The UK-based Bourn Hall Clinic is expanding base in India. On his recent visit to India, Mike Macnamee, CEO, Bourn Hall Clinic spoke to M Neelam Kachhap about the hospital’s future plans and investment route
What is your biggest challenge at the moment as CEO of Bourn Hall?
The biggest challenge in the current scenario is to get trained manpower that has specialisation in infertility treatment, from doctors and embryologists to support staff like nurses etc. The other challenge, especially for the Indian market, is lack of awareness and lack of proper regulatory authority for infertility treatment.
What are your plans to tackle the challenge?
We are doing a lot of workshops and training sessions for the team members, internally and externally.
You currently operate in three very different markets. How would you describe these markets and what has been your experience?
Yes, we operate in the UK, Dubai and Indian markets at present and these markets are very similar. We are very culturally sensitive and strictly Shariah compliant in Dubai. In terms of religion we don’t have any issue. There are slight demographic differences in terms of patients and slight differences in how women respond to medications. In UK, there is less taboo talking about the cause of infertility than in India. In terms of revenue, all the three locations differ as cost of operations is different at all the locations.
What have been your biggest learning from your initial failure in the Indian market?
In India people are still unaware about the treatment available for infertility. People are still moving towards alternative therapies and reaching out to the specialists a bit late. The major learning is to make couples aware about treatment availability. We are running a lot of awareness campaigns to provide proper information to the couples through educational seminars, fertility camps etc.
How do you perceive India as a market for IVF?
India is home to 30 million childless couples. One out of six couples in India has fertility problems and the incidence is growing at a very alarming rate. Some of the main causes of infertility among couples are the rising levels of stress and other lifestyle disorders like smoking, alcohol, late marriages and delayed child birth.
Share your plans for the growth of Bourn Hall International?
We are currently looking at the Indian healthcare market in greater detail and based on early indications we expect to invest no less than $100 million in the next three to five years, but we are taking our steps with caution and at the right time. Growing a business across India needs to be carefully planned and executed. We will work on the hub-and-spoke model and shall open around 18 more clinics across India. We have already done a tie-up with Muthoot Healthcare to provide infertility treatment in South Kerala. Now we plan to expand more in North India, starting with spokes in Delhi NCR. After that, we are planning to open greenfield, full-fledged centres in different geographies like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and J&K. Gradually, we will open greenfield centres across the nation.