Healthcare Paves Investment Opportunities

India’s healthcare has become one of the largest sectors of the ever-growing economy in revenue and employment, paving investment opportunities

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By Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Tue 15 Aug 2023, 11:43 AM

Last updated: Tue 15 Aug 2023, 11:46 AM

Popular legacy brands in the UAE, like Aster DM Healthcare, Zulekha Healthcare Group, and Thumbay Group, have a strong presence in India and the UAE. This Independence Day, these brands affirm that the healthcare sector in India is poised to grow strongly given the strong adaptation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG3), boosting the UAE-India diplomatic and bilateral ties.

Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog has pointed out in a research report that the sector has grown at a CAGR of 22 per cent since 2016, employing 4.7 Million people directly potential to generate 2.7 million additional jobs in India between 2017-22 — over 500,000 new jobs per year. According to Invest India’s Investment Grid, nearly 600 investment opportunities are worth $32 billion in the country’s hospital/medical infrastructure sub-sector.

India’s healthcare industry comprises hospitals, medical devices and equipment, health insurance, clinical trials, telemedicine, and medical tourism. These market segments are expected to diversify as an aging population with a growing middle class increasingly favours preventative healthcare.

Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, of Aster DM Healthcare, said: “As a healthcare organisation operating on both sides of the India-UAE corridor, Aster DM Healthcare has been actively contributing to the sector's growth. Our insights reveal that a patient-centric approach and a commitment to clinical excellence powered by cutting-edge technology can drive positive outcomes.”

The potential for massive growth in India's health sector is promising, particularly with the increasing emphasis on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3, which focuses on ensuring good health and well-being for all. The convergence of government initiatives, technological advancements, and rising healthcare awareness among the population has set the stage for a transformative shift in the sector.

Government initiatives have already taken significant strides to bolster the health sector. Ayushman Bharat scheme launched in 2018 to provide insurance coverage to underprivileged families already supports 220 million Indians.

With 2.1 per cent of the GDP accounting for healthcare expenditure, the National Health Policy 2017 prioritising strengthening of healthcare infrastructure and promoting preventive healthcare measures, and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan promoting cleanliness and sanitation while curbing the spread of diseases, are factors contributing to the improvement of overall public health.

“To capitalise on this growth, stakeholders across the public and private sectors must collaborate to address challenges such as healthcare accessibility, affordability, and quality. Investments in medical research, healthcare workforce development, and innovative health financing models are crucial to realizing the full potential of SDG3 in India,” added Moopen.

“With Aster DM Healthcare's legacy of over 36 years in UAE, we were able to introduce many of our success models into our India operations which worked well like patient-centric approach, integrated healthcare delivery, focus on clinical excellence matching international standards, asset-light model and fast integration of technology to optimize processes and patient access.”

Similarly, Thumbay Group is planning to increase knowledge sharing and employment creation through cooperation, which will benefit both the UAE and India in the long run. Dr. Thumbay Moideen, founder president, Thumbay Group, said: “The expansion of collaboration ties between both nations has created a wide ecosystem that has allowed enterprises in healthcare and education to strengthen their positions and grow rapidly.” Dr. Moideen also pointed out, that adaptation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a highly effective tool as they encourage and enable both public and private organizations to act in support of a more sustainable future.

“India's health sector is undoubtedly expanding significantly due to the adoption of SDG3, "Good Health and Well-Being." This expansion is being fuelled by favourable government policies and programmes, advancing in digital health, public-private collaborations, and an emphasis on preventive healthcare. In addition, the nation's medical tourism business, research and innovation capacity, and initiatives to enhance rural healthcare are some of the other factors contributing to the growth and development seen in the last few years,” added Dr. Moideen.

India's health sector is poised to see massive growth as SDG3 of "Good Health and Well being" tends to take deep roots in its adaptation.

Taher Shams – Managing Director of Zulekha Healthcare Group, said: “India has made efforts to promote the SDG of “Good Health and Wellbeing” through many initiatives, including the introduction of Ayushman Bharath insurance schemes for the underprivileged, National Programme for Healthcare for elderly, immunization, awareness on early detection and eradication of critical diseases, etc. The challenge remains in educating the masses and integrating rural and urban population under one common objective – willingness to change lifestyle and adopt healthier options. public-private partnerships can enhance this.”

Zulekha Healthcare Group has been present in the UAE region for over six decades. The demand for specific medical services, quality outcomes, and the need for skilled clinicians in the sector contributes to its growth.

“We have more informed patients today. Our growth has been driven by the demand for certain health services by our patrons, who are more forthcoming now to keep a tab on their health and prepared to take up the right diagnosis and treatments advised. The realisation of preventing disease and preserving one’s health is greater than before. We have kept pace with these demands and enabled easy access to healthcare services. Today we have grown as a pioneer managing the most critical cardiac, pediatric, gynecological emergencies and organ transplants (India) and thrive as a trusted quality healthcare provider in the sector,” added Shams. The concept of well-being has translated into corporate efforts; for instance, Hotpack Global is all set to streamline its strategies in line with the nation’s priorities for growth. Hotpack’s commitment to providing quality and hygiene products in the market resonates strongly with the principles of good health, informs Abdul Jebbar, Group Managing Director and Founder at Hotpack.

“We believe that the growing focus on SDG3, 'Good Health and Well-being,' is crucial for India's journey towards becoming a global power. Having plans to expand its operations across India, packaging products play an essential role in preserving food safety and preventing contamination,” said Jebbar.

“We understand that packaging directly impacts the health and well-being of consumers by ensuring the integrity of the food they consume. Being responsible manufacturers of packaging products, we align our efforts with the SDGs, contributing to the broader objective of fostering a healthier society. By maintaining the highest quality and hygiene standards, we support India's journey towards a healthier and more sustainable future," he added.

Hotpack has a presence across 16 countries which have been instrumental in shaping the company’s strategies. The company has been increasing its product portfolio of eco-friendly and sustainable products in the region and exports to customers in over 100 countries.

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