Apollo chief is not ruing missed opportunity

Written by fe Bureaus | Chennai | Updated: Aug 27 2009, 05:09am hrs
Apollo Hospitals chairman Pratap C Reddy, does not regret missing out on opportunities in acquiring Wockhardt properties. Reddy, who was responding to questions on the Fortis acquisition of Wockhardt Hospitals on Monday, said, We have our reasons for not regretting our move in this regard.

Apollo Hospitals on Tuesday held a press conference in Chennai to announce the groups unique distinction of completing more than 10,000 coronary bypass operations using the beating heart advanced cardiac surgical technique, claimed to be first in the world. On the sidelines of the meet, Reddy said: We cannot be compared with anyone. We are a healthcare group; not a hospital group. We are into hospitals, education, research and pharmacies among other healthcare areas. We welcome more and more players. There are opportunities for everyone to grow organically in India.

Based on the McKinsey, CII and government estimates, India requires 100,000 beds a year for next 10 years or so. Apollo has a huge role to play. We have been experiencing both organic and inorganic growth in the last few years. We have close to 8,000 beds under our belt. We will be adding 1,000 beds a year for next three to four years and have already plans for that. We will also be expanding our presence in the overseas markets as well Reddy said.

To a specific question, he said: Some of the Wockhardt hospitals are located in places where we already have presence. Though we wanted to acquire some of the properties of the latter, we had to put off our plans due to various reasons. We dont regret for the same. There is a huge gap between demand and supply.

Explaining in detail, Reddy said, We have just opened a hospital in Mauritius. Similarly, we will be going for greenfield projects in Nigeria, Shanghai (China) and Vienna with bed sizes ranging from 150 to 250 with multi-million dollar investments. We will be also opening pharmacies in Mauritius and other countries based on the approval from respective governments. In addition to that, the group has hired L&T and Sharponji and Pallonji to construct hospitals in Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad and Mumbai to add more beds in a short span of time.

On achieving the unique feat of completing over 10,000 coronary bypass operations using the beating heart advanced cardiac surgical technique, Reddy said, We are probably the first in the world to achieve that. For the year ended March 31, 2009, the group reported net sales of Rs 1,458 crore and a net profit of Rs 118 crore.