The Health Sector in India is a promising sector for entrepreneurs as there is a wide gap between demand and supply in this field. While there is a huge scope for building new enterprises, innovative businesses and many more, many people are not foreseeing the opportunity in front of them. Many who have taken a plunge into the field have written many success stories, but there are many others expecting better governmental policies, investments and supports.
As part of our special coverage on the Health Sector in India, SE talks to various entrepreneurs in the health field right from online companies to medical device manufactures to doctors and innovative modern medical professionals, to understand the opportunities in the field, their expectations and the challenges they are facing.
V. Thiyagarajan, Co-Founder & Managing Director – India Home Healthcare (IHHC), talks to Small Enterprise India:
India Home Healthcare (IHHC) was incorporated in 2009 to provide personalized care to patients at the doorstep. Using state of the art protocols and processes, IHHC has been able to grow its footprint in Chennai, Bangalore and Gujarat and is one of the preferred home healthcare providers to all major hospitals in these cities. The company associated with one of the pioneers in the home healthcare market in the US, BAYADA home healthcare. We formed a partnership in July 2013 to ensure quality care for more people in India. This association has helped us deliver our services with international expertise. We are planning to expand our services to home healthcare to children with special needs and we are in the process of training our care takers.
How do you see the growth of health care segment in India
Healthcare sector is considered one of the largest sector in terms of both revenue and workforce employment worldwide. The Indian healthcare industry is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to become a US$ 280 billion industry by 2020.
With the trend shifting from infectious diseases to lifestyle diseases, organized home healthcare industry will go a long way in shaping the sector in India in the coming years. Experts believe that home health care in India is estimated to be worth 12,600 crores market while the global home healthcare market is expected to cross 19 lakhs crores by 2018. This is evident from a score of international players investing in Indian home healthcare players.
What are the new opportunities for healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs who wish to invest in the healthcare segment?
Home health care is one of the fastest growing sectors with ample investment opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. Investment in terms of IT infrastructure, technology, training that will establish the Indian healthcare sector as one of the best in the world. Home Health Equipment is another area of opportunity for entrepreneurs.
What are the challenges faced by you and the health care industry / health care professionals in India
Home healthcare, with its ever growing demand is still an unorganized sector at large. There is a dearth of trained care-takers to meet the huge demand in this sector. Also, we need institutions that can provide courses to impart specialized courses catering to training nurses for caring at home.
How the governmental policies are helping the health care industry?
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) launched by the Government of India is a step forward in establishing effective integration and convergence of health services. Government is working towards making healthcare an affordable entity to all sections of the society.
However, the industry on the whole, lacks regulations and the Government should take that up in order to ensure that the patients get good quality of care.
How FDI is helping the Indian health care industry
The recent policy change with respect to allowing 100% of FDI in medical devices sector will help the growth of the much needed medical devices, especially the implantable medical devices.
How start-ups can effectively tap the opportunities in the segment
Health care is an industry where the demand keeps growing each day and the more the number of players the better it is. Though the industry is quite big, healthcare is still out of reach for people in the rural areas. Start-ups can focus on bridging this gap and taking healthcare to the rural areas. Home healthcare is a very promising avenue with ample opportunities for start-ups.
What are your plans in India for the next 2 years?
We plan to expand our services to various cities in the country and establish ourselves in at least 16 cities by March 2016. We will also be training care-takers on a large scale though out the country. Also, we are working towards bringing insurance players to broaden their services to home health care. This will be the next big step for both the parties, viz. insurance players and the home healthcare players.