Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, Medical Director & Chairman – Medical Advisory Board, Manipal Health Enterprises

"In three years, Manipal Hospital will become a company worth Rs 2,000 crore from the present Rs 800 crore.”

Aug 19, 2014 05:08 IST India Infoline News Service Yash Ved |

Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, Medical Director & Chairman – Medical Advisory Board, Manipal Health Enterprises holds an MBBS and MD from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. He is a fellow from the Royal College of Physicians, UK and is also Board Certified in Medicine, Nephrology and Critical Care from USA.In career of over two decades Dr. Ballal has held several other portfolios such as, the Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Manipal University, a Clinical Professor of Medicine at St. Louis University Medical Centre, Chairman of the Board at Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd., teacher/examiner in DNB Nephrology and examiner for the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), London. He is also part of many well renowned professional societies such as International Society of Nephrology, National Kidney Foundation and Indian Medical Association to name a few. He is also on the Board of Directors of MHEPL.
 
Manipal Health Enterprises (MHE), a part of the Manipal Education & Medical Group (MEMG) is a leading healthcare provider and delivers quality healthcare in India. MHE operates its healthcare network under the brand name “Manipal Hospitals”. MHE operates its healthcare network under the brand of “Manipal Hospitals”. MHE manages an aggregate of 5,500 beds among 15 spitals, over 11 locations across 6 states in India. The Group is extensively expanding its horizons. MHE recently forayed into North India with a new center in Jaipur and also marked its international presence with the acquisition of a hospital in Malaysia.“Manipal Hospitals” covers all levels of delivery from primary to quaternary care. It has, over the years, built a significant, committed clinical and healthcare skill pool of over 2,000 doctors and 6,000 nurses, paramedics and support staff, dedicated to its core values of “clinical excellence, patient centricity and ethical practices” and thereby, delivering the highest standards of healthcare to patients.
 
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Dr. Sudarshan Ballal says, "In three years, Manipal Hospital will become a company worth Rs 2,000 crore from the present Rs 800 crore.”
 
What outlook do you see for the healthcare sector?
I always tell people that the Healthcare industry is booming. Even if we build one Manipal Hospital a day for the next 20 years, we won’t be able to meet the demand of health care .I also tell all my young doctor friends that this is the only industry where you will never get a pink slip.
 
India being a developing nation, the demand for quality healthcare is growing fast. Therefore, it is imperative that the policy makers channelize the growth in such a way, that it caters to every cross section of our society.
 
The first step towards this change should be a move from curative healthcare to preventive healthcare. This will be a much less expensive affair and also would help us to reach out to a larger population base. I also, believe, over the next five years the healthcare spend should increase to at least 5% of the GDP as compared to a little over 1% now.
 
Government should focus actively on promoting primary health care at all rural centers and secondary care hospitals at taluk levels and tertiary care establishments in districts hospitals. Supporting the primary and secondary care could be predominantly Government’s responsibility while the tertiary could be a Public Private Partnership initiative.
 
What are your expansion plans over the coming years?
We at Manipal Hospitals are looking for an extensive growth in the coming three years. We are the largest hospital chain in the south and the 3rd largest in the country. In the coming few years we are looking to expand our footprint more vigorously to establish ourselves as truly a national brand. We already have around 5,500 beds either owned or managed by us and we hope to make it about 8,000 in another 24-36 months. The additional 2,500 beds would be distributed between the 15 hospitals we have now.
 
What are your investment plans?
Any major expansion plan would require a judicious investment plan. As per the capex we roughly spend around Rs 1 crore per bed. So, if there are 3,000 beds in the ambit of things we would end up spending around Rs 3,000 crore roughly. We have both internal and private equity to fund the commercial aspect of it. The money that has been given to us will be used along with the internal money for substantiating the plans.
 
How many hospitals are you planning for FY15?
We plan to add around 100 beds in Manipal Hospitals Bangalore by early 2015 which is our flagship venture. From the other projects, the one in Mangalore will be a Greenfield project-with a capacity of 150-200 beds while the one in Goa was revamped earlier this year to a 235 bed unit. In the pipeline a separate Women and child care unit is in the ambit of discussion in Goa along with expansion plans in Vijayawada with around 350 beds and another 50-60 beds would be also be added in Vizag.
 
What are your target cities?
The 3,000 additional beds which we plan to add up in the coming three years would be set up in existing and new locations. The expansion would spread across both in south and north India along with the east. In north specifically we are primarily concentrating on Delhi and Rajasthan while in the east we will look at Bhubaneswar and Orissa.
 
Every year around 50,000 patients from West Bengal & North Eastern states come to Bangalore for being treated at Manipal Hospitals, which once more establishes our brand reckoning beyond South India.
 
Now, with the aim of aggressively expanding our operations across India, we are executing our growth strategy by adding to our existing capacity. Our first initiative in the North has been in Rajasthan. We recently announced our collaboration with S.K. Soni Hospitals in Jaipur. Through this venture we look forward to bring the best of healthcare service at-per with Global standards to Rajasthan. This collaboration process would see a total of 280 beds and a facility deployed with the latest medical technologies.
 
Brief us about your international plans?
As per the international expansion plans, we have also initiated our presence in Malaysia and Africa. An acquisition project in Malaysia was successfully done. We are also looking at increasing the number of beds there in the coming days. 25 percent or more of the doctors in Malaysia were trained in Kasturba medical College which is of the Manipal Group. The current bed strength being 60 beds, we are looking at projects to acquire more hospitals in Malaysia where we plan to add another 150 beds.
 
As far as Africa is concerned, a clinic at Nigeria in Lagos has also been started. There has also been a recent MOU signed with the Zanzibar Government in East Africa to provide high end medical and quaternary care.
 
Brief us about your Financials?
Manipal Hospital will become a company of worth Rs 2,000 crore from the present Rs 800 crore. This growth is aimed to be achieved in the coming 3 years.

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