, the value of real friendships.

It was his old elementary and high school classmates, his barkada, who stood by him and helped him out without asking questions, and with no judgment. It was a lesson in humility for certain but it also seems to fuel the pride that he has about the kind of institution GAOC has become.

“Dentist to the Stars”
One auspicious day in 2005, Boy Abunda, a well-known television host in the Philippines arrived at their clinic. “We worked on him, and he was so happy. He started thanking me every single day he was on TV. Like it was my birthday. I told him, “Don’t thank me, it’s okay.” “No, you’ve changed me, I’m not afraid to go to the dentist anymore,” he said.

By 2006, Dr. Gan would become known as the “Dentist to the Stars,” with his roster of celebrity clients thanking him on TV, they whose faces appear alongside GAOC’s branding. What these endorsers say about GAOC echoes what Abunda had told Dr. Gan: he changed their views on going to the dentist.

However, sometimes, even client satisfaction is not enough for Dr. Gan. And this is where the value of GAOC having its own laboratory and the latest technology comes in: it allows them to offer more than what their patients expect, all the time. It is also about Dr. Gan’s personal insistence that his team of dentists advance their knowledge, so that they are never left behind by new technology elsewhere.

Taking the Leadership Reins
Dr. Gan became one of the youngest to assume the prestigious position of Chairman of the Board of Dentistry of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). He began working with his colleagues to better regulate and improve the standards to produce world-class Filipino dentists. He is currently part of the Academy of Osseointegration, where he further develops his knowledge on dental implants and its trade.

Under his direction, the GAOC Group decided to backward integrate by establishing Samurai Dental Laboratory, a specialized fabrication facility that manufactures the widest variety of crowns and dental prostheses in the country. With the aim and view of raising the profile and quality of the dental industry in the Philippines, they also launched GTI – Gan Tech, Industries – a distribution company that carries only the world’s best dental equipment, instruments, and bio-materials for Filipino dentists who would otherwise not have access to these world-renowned brands at affordable rates. They also opened a new dental chain, Novodental, which caters to the mid-tier market and is targeting to open 30 branches over the next 4 years.

His ambitious vision does not stop there. Dr. Gan now wants to give back and focus on developing the minds of future dentists through the GAOC Dental Academy. This institution will grant students the opportunity to learn from esteemed professionals from the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Constant Re-invention
Today, Dr. Gan is known as an industry maverick and an innovator. And he does so now in order to inspire younger dentists to do better, and be better. Most importantly, he highlights the value of putting in the work. “People see me as a celebrity doctor. What they don’t know is that I work very hard. I read all the time, I practice, I go to international conferences. I’m an oral surgeon and I do reconstructive surgery all the time. I’m very hands on.” Dr. Gan says.

One thing that’s distinct about Dr. Gan and GAOC’s story is that neither has stopped evolving and changing. GAOC remains in a league all its own, and he looks forward to the future with unbridled excitement. While Dr. Gan’s entire life story cannot be encapsulated in just one description, his accomplishments certainly reflect a man of discipline, commitment, conscience and skill, whether in private practice, public service, civic action or private life. Indeed, with his example, our faith in the transformational power of resolute and transformative leadership can only be deepened. The industry cannot ask for more from any Filipino dental practitioner.

OUTSTANDING CATEGORY

Dr Steve Mark Gan
President & CEO

His is a life of action and bold ventures with bicuspids and implants, of a uniquely personal triumph in search for excellence, of hopes raised and dashed for progress in the dental industry. Steel-willed determination and vision amid unspeakable challenges reigned pre-eminent and was, in great part, the base of his good name and reputation among his peers.

And the progression of the dental profession of the Philippines — in big strides and in small steps — was largely the handiwork of one man: Dr. Steve Mark G. Gan.

Noble Beginnings
Dr. Gan’s story is not one that has not been told before. When his dream of a clinic, Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center (GAOC) opened in 2001, and when it expanded in 2006, his story of struggle became part of this dental institution’s making.

When he completed his residency and fellowship in prosthodontics at the University of Southern California (USC) and his residency in Prosthodontic Implant Training at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under the tutelage of world renowned oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Peter K. Moi, he came back to the Philippines and began a vision — to improve the status of the dental industry in this country.

