The healthcare sector has become one of the most glorified sectors of the Indian economy with launch of world-class facilities, cutting-edge technologies, government initiatives, indigenous manufacturing, and unprecedented growth rates. Even the global meltdown has not deterred growth of this sector as the demand for healthcare is not dependent on the customers’ discretion. Reports suggest that the sector grew at a rate of a whopping 9.3 percent in the last decade (2000 – 2009) and, going further, will grow at 23 percent per annum. This encompasses all major segments including healthcare providers in the public and private sector, health insurance providers, technology vendors, laboratory medicine, life sciences and pharma, among others. The leading contributors are hospitals, medical diagnostic and pathlabs, medical tourism and the medical insurance sector.
The growing awareness of the unmatched benefits of digitisation in healthcare facilities has provided the requisite impetus to the health IT industry in the country with the vendors providing excellent software and solutions and providers opting for the best available technologies. In the medical technology space, while big giants like GE, Siemens and Philips continue to provide the best technologies in India, the indigenous medical device industry is also getting established with key players like Sushrut-Adler Group making a niche space for themselves in the market. Indigenous medical device manufacturing to curb the prices of medical equipment saw a new light, this year, with Trivitron investing in India’s first ever medical technology park in the country. Newly emerged but promising segments such as medical tourism and health insurance are also growing rapidly making India’s healthcare sector bigger and better.
The healthcare providers space is also undergoing complete transformation with several corporate and big multi-speciality hospitals, in addition to smaller facilities along with public care centres emerging rapidly. In the coming times, about 15 major hospital projects are expected to come up in the country. Another emerging trend is the overflow of private investments in this sector with various private equity and venture capitalist entities trying to capitalise on the growing opportunities in healthcare. In fact, it is interesting to note that almost 12 percent of the USD 77 million venture capital investments in the third quarter of 2009 were made towards healthcare. Leading funding entities such as ICICI Ventures, IFC, Ashmore and Apax Partners have all plunged into this space. Even the government, in association with the private sector, is all set to spend somewhere between USD 1-2 billion with an aim to make India one of the top five global pharmaceutical innovation hubs by 2020.
The success of the Indian healthcare sector can be attributed to certain key people, who have brought about a complete revolution in this industry through challenging times. This issue is dedicated to the leaders in the healthcare sector in Indiaï¿½their dedication and commitment. The ‘Special Feature’ on ‘Road to the Top’ reflects on the journeys of the most eminent people in the healthcare industry in India and shares their experiences and visions for the future.
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