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We plan to expand to underserved areas: Manipal Hospitals CEO

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on June 03, 2021

Dilip Jose, MD & CEO, Manipal Health Enterprises

‘We are not thinking about more acquisitions in terms of timelines, it would depend on opportunities that come up’

Four weeks after Manipal Hospitals completed its acquisition of Columbia Asia Hospitals for ₹2,100 crore following NIIFL’s investment of ₹2,100 crore in Manipal Hospitals, the second largest multi-speciality hospital chain in India has acquired 100 per cent stake in Vikram Hospital for ₹350 crore. In an interview with BusinessLine, Dilip Jose, MD & CEO, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt Ltd, talked about his vision for the hospital and revenue growth expectations this fiscal. Excerpts:

How did Manipal Hospitals fund the Vikram Hospital acquisition?

We had a single hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which we exited in the beginning of May. Then we had said that the proceeds from that exit will be used for further expansion in India. We also had internal accruals, therefore we did not have to borrow money for this acquisition.

While Vikram Hospital is best known for its expertise in cardiac and neuroSciences, Manipal Hospitals is more broad based...

Yes, we have a fairly broad based speciality mix. None of our 30 specialities, including niche specialities like paediatric gastroenterology, spine deformity corrections, sports medicine and PMR (physical medicine & rehabilitation) contribute to more than 10 per cent of our overall revenue. People come to Manipal Hospitals for oncology, cardiology, critical care, neuro sciences, orthopaedics etc, so we are really spread out in terms of specialities. We have patients from all over. Before international travel shut down we also had a lot of international patients.

What percentage of your revenue comes from overseas patients?

Before Covid, 8-10 per cent of our revenue came from overseas patients primarily from the Middle East and North Africa, Maldives and Bangladesh. Now it has come down to just 2-3 per cent of our revenue due to international travel restrictions. Once things normalise we expect it to go back to the former levels and grow from there.

What is your vision for Manipal Hospitals in the next 3-5 years and by when will Columbia Asia Hospitals and Vikram Hospital be rebranded as Manipal Hospitals?

To have a volume-led growth by serving more and more patients. Expand our footprint to cater to people closer to home because we have people travelling from across the country to come to us. The plan is to expand into underserved areas and deliver the quality of clinical care and outcomes that we are really known for. We plan to rebrand Columbia Asia Hospitals and Vikram Hospital in the next 3-4 months. We would have done it faster but for the second Covid wave. We are not thinking about more acquisitions in terms of timelines, it would depend on opportunities that come up.

What kind of revenue growth do you expect this fiscal?

We exited FY2021 with integrated revenue of ₹3,600 crore between Manipal and Columbia Asia hospitals. It is difficult to predict how much revenue growth we will achieve because of the second wave of Covid. In normal circumstances we would have expected to grow at 18-20 per cent but then with Covid it is difficult to predict.

Manipal is a tertiary care hospital but harbours aspirations to be a quaternary care hospital chain...

Its a very thin line between tertiary and quaternary. In most of the specialities we are at the quaternary level, whether it is cardiology, oncology, neurosurgery, or organ transplants. For example, most of our larger hospitals across our network of 27 hospitals pan India are doing tertiary and advanced quaternary work, apart from 2-3 smaller hospitals in Bengaluru.

What is the occupancy rate of Covid patients at your hospitals at present?

At a point of time over 80 per cent of our occupancy was COVID patients, which has come down to 60 per cent in the last week or so, across our network of hospitals. In Karnataka for example, 50 per cent of the beds in our hospitals are reserved for Covid patients. There was a time during the peak of Covid this year and last year about 25 per cent of our total consultations moved to video and consultations on our app. Last year the moment everything opened up, most of the consultations moved to physical consults apart from a small percentage that was still online. Tertiary and Quaternary care are not exactly amenable to online consultations, while for follow ups it may be be okay.

Published on June 03, 2021

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