“When I saw the modern dentistry in America, I felt that it was my responsibility to come back to the Philippines to share the knowledge, expertise, and technology that I learned there, and make sure that I would help the Philippine society, to change the landscape of dentistry here.” This grand declaration about nation is no mere sound bite, but it is one that fails to capture the kind of persistence that is in his story, the difficulties that the more daring and outspoken among us face.

His own parents instilled in him with the importance of hard work and perseverance. With only Php 3,000 in his bank account and a third hand dental chair, he started his practice in a tiny clinic in Binondo. “That was 1998. I’d count those as the difficult days. It was very, very hard.” It was in these beginnings after he joined with St. Luke’s Quezon City, that he learned the values of integrity amid challenges. He envisioned reviving the dental implantology practice in the Philippines, an advanced and expensive corrective procedure for tooth replacement amid a challenging economy and a dentist-skeptic community.

Early Lessons Learned
In 2001, in the months before the first GAOC opened, he faced very difficult financial constraints. While his first branch boasted of the most advanced dentals chairs and state-of-the-art technology, he needed to pay them with checks which he soon realized he did not have the funds for. It was a challenge that taught the surgeon not just about the pitfalls of being in the limelight, but more importantly, the value of real friendships.

It was his old elementary and high school classmates, his barkada, who stood by him and helped him out without asking questions, and with no judgment. It was a lesson in humility for certain but it also seems to fuel the pride that he has about the kind of institution GAOC has become.

“Dentist to the Stars”
One auspicious day in 2005, Boy Abunda, a well-known television host in the Philippines arrived at their clinic. “We worked on him, and he was so happy. He started thanking me every single day he was on TV. Like it was my birthday. I told him, “Don’t thank me, it’s okay.” “No, you’ve changed me, I’m not afraid to go to the dentist anymore,” he said.

By 2006, Dr. Gan would become known as the “Dentist to the Stars,” with his roster of celebrity clients thanking him on TV, they whose faces appear alongside GAOC’s branding. What these endorsers say about GAOC echoes what Abunda had told Dr. Gan: he changed their views on going to the dentist.

However, sometimes, even client satisfaction is not enough for Dr. Gan. And this is where the value of GAOC having its own laboratory and the latest technology comes in: it allows them to offer more than what their patients expect, all the time. It is also about Dr. Gan’s personal insistence that his team of dentists advance their knowledge, so that they are never left behind by new technology elsewhere.


Gan Advanced Osseointegration Center (GAOC)
www.gaocdental.com


Taking the Leadership Reins
Dr. Gan became one of the youngest to assume the prestigious position of Chairman of the Board of Dentistry of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). He began working with his colleagues to better regulate and improve the standards to produce world-class Filipino dentists. He is currently part of the Academy of Osseointegration, where he further develops his knowledge on dental implants and its trade.

Under his direction, the GAOC Group decided to backward integrate by establishing Samurai Dental Laboratory, a specialized fabrication facility that manufactures the widest variety of crowns and dental prostheses in the country. With the aim and view of raising the profile and quality of the dental industry in the Philippines, they also launched GTI – Gan Tech, Industries – a distribution company that carries only the world’s best dental equipment, instruments, and bio-materials for Filipino dentists who would otherwise not have access to these world-renowned brands at affordable rates. They also opened a new dental chain, Novodental, which caters to the mid-tier market and is targeting to open 30 branches over the next 4 years.

His ambitious vision does not stop there. Dr. Gan now wants to give back and focus on developing the minds of future dentists through the GAOC Dental Academy. This institution will grant students the opportunity to learn from esteemed professionals from the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Constant Re-invention
Today, Dr. Gan is known as an industry maverick and an innovator. And he does so now in order to inspire younger dentists to do better, and be better. Most importantly, he highlights the value of putting in the work. “People see me as a celebrity doctor. What they don’t know is that I work very hard. I read all the time, I practice, I go to international conferences. I’m an oral surgeon and I do reconstructive surgery all the time. I’m very hands on.” Dr. Gan says.

One thing that’s distinct about Dr. Gan and GAOC’s story is that neither has stopped evolving and changing. GAOC remains in a league all its own, and he looks forward to the future with unbridled excitement. While Dr. Gan’s entire life story cannot be encapsulated in just one description, his accomplishments certainly reflect a man of discipline, commitment, conscience and skill, whether in private practice, public service, civic action or private life. Indeed, with his example, our faith in the transformational power of resolute and transformative leadership can only be deepened. The industry cannot ask for more from any Filipino dental practitioner.