WNS gets deeper into healthcare with tuck-in buys

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on January 15, 2018

WNS eps

NYSE-listed Business Process Management (BPM) company WNS was always on the lookout for niche and tuck-in acquisitions to augment its capabilities, and the latest in the series is not much different. The focus of the two recent acquisitions was to strengthen its healthcare and insurance verticals.

On Wednesday, marking its eighth acquisition after listing in 2006 and 11th since inception, WNS acquired US-based HealthHelp for $95 million (about ₹627 crore). In value terms, this was the biggest-ever deal for the Mumbai-based firm.

“This is not to emerge from any shadows as we believe that we are the leaders in this space and this gives us very solid muscle power in the healthcare vertical where we see huge opportunity. And through this acquisition, we are getting deeper into that area (healthcare),” WNS Chief Executive Officer Keshav R. Murugesh told BusinessLine in an interaction.

“We have been constantly watching healthcare and certain specific sectors such as care management for over a year. Apart from this being a strategic fit, this also brings in 400 new jobs and roles for WNS in the US, and it also adds much more stronger capabilities and fire power in our offerings,” he added.

HealthHelp comes with deep healthcare domain expertise and analytics, a proprietary technology platform (ConsultTM) that was built in collaboration with the medical research community and a non-denial delivery model (effectively steering claimants to the most appropriate treatment).

“From a healthcare and insurance perspective, WNS happens to have a significant presence but needed a shot in the arm as far as analytics is considered. The acquisition is to improve its insurance and healthcare verticals, and this acquisition is not very expensive one, and it would help the company in providing tailored offerings to clients,” Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO at Greyhound Knowledge Group, said.

“Further, the company could be incubating it more from a product point of view,” he added.

Its acquisition of Value Edge in 2016 was also in the healthcare space. For WNS, a company set up by British Airways in Mumbai in 1996, these buys, apart from being accretive to business also helped enhance its global presence. Mumbai-headquartered WNS employs about 32,000 personnel of which 21,000 are based in India.

Expanding global presence

“When I joined the company, WNS had presence in about four countries, which has hence increased to 12 countries,” Murugesh, who joined the company in 2010, said.

In 2011, the company acquired the balance shareholding in Philippine joint venture, today it has “bloomed well”. WNS started a partnership with Fusion in South Africa and later acquired it, and grew it to 4,000-4,500 people from 1,100 personnel firm.

“We are not hungry to do acquisitions, but hungry to service customers in the age of disruption. If it is a good fit, we will also look at transformational acquisition, even though that is not a priority,” he added.

Published on March 17, 2017

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