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Manipal Hospitals Plans Expansion

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Manipal Hospitals, the third largest hospital chain in the country after Apollo and Fortis, is planning to add about 2,000 beds of it own and manage 6,000 more within the next five years at an investment of Rs 1,500-2000 crore, said Dr Ajay Bakshi, the new managing director and chief executive of Manipal Health Enterprises.

Currently, Manipal Hospitals has 2,000 beds and manages another 3,200 across primary to tertiary care, mainly in South India and abroad.

The expansion will be mainly focused on North and West Indian tier-2 and tier-3 cities, towns and rural areas with big potential for healthcare. Manipal, which has a network of 15 hospitals (five tertiary care and nine secondary care) and three primary clinics across four states in South India, had recently acquired a 200-bedded hospital in Jaipur. The hospital chain is also planning to add more bed capacity in the public-private partnership (PPP) space.

“We are looking at both organic and inorganic route and will fund the expansion with internal accruals and private equity funding”, said Bakshi. He said the company will also look at going public in a couple of years, if the stock market environment remains robust.

Sources said Manipal Hospitals had raised $20 million from IDFC in 2006 and later Rs 110 crore from Kotak Mahindra and Rs 175 crore from India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA). Manipal Health Enterprises (MHE) is the holding company for Manipal Hospitals. Dr Bakshi declined to reveal details about the management structure and investments, citing the venture is privately owned by the Manipal group.

Dr T.M.A Pai founded Manipal Group, entered into corporate healthcare only in 2005, though the group had been running hospitals under a trust since 1953. The Manipal Hospitals are now located in Bangalore (3), Mangalore, Goa, Vijayawada, Salem, Tumkur, Visakhapatnam, Jaipur etc.

Outside India, the hospital group is also planning to strengthen its presence. Manipal Hospitals had acquired a hospital at Klang, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and is planning more facilities in Malaysia, Middle East and South Africa.

The Manipal Group already runs medical colleges in Malaysia, Nepal, Dubai and Antigua and about 20 percent of doctors in Malaysia are trained at Manipal’s medical colleges. “We are trying to leverage this brand equity”, said Dr Bakshi.

In an organisational restructuring early this month, Dr Ajay Bakshi took over as the managing director and CEO, from Rajen Padukone, who took a new role as Group President in the holding company. Besides education and healthcare, the Manipal Group also owns the drug discovery services company Manipal Acunova and Stempeutics, a stem cell drug research company.

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