Hyderabad: Apollo Health & Lifestyle Limited (AHLL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited (AHEL) is planning to expand its network across India across verticals.
The company runs the largest chain of standardised primary healthcare models- multispecialty clinics under the brand “Apollo Clinics” in India and the Middle East, Diabetes management clinics – Apollo Sugar and Diagnostic Centres – Apollo Diagnostics. The company also operates specialty formats – Apollo Cradle for women & child, Apollo Fertility for fertility treatments, Apollo Dialysis and Apollo Spectra for planned surgery.
AHLL which had 18 diagnostic labs last year has taken the number to 42 at present and plans to have over 70 labs by the end of March next year. The company has 135 collection centres at present and will have over 250 by next year. By April this year there will be six in vitro fertilisation (IVF) centres operational. There will be expansion in Cradle operations too. Both in Spectra and Dental space, the company has aggressive plans to grow.
AHLL CEO Neeraj Garg told Telangana Today, “There are four major trends that we see in retail healthcare. Time is money. Patients who are consumers need access to quality health care. They want specialty care. Specialties are emerging such as diabetes, women and child care and fertility. Apollo Cradle is redefining women and child care. Consumers are becoming brand conscious. They first see which hospital and then which doctor now. Retail healthcare is seeing a lot of new dynamics. ”
In the Diabetes care segment, the company has explored a new model wherein the company has partnered with non-Apollo Group hospitals to expand its presence. In Vijayawada, it has partnered with Andhra Hospitals. The company has also introduced a Sugar app that helps patients with better healthcare management. The company is implementing this strategy in Apollo Clinics space as well.
AHLL is helping the Central government is screening diabetes. It screens 24,000 people every month nationally. There is also some effort in the dialysis space in public private partnership route. Apollo is also contributing telemedicine at community service centres level. An Apollo entity is also helping build skill capabilities.
Within Apollo Group, across 400 locations across formats, nurse and technician training is imparted. Teams should also have quality systems to follow across functionalities. Efforts are also being made in soft skills space too. Teams should also have quality systems to follow across functionalities. “Also the staff should show empathy and as they deal with patients or caregivers, they should have soft skills,” he adds.
In terms of the geographic expansion strategy, he said, the company has presence in diagnostics in Telangana, AP, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. “We are going to tap smaller towns. We have covered South. We will expand to East. We have opened in Kolkata and Asansol, and we will cover entire East in next one year and then foray into North. For cradle, we will have a city-approach. We have presence in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Amritsar and Pune. We may add more Cradles in Delhi and Punjab. In the Sugar segment, we are everywhere and we will have pan-India presence,” Garg informed. The company will expand its operations in the GCC nations in the diabetes space and will be mostly partnership-based.
Apollo Health is building quality and process systems. Spectra business is built out of Nova Specialties acquisition two years ago. The clinical pathways and processes had been constantly improved. Two NABH accreditations had been received at Apollo Cradle and five more to come in three months, four diagnostic labs have received NABL accreditations.
Apollo is also voluntarily collating information on hospital infections and will release data in next six months.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested recently into AHLL upto Rs 450 crore by picking up a 29 per cent stake. IFC has been providing guidance on several aspects that include best practices in healthcare, project designs and fire safety measures.
“In next five years, there will be requirement for additional funding beyond IFC’s investment. We could evaluate the financial needs in the next two years. We are yet to decide whether it will be through debt or equity,” he informed.