Dr Lal Pathlabs, one of the largest pharmaceutical chains in the country, is poised to enter foreign waters soon, while also expanding into South and West India, said Chief Executive Officer, Om Manchanda.

Manchanda said the firm would invest up to Rs 550 crore ($100 million) for its expansion plans. He said the money would be raised from internal accruals, debt and two global private equity firms.

“Our next goal is to aggressively expand in South and West of India, where we are not such a big consumer brand. We are looking at some partnerships, wherein we inorganically acquire some platforms in Chennai and Hyderabad and expand there,” he told Business Line, adding that second piece of this growth would be going global.

“We are looking at Africa very seriously, South-East Asia and West Asia,” he said. The company is already in talks for its plans of gaining a footprint in East and West Africa.

Manchanda, who joined Dr Lal Pathlabs in 2005, is credited with giving new energy to the company, and increasing its turnover by over 10 times to about Rs 450 crore from Rs 40 crore in 2005.

He added that given the changing nature of healthcare from “opinion-based to evidence-based” treatment, there are huge business opportunities in the industry, especially in the pathology vertical.

“The pathology industry is even more important in healthcare as 70 per cent of medical decisions are based on some kind of test. Nowadays, doctors generally don’t write medicines without conducting a few tests,” he said.

aesha.datta@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 20, 2012)
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