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‘We are looking at an opportunity grab now’

business Updated: Oct 25, 2009 21:23 IST
Sandeep Singh
Sandeep Singh
Hindustan Times
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Shivinder Mohan Singh, managing director, Fortis Healthcare, spoke to Hindustan Times about his new projects and future plans. Excerpts.

What lies ahead for India’s healthcare segment?
We believe that in the next 4 to 5 years, India will close its healthcare opportunity just like the opportunity for new players is limited in the telecom and the insurance space now. So we are looking at an opportunity grab now and the scope will be limited for new players unless you are a global biggie going forward.

Are you looking for acquisitions?
Always. And we are very clear about it. Our past acquisitions have worked well for us. Escorts Delhi itself contributes 30 per cent of our total turnover.

So where are you looking to expand?
I think Delhi is full now and there is no space for a new player. There are several towns that I feel can take 3 or 4 healthcare facilities. However, I might not be going there. Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata are some of the towns that have the space to take 3 or 4 hospitals.

What do you look for when you buy a hospital or a chain?
We look for hospitals that have a minimum bed capacity of 100.

But are there enough available?
There are around 50,000 hospitals in the country and around 6 per cent of them have a 100-bed capacity. That means there are around 3,000 that suit my need and I want only few of them.

What new are you working on?
For the past one year, I have been working on how to make healthcare relevant to India by making it relevant for the masses. And for that we have to deliver healthcare at half the price of what we are charging today. The model that we have reached as of now allows us to offer healthcare 37 per cent cheaper.

How will this happen and has the work started on it?
We have worked on a low capital expenditure, low operational expenditure and high volume. We have started work at two places in Gujarat and Punjab for a a 200-bed facility.

Will the quality suffer or remain the same?
The quality of outcome should remain the same. I would not repeat what I do at Escorts because then I would fail. I will get the same outcome with a different approach.