Indian IT firms set to cash in on $20-bn Obamacare

US President Barrack Obama’s initiative to provide affordable health insurance and cheaper healthcare to all Americans, popularly called Obamacare, could provide a $20-billion (Rs 1.2 lakh crore) business opportunity for Indian IT companies over the next five years.

“In 3-5 years, Obamacare will emerge as a key growth driver for Indian IT companies,” added R Srikrishna, president, infrastructure service and healthcare, HCL.

In anticipation of IT outsourcing, remote healthcare and BPO deals in this space, Indian companies such as Infosys, Wipro and HCL are eyeing acquisitions of small to mid-size IT firms that service the US healthcare sector. This will enable them to scale up operations quickly once they win large contracts.

“We are looking for acquisitions in the healthcare space," said A Radhakrishnan, senior vice president, Infosys BPO. Sources said Infosys is scouting for acquisitions to strengthen its healthcare business not just in the BPO space but also in IT services.

Sangita Singh, chief executive, healthcare and life sciences, Wipro, told HT that the company had shortlisted a few companies could acquire one or more companies valued at between $50 million (R300 crore) to $200 million (R1,200 crore). HCL is also looking at a similar strategy.

“US pharma companies and healthcare providers are under pressures because of rising costs and there is an emphasis on cutting expenses. Technologies for remote patient monitoring (wherein patients in the US wear devices that monitor various health parameters, which are transmitted to India for tests and diagnosis) help cut costs,” Singh said.

 

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