Joint venture co to open 100 stores over next two years

Our Bureau

Cure & care


To offer

pharmacy, consultation, cosmetology, dentistry, optometry and sports rehabilitation under one roof.

To bring

healthcare delivery out of hospitals and clinics into a mall environment.

Bangalore, Aug. 7

Manipal Health Systems (MHS) has announced a joint venture with Pantaloon Retail for a comprehensive retail healthcare foray.

Manipal Cure & Care Ltd, the joint venture company with an initial investment of Rs 10 crore, will open 100 stores by the same name across the country over the next two years to offer pharmacy, consultation, cosmetology, dentistry, optometry and sports rehabilitation under one roof, MHS said in a release.

Innovative model

"Manipal Cure & Care stores are a new and innovative model bringing healthcare delivery out of hospitals and clinics into a mall environment," said Dr Ranjan Pai, CEO, Manipal Education and Medical Group.

"We plan to invest over Rs 800 crore in our healthcare business in the next five years. This segment contributed approximately 30 per cent to the turnover of group and we expect it to generate more than 50 per cent of turnover by 2011. The growth will come from initiatives like Manipal Cure & Care and the new hospitals that are being added to our chain using organic and inorganic modes."

As per an MoU signed over the weekend, the existing pharmacies of both companies will now come under the brand name.

The first Manipal Cure & Care store will come up on a 7,000-sq. ft space on Old Madras Road in Bangalore.

The consultations will cover general medicine, paediatrics, ENT, dermatology, ophthalmology and sports medicine

Manipal, said to be the Asia's largest hospital management group, will combine its 50-year experience in healthcare with Pantaloon's retail success, real estate and front-end customer experience.

New clinics in malls

The over Rs 2,000-crore Pantaloon runs the Central, Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar malls. The nearly Rs 250-crore MHS would be putting up a clinic in every Big Bazaar and also a healthcare space for consultation, sports and dermatology care in all the Pantaloon malls in the coming months, Dr Pai told

Business Line

.

MHS would also try to match Pantaloon's pricing USP. With each health store estimated at Rs 2 crore-3 crore, he said it may amount to Rs 25 crore per partner; Manipal would fund it through internal resources, private equity and debt.

Dr Pai said, "India's healthcare industry is today recognised the world over and is poised to represent the country parallel to IT sector. Manipal has strong fundamentals and brand equity in healthcare and we will ride the retailing wave sweeping India for accelerated growth."

Pantaloon has its own concept of health villages providing 2-3 services under a roof.

Manipal would be involved in the serious medicine part of Cure & Care stores there.

Health village

"The Health Village is an entirely new initiative for us and we are privileged to have the best healthcare brand with us," said the Pantaloon Managing Director, Mr Kishore Biyani.

"Healthcare is a very emotional issue for all and getting the right partner for our health village initiative was a challenge."

According to Mr R. Basil, Managing Director & CEO, MHS, "An integrated health system provides better efficiency in healthcare delivery and retailing will play a significant role in future."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 8, 2006)
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