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Manipal Health Enterprises building 4 new hospitals; to add 1,100 beds

Manipal Hospitals, which is set to become India’s largest tertiary healthcare provider in the private sector, has undertaken an asset light route to expansion for greenfield ventures.

The company, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt Ltd, is coming up with four new hospitals in India, adding about 1,100 beds to its repertoire.

In each of these projects, the land and the building are owned by third parties while the hospitals will be run by Manipal.

“We are going to invest ₹1,500 crore in the four ongoing projects (healthcare infrastructure such as medical devices). Three of them are going to be in Bangalore and one in Raipur,” Dilip Jose, managing director & CEO of Manipal Hospitals, said.

Even as Manipal, which is backed by Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek, has scaled up rapidly through acquisitions, the company has remained open to partner with land owners/ real estate developers for growth. In some places where it owns land, the healthcare provider would still look to build on its own.

For instance, the acquisition of AMRI landed Manipal with a plot in Calcutta’s Rajarhat, where Jose confirmed that it would develop a 350-bed hospital in future at an investment of ₹525 crore. The MD was in the city to announce the rebranding of AMRI Hospital as Manipal.

Manipal’s move mirrors the development of the hospitality sector in India. In the initial days of the industry, hospitality chains such as EIH, which operates Oberoi and Trident branded hotels, and the Tata group promoted Indian Hotels Company, which owns and operates the Taj brand among others, built their own hotels. They later moved to the lease model and now to management contracts.

Industry participants say the healthcare sector will take the hospitality model for future growth.

“Healthcare is now in a phase where the hospital chains are taking up properties on lease rental basis. In future, the operation and management contract model would also come up,” Prashant Sharma, chairman of CII West Bengal Health Forum, said.

Sharma, who is the managing director of Charnock Hospital, said his company plans to add 1,000 beds, all in asset light models.

“Our core competence is running hospitals and this is where we want to focus,” he explained.

The asset light model allows hospitals to expand faster as they can deploy funds only in medical facilities, leaving the investment in land and building to realtors. Telegraph India

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