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Parkway Pantai plans to expand into Delhi-NCR region, doesn't rule out acquisition

The company said it is open to all possible options including acquisitions to expand into Delhi-NCR region, where so far it has no presence.

April 10, 2017 / 07:51 PM IST

Parkway Pantai, part of Asia's largest healthcare provider IHH Healthcare, said it’s planning to expand into the Delhi-NCR region and focus on niche organ transplants as it takes on established rivals in private tertiary care segments such as Apollo and Fortis.

The company said it is open to all possible options including acquisitions to expand into Delhi-NCR region, where so far it has no presence.

"It really depends on what strategic fitment is there; as a general strategy we are always looking for best strategic fits," said Ramesh Krishnan, CEO and head of Middle East and South Asia of Parkway Pantai in an exclusive interview to Moneycontrol.

Krishnan said the company is yet to identify any specific target and set no timeline for its expansion in the Delhi-NCR region.

"The first few projects have been inorganic in nature; we consciously did that, because greenfield projects comes with uncertainty risk given approval timelines and we want to be quick in terms of time to market," Krishnan added.

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Parkway Pantai begun operations in India two years ago by buying controlling stake in Hyderabad-based Continental Hospitals for Rs 300 crore followed by much larger buyout of Global Hospitals at Rs 1300 crore.

The acquisitions gave Parkway Pantai a head-start in the Indian healthcare business with an operational capacity of 2,100 beds across a network of 10 hospitals in the key cities of Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai making it to the list of top seven healthcare providers and a potential to add 1,000 beds in the existing network of hospitals.

Since acquisition Krishnan said his aim was to extract further business synergies, cost savings and operating leverage through centralized procurement, optimized backroom functions, common branding and marketing strategy, sharing of doctors and better utilization of facilities.

We have pumped in money towards up-gradation and additions of facilities in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore; the revenues at Continental doubled since acquisition and Global Hospital is growing over 20 percent, he said.

To differentiate itself from competition Parkway Pantai said in India it will focus and expand on organ transplant surgeries.

Parkway Pantai recently added India as its fourth home market, along with Singapore, Malaysia and Turkey.

"That goes out to say how serious we are about Indian market," Krishnan added.

Parkway Pantai’s aggressive push in the Indian market has irked Apollo Hospitals, India’s largest healthcare provider in which IHH Healthcare was the second largest investor in Apollo Hospitals, besides having a 50-50 joint venture with the later for multispecialty tertiary care hospital in Kolkata.

Analysts say the decade-old relationship turned bitter with Apollo promoters calling it a breach of trust.

IHH Healthcare backed by Khazanah, the Malaysian sovereign fund since then reduced its stake by more than half.

As on March 31, IHH Healthcare holding in Apollo Hospitals was at 4.78 percent compared to 10.85 percent on December 31, 2016 .

Krishnan denied the charge that Parkway Pantai is eating into Apollo’s share but said that the relationship has always been complimentary.

"Parkway Pantai haven’t faced any huge conflicts even in the cities where we competed - as we targeted different micro markets and our core is organ transplant surgeries," he added.

Krishnan says Parkway Pantai in India will largely be a big city player.

"We are not interested in just the number of beds, we want to be known as a destination hospital for high-end clinical work for quality care, patient satisfaction with a lot of emphasis on research and academics," Krishnan added.

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