Post-Paras sale, Girish Patel to focus on expanding healthcare biz

PTI Mumbai | Updated on February 22, 2011 Published on February 22, 2011

Paras Pharma products- D'cold, Itch Guard, Ring Guard and Moov. (file photo)   -  Business Line

Life has become even more hectic for the promoter of Ahmedabad-based Paras Pharma, Girish Patel, following the recent acquisition of the company by Reckitt Benckiser, a medium-sized British consumer goods firm with a strong portfolio of products like Dettol and Harpic.

Mr Patel now shuttles between Paras Pharma’s head office in Ahmedabad and the official headquarters of Sterling Addlife Ltd, a company that he started in 2000 with a vision to create another Fortis.

Fortis is a leading hospital chain run by the billionaire Singh Brothers — Malvinder and Shivinder Singh.

“Paras’ sale is not the end of the journey, but a beginning. From now on, the focus will be on my vision of creating a chain of Sterling hospitals with world-class infrastructure and facilities,” Mr Patel told PTI here.

When asked, how his life has transformed following the Paras sale, the 52-year-old Patel said: “Business is as usual at Paras, as it has not been handed over completely to Reckitt. I am looking after the business at Paras currently and also focusing on expanding my healthcare arm.”

Paras will be taken over by Reckitt completely in the next two weeks. Mr Patel sold Paras Pharma for Rs 3,620 crore, a valuation which several industry analysts said, was over-priced for a company with an annual turnover of little more than Rs 400 crore. However, the company had strong brands like D’cold, Moov, Set Wet, Livon and Zatak.

Mr Patel already runs a 700-bed hospital in Ahmedabad and plans to scale up the business by adding 300 more beds in the current year.

“My focus will be to expand the healthcare business in Gujarat first before going pan-India,” he said, adding that his healthcare business, Sterling Addlife Ltd, is backed by UK-based private equity firm Actis, which was also a PE investor in Paras Pharma.

Mr Patel is also looking at different avenues to create more value. The company has already announced a 180-bed hospital in Bhavnagar, which will come up at an investment of around Rs 50 crore. In addition, it has also launched a facility for bone marrow transplantation and blood diseases in Ahmedabad.

He, however, refused to divulge the financial details and long-term plans of the company, saying, “It is too early to talk about them.”

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Published on February 22, 2011
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