Beyond dentistry Section
By DN Staffer
An entrepreneur, a dentist and an international speaker, all rolled into one, you have Dr Waqas Wahab – the man behind the success of invisible braces under the brand name of Clearpath. He is the founder of ClearPath Orthodontic System as well as that of ClearPath Orthodontics (Pvt.) Ltd. A visionary leader, who took the company to an international orbit, by incorporating ClearPath Orthodontics International LLC.
Dr Wahab, is a trainer, CEO, Clear Path Orthodontics (Pvt.) Ltd., Orthodontic Aligner Consultant, Clear Correct Pvt. Ltd. and Senior Dental Surgeon, Defence Dental Centre.
He did his BDS from Pakistan’s premier dental college – de’Montmorency College of Dentistry. He has done numerous Certifications and Memberships, including Member American College of Surgeons, Certificate in Orthodontics, Total Quality Management Certificate in Implantology, Member American Dental Association, Fellowship from International College of Dentist, etc.
Conducted courses on Clear Aligner Therapy and certified doctors in Pakistan and abroad.
Following are the excerpts from his interview:
Dental News (DN): Do you consider yourself a dental surgeon or an entrepreneur?
Dr Waqas Wahab (Dr W.W): It is a difficult question to answer as I consider myself to be both. I believe a dentist can be an entrepreneur, as well.
DN: Where did you do your BDS from?
Dr W.W: de’Montmorency College of Dentistry.
DN: Should Clearpath be considered a turn from your clinical career?
Dr W.W: Not really as there is a strong relationship between the two. My dentistry has helped me understand the utility and effectiveness of product better so basically it compliments each other. In fact, my clinical and managerial job gave me the right mix of experience to be able to reach where I am today.
DN: How the company ClearPath Orthodontics (Pvt) Ltd came into existence?
Dr W.W: The good or the great thing about aligner is that the product has actually been invented here in Pakistan by Zia Chisti. The way it is being made is unique and we are proud of the fact that it was invented by one of us.
Having worked with Invisalign and OrthoClear, the desire of having my own business was always there as my colleague, Zia Chisti, developed the process to make aligners and that desire was translated into reality when I invented a unique method of making aligners that later was named as ClearPath system and this led to the formation of ClearPath Orthodontics.
DN: Did you face any hardships at the launch of the product in Pakistan and, if so, how you managed to overcome the resistance put up by Orthodontists?
Dr W.W: First prototype was difficult and we had to spend all our resources in developing it. Then the product’s crucial stage i.e. its clinical trial stage came. The process was, however, accomplished successfully in my clinic. It was followed by our pursuit of finding investment for start manufacturing of the product and that is where our Arab partners came in and we formed a joint venture with one facility in Sharjah and the other in Pakistan.
DN: As a Dentist what do you think where we stand when it comes to technology acceptance in dental profession?
Dr W.W: Well, the dentists had too much reliance on Invisalign products which are good, but the technology is old as it first came into being in 1999. With regards to Clearpath, it is based on latest technology and as such I would say this is an upgraded version of the product as a whole.
DN: Does the company plan to bring in more innovative products, if yes any clues?
Dr W.W: It is a growing market segment and we feel that we would like to bring in more products for minute cases like 10 aligners to treat minor malocclusion cases. But, we would continue to focus on our present product and develop a range while staying focused.
DN: What are your achievements vis-à-vis exports of Clearpath products?
Dr W.W: Well, I think we have achieved a lot since the time we started. We started from the Gulf region in 2009 and today we are in Belgium, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Australia, South Africa and other African markets. Our penetration into the markets has been a success as what we do is to create awareness and the rest follows.
DN: Where do you see Clearpath in 5 years’ time, will there be more innovation?
Dr W.W: Every Clinic. Like braces, this is a product that speaks for itself. When I say that it will be in every clinic, I believe that this will, eventually, render a helping hand to orthodontists who can then concentrate on more specialized cases and treatments.
DN: Whom would you attribute your success to?
Dr W.W: The product itself, the team and as they say that `behind every successful man there is a woman’, but in my case there are two – my mother and my wife.
DN: Do you have any advantage of own practice when using Clearpath?
Dr W.W: Not really, I pay the same price as anybody else as we have a uniform price policy and hence same charges as any other dentist would pay.
DN: What is your message to your customers?
Dr W.W: Use clear aligners and when you do you will start believing in the product: `Seeing is believing’, as the saying goes.