As home to one in six persons on the planet, India is not just a land of opportunity for those eyeing its vast consumer class but also a huge captive market for healthcare. The sector comprising hospitals, medicines, devices, diagnostics and new age health-tech businesses is estimated to be growing a tad faster than the nominal growth of the economy and is projected to cross $300 billion by 2022.
Healthcare has been one of the few sectors that has been consistently showing up in the radar of both private investors as well as strategic acquirers. According to VCCEdge, the sector has consistently attracted $1-2 billion of private investment and $3-5 billion of M&As over the last several years.
While healthcare services have pulled in a good chunk of the PE money, drug makers have been the driving force for M&As, especially overseas deals to penetrate deeper into the regulated markets of US and Europe.
With a vast chunk of healthcare services still run by public institutions, the government has also been actively looking to up the game. It launched the world’s largest state funded healthcare scheme under Ayushman Bharat last September.
Its think-tank NITI Aayog also came out with a plan to create a national health stack and a national health register that seeks to maintain health records of citizens.
Although the projects face question marks related to data safety these could drive better outcomes for healthcare diagnosis and delivery while at the same time throwing up a new set of business opportunity, especially for tech firms.
On the one hand, this spells big business to be carved out by health entrepreneurs, it also brings major challenges given the widening demand supply gap and skills shortage besides the regulatory issues. In particular, the generics pharma giants have been facing regulatory baton in key overseas markets, the price capping in domestic market also affects the business strategy. Price control moves have also hit the healthcare delivery and medical device sector in the recent past.
To discuss the business opportunity and the emerging challenges, Mosaic Digital, the corporate banner behind VCCircle is organising its next edition of Healthcare Investment Summit on October 11 at Hotel ITC Grand Central in Mumbai.