Investment Opportunities in India

November 23, 2012

Emerging Investment trends in Indian Healthcare Sector

The Indian healthcare industry is expected to reach US$ 79 billion in 2012 and US$ 280 billion by 2020, on the back of increasing demand for specialised and quality healthcare facilities.

Further, the hospital services market, which represents one of the most important segments of the Indian healthcare industry, is expected to be worth US$ 81.2 billion by 2015.

Meanwhile, the Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.3 per cent during 2011-12 to 2013-14, as per Barclays Capital Equity Research report on India Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals.

India is the most competitive destination with advantages of lower cost and sophisticated treatments, highlighted the RNCOS report titled ‘Indian Healthcare – New Avenues for Growth’. The report further elaborates that several key trends are backing the growth of healthcare in India.

Emerging trends in Indian healthcare industry

The healthcare sector is one sector that has witnessed tremendous entrepreneurial activity over the last few decades across the entire value chain. The emerging areas (diagnostics, pharma retail, biotechnology and life sciences) within healthcare are playing a significant role in attracting global players to India to set-up a number of allied industries in partnership with domestic players. This is also providing Indian entrepreneurs considerable opportunities to invest in healthcare. The way the current financial climate is shaping-up, an entrepreneur needs to think out-of of-the-box prior to making investments, as identifying the correct sector and the most suitable business model is key to survival and growth in the current times.

Investment trends in Indian healthcare sector

Driven by increased domestic demand for high-end investment services as well as medical tourism, the healthcare sector has attracted huge investment in recent times. Healthcare in India is likely to see increased investment from US$ 34.2 billion in 2006 to US$ 78 billion in 2012 (CAGR of 15 per cent), with 80 per cent of investments from private players. The investments to this scale are expected to increase the bed ratio from 0.9 beds per 1000 people to 1.85 beds per 1000 people.

Moreover, large scale investments in infrastructure are required to make healthcare facilities at par with developed countries.

According to a survey conducted by consulting firm, Grant Thornton, India is expected to witness the largest number of merger and acquisitions (M&A) in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in 2012. The survey that was being conducted across 100 companies stated that fourth of the respondents were bullish on acquiring companies in the pharmaceutical space.

“The expectations of M&A activity in the pharma and healthcare sector could be explained by factors such as the impending patent cliff in the US, the increasing attractiveness of India as a low-cost R&D destination and the increasing success of Indian firms in getting ANDA approvals,” said Sunil Makharia executive VP (finance) Lupin Pharmaceuticals. Patent cliff refers to expiry of legal protection to top-selling drugs.

Government Initiatives

The healthcare sector in India is witnessing a growth trajectory. The Government has taken several steps required for non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in healthcare and to develop healthcare sector infrastructure within a short span of time. The Government has decided to increase health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17) from the current 1.4 per cent.

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