Diversified group ITC plans to set up multi-specialty hospitals and leverage its experience in hospitality for tapping into the expanding medical tourism segment in India. The Kolkata-based firm, better known for FMCG products and cigarettes, is seeking approval from shareholders through a special resolution to alter its Memorandum of Association in order to be able to foray into the healthcare sector.
The board of directors of the company has “recommended exploring and entering the area of health in India by way of setting up state of the art world class multi specialty hospitals”, ITC said in a notice to the shareholders.
The move is in the context of the company’s vision to “sub-serve national priorities which has driven the company’s operations, diversification initiatives and CSR policies and practices”, it added.
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Such initiative would leverage the company’s repertoire of knowledge and experience in the hospitality and tourism sector and can be used for medical tourism for the country using the multi-specialty world class facilities,” it said.
“Your Board believes that world class medical facilities providing patient-centric best practices that would be valued and trusted by the society will drive reform in healthcare in India,” ITC said in its notice to shareholders, asking them to approve the proposal through postal ballot and e-voting.
ITC will compete with the likes of Chennai-based Apollo Hospitals, Fortis and Max Healthcare which are among the major private players in the sector.
The company is looking at the whole gamut of healthcare to be included in its amended Memorandum of Association.
These include business of multi speciality hospitals, medical and health care centres, mobile health centres, nursing homes, diagnostic centres, dispensaries, pharmacies, clinics, laboratories, polyclinics, drug and medical accessories stores.
It also includes nutrition and dietetic counselling centres, medical colleges, nursing colleges, medical research centres, facilities for training, development and skilling of related manpower, and to engage in and support medical tourism and all other related medical, surgical, curative and health services and allied activities.
Last month, the board of directors of the company at its meeting recommended seeking approval from its shareholders for an alteration of the objects of the clause of its Memorandum of Association to include ‘Healthcare’.
ITC is striving to position itself as one of India’s most valuable corporations “through world class performance, creating growing value for the Indian economy and the company’s stakeholders”.
For its FMCG business, the company has set an ambitious target of Rs 1 lakh crore revenue from this segment by 2030 and it is looking to create “world-class Indian brands” by leveraging on its enterprise strengths.
In 2015-16, ITC’s total FMCG business had a consolidated revenue of Rs 28,409.83 crore in which cigarettes contributed Rs 18,685.98 crore and non-cigarettes at Rs 9,723.85 crore.