Volume IconHow is Viren Shetty taking Narayana Health biz close to US shores?

In a chat with Business Standard's Sohini Das, executive vice-chairman of Narayana Health, Viren Shetty tells about expansion plans within and outside India, and lessons learnt during the pandemic

ImageSohini Das New Delhi
Viren Shetty

Narayana Health’s executive vice-chairman Viren Shetty

Q1: You have overseas expansion plans. Can you elaborate?

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>Investment in Cayman Islands is an expansion to the main campus 
>To invest $100 mn on oncology-focused day-care surgery centre in Cayman Island campus
>Investing in clinics, diagnostic centres etc in the Caribbean
>Outside of India, the Caribbean is the main focus now 

Q2: So, if I am not wrong, you are catering to the local population mostly. But is there any plan to expand the scale there, so that you can tap the entire Caribbean? 
>Population is small, so the number of services offered is controlled  
>Beyond surgeries, want to get into primary care, secondary care, daycare, advanced robotic surgery and oncology  

Q3: Is there any North America expansion plan?
>Will run out of opportunities to expand in Caribbean islands eventually because it’s a small market
>Plans to expand in North America at some point in the future 
>In talks with people, exploring opportunities and ideas. But it’s still very early

Q4: Coming back to your India plans, around Rs 1,000 cr investment is planned for green-field and brown-field in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Raipur. Which will be your focus cities in India? How many beds would you be adding in the next 2-3 years? And, what is your plan to increase your footprint within the country? 
>Focus areas are Bengaluru and Kolkata
>Desperately need capacity expansion in Bengaluru and Kolkata 
>Looking at brownfield investments in existing hospitals in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi and Raipur 
>Aims to add one floor, 20 beds, 50 beds, oncology, certain OPD blocks with the investment
> Rs 1,000 cr will be invested for additional campuses to the existing ones in Bengaluru and Kolkata, where space is a constrain 
>Expecting to add about 600 to 800 beds in Bengaluru and Kolkata in the next 2-3 years

Q5: Is medical tourism back to pre-pandemic levels now?
>Medical tourism hasn’t recovered yet - flight schedules are not frequent, connectivity is still hard, getting visa and RT PCR done continues to be a challenge
>Don’t expect medical tourism volumes to pick up to pre-Covid levels anytime soon
>It doesn’t matter much for Narayana Health because its volumes have bounced back to pre-Covid levels

Q6: Where do you see Narayana Health in the next 5 years?
>Sustained pre-Covid level of growth
>Can sustain revenue growth and output growth, because of capacity investment in improving throughput, oncology and high-end surgeries, etc 
>Making investments in infrastructure at several hospitals, for the next five years
>For the next two and half years, there will be construction work and disruptions in the facilities

First Published: Jul 01 2022 | 07:00 AM IST

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