Industry leaders convened at the Kalaignar Centenary International Medical Conference to explore the vast potential of India’s healthcare sector. Currently valued at $372 billion and growing at a robust CAGR of 22%, the industry represents a significant economic force. Discussions highlighted the urgent need for expanded healthcare infrastructure, with three million additional beds required by 2025. Experts emphasized the positive banking perspective post-COVID-19 and the sector’s diversified growth in hospitals, diagnostics, pharmacy, and digital health. The rising trend of mergers and acquisitions, challenges in rural healthcare, and regulatory complexities underscored the multifaceted landscape awaiting strategic interventions.
India’s healthcare sector stands at the threshold of immense growth and opportunity, with industry experts highlighting its vast potential across diverse segments. A panel discussion held as part of the Kalaignar Centenary International Medical Conference shed light on the various facets of this growth potential. Moderated by G.S.K. Velu, Chairman & Managing Director of Trivitron Healthcare & Neuberg Diagnostics Group, the discussion delved into crucial areas such as investments, healthcare financing, private equity funding, and the factors shaping the future of healthcare in India.
Globally, the healthcare sector boasts a staggering size of $10 trillion. In comparison, the Indian healthcare sector currently accounts for approximately $372 billion, witnessing a robust compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22%. With India’s vast population, this growth trajectory suggests that there is ample room for expansion, both in terms of scale and sophistication.
One significant aspect discussed during the panel was the pressing need for expanded healthcare infrastructure. Velu emphasized that to achieve the target of three beds per 1,000 people by 2025, India must add three million more beds to its healthcare facilities. This underscores the imperative for substantial investments and strategic planning to address the infrastructure gap.
Ashutosh Choudhury, Executive Director of Indian Bank, provided insights from a banking perspective. He affirmed that the healthcare sector is viewed positively by the banking industry. Furthermore, he highlighted the increased importance of healthcare post-COVID-19, emphasizing the rising demand for pre-health check-ups.
Sectoral Growth and Diversification:
Chandrasaker K., Managing Partner at Stakeboat Capital, drew attention to the diversified growth within the healthcare sector. Noting substantial advancements in hospitals, diagnostics, pharmacy, and drug discovery, he underscored the sector’s potential for multifaceted expansion.
Changing Health-Seeking Behavior:
Sunil Thakur, Partner at Quadria Capital, emphasized the shift in health-seeking behavior, stating that it has witnessed a significant increase. This shift is indicative of the evolving healthcare landscape, with potential themes emerging in localization, outsourcing, and digital health.
Digital Health and Convenience:
Tejasvi Ravi, Healthcare Lead at Lightrock India, highlighted the growing demand for convenience in healthcare, propelling the digital health space forward. The urge for accessible and streamlined healthcare services is creating opportunities for innovation and technological solutions.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
C. Venkat Subramanyam, Founder of Veda Corporate Advisors, discussed the rising trend of mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare space. Private equity investments have driven up valuations, making selling stakes an attractive option. Additionally, the younger generation in the healthcare business is increasingly open to selling stakes.
Challenges in Rural Healthcare and Regulatory Landscape:
The panel also delved into the challenges faced by rural healthcare and the regulatory hurdles in the insurance and medical devices segment. These challenges represent areas that require strategic attention and collaborative efforts to ensure holistic growth.
As the panel discussion unfolded, it became evident that India’s healthcare sector holds immense promise and challenges. The urgent call for expanded infrastructure, changing health-seeking behaviors, and the digital health surge signify a sector in flux. The rising trend of mergers and acquisitions, coupled with regulatory complexities, further underscores the need for strategic interventions. While challenges in rural healthcare persist, the collaborative spirit evident in the discussions points towards a transformative journey. The insights shared during the Kalaignar Centenary International Medical Conference paved the way for an exciting era of growth, innovation, and comprehensive healthcare accessibility in India.