By Zain AwanNew Delhi [India]March 14 (ANI): Sweden-headquartered multinational hospital chain Medicover, which plans to double its footprint in India, expects the country’s healthcare market size to grow threefold a decade from now.
With a bouquet of 24 hospitals in India, Medicover has indicated that in the next five years it intends to double the number.
The company is a specialist provider of diagnostic and healthcare services and operates through two divisions – Diagnostic Services and Healthcare Services. In its healthcare network, it has a total of 32 hospitals and 129 healthcare centres. The group’s largest markets are India, Poland and Romania.
“We believe that healthcare markets in India will triple in size over the next 10 years from US$150 billion to over US$450 billion. It will grow across multiple sectors. This is a function of GDP growth plus the higher penetration of healthcare spending that part of the wallet… This will drive significant growth over the next 10 years,” said Fredrik Stenmo, chairman of the group in an exclusive interaction with ANI.
According to review by India’s Department of Pharmaceuticals, the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow in the pharmaceutical sector (in both drugs and medical devices) in India was Rs 12,097 crore in the financial year 2021-22.
Government data showed that FDI inflows maintained their momentum during the current financial year.
During the April-September financial year 2022-23, the FDI inflow has been Rs 8,081 crore. Further, the Department of Pharmaceuticals has approved 21 FDI proposals worth Rs. 4,681 crore for brownfield projects during January-November 2022.
Currently, FDI is allowed up to 100 percent under the automatic route, which essentially means that the foreign investor or the Indian company does not require approval from the government for the investment in the hospital sector and in the manufacturing of medical equipment. In the pharmaceutical sector, FDI is allowed up to 100 percent in greenfield projects and 74 percent in brownfield projects under the automatic route.
Meanwhile, Medicover, which has hospitals in Maharastra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, said it is likely to enter Karnataka this year.
“Over the next five years, our ambition is to more than double our footprint in India. We will also, as a consequence, provide much more affordable care to the Indian people. Of course, our revenue will grow along the way,” Stenmo said.
Fredrik Stenmo has been chairman of the board since 2017.
India is an important market for the group and in particular it is the third largest Swedish company with 13,000 employees in India, said the chairman.
Currently, the group has a total of 24 hospitals spread across 15 different cities in India.
“We are present in 15 different cities. We are out of four in Tier I or metros. They are Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Vizag (Visakhapatnam). We are present in three states – Maharastra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. We provide tertiary care — so mainly cardiology, orthopedics, gynecology and oncology.” According to Stenmo, the group is now expanding into specialties.
“Oncology is the first area where we have done that. We have four centers today. We have gone from being in three states and now also entering Karnataka in this year,” he said.
The Medicover group provides a wide range of healthcare services and has a network of hospitals, cancer institutes, specialist care facilities, fertility centers and diagnostic laboratories.
Further, when asked what are the lessons learned in India so far and how difficult or easy it was when he interacted with the Indian government, the chairman said: “In the healthcare sector, there is a lot of attention and focus from the politicians and the local authorities. ” “We deal predominantly with the state governments. And because it’s such a necessary service, we have no problem dealing with the governments, whether it’s at the state level or local development. They’re very accommodating to growth in this sector. ” He was also asked how Medicover differed from various other companies investing in India.
Without going into details, Stenmo said, “If you are going to be able to offer healthcare to the Indian people at an affordable price. You need a local cost structure. You have to bring good technology from around the world, but you also have to adapt it to the local level. But the most important thing will be to take a long-term view of your ownership.” “Now we are a family-owned company. Even though we are listed, the family is still a majority shareholder. Our view is generational,” said Stenmo. (ANI)