||Abhay Soi, Chairman and Managing Director, Radiant Life Care Private Limited, talks to ETHealthworld about the developments made in BLK Super Specialty Hospital, Delhi and Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital in Mumbai.
What brought you into the healthcare business?
Well my background is restructuring in turnarounds. Earlier I use to head the restructuring practice for Arthur Andersen, EMY and KPMG for a while thereafter I was in the business, special situation turning around companies. Hospital is something which happened by accident while I was restructuring and turning around a Company.
I ended up acquiring the Company which was a Hospital Development, Management and Operation Company. So our first foray thereafter was BLK Super Specialty Hospital in Delhi.
Tell us about the model that you initiated for restructuring BLK and how has it progressed?
We commissioned the BLK Hospital in early 2010. We started by trying to figure out what we wanted to be in the healthcare space. We brought in Alok Nanda, who was an expert as far as urban infrastructure and branding is concerned. We went through this entire branding exercise which involved a lot of searching on my part and the senior management at Radiant, to define what we wanted to be.
We realized that we wanted to be a high end quaternary care player and more prevalent in business of transplants and unique health care solutions rather than higher secondary or secondary care institutions in its true sense.
So that was really what we targeted to be and that is something what we work thereafter. It is a similar exercise that we did while we took over Nanavati Mumbai as well.
What sets BLK apart from other healthcare institutes?
Firstly, BLK is a 700 bed super specialty hospital. Its the largest of its size quaternary Hospital in the Capital. The scale and size also enable us to invest more in technology, academics and research to pursue medical tourism.
We probably do the highest amount of medical tourism in the country at present. One third of our total revenue is based on medical tourism.
Another aspect is that we have 350 consultants and 110 full time Consultants at the Hospital. Its the people who are working day in and day out, which kind of set us apart rather than floating population of doctors who are practicing in more than one place. So it is the size of the enterprise in which gives us a lot of synergies and economies.
Was Nanavati a replication or a different approach?
Our approach was similar but it was very different in terms of where it was on its life cycle. Nanavati is more of a restructuring in turnaround where as BLK has been a commissioning of new Hospital.
We took a lot of learnings from BLK and we applied them at Nanavati and we continue to do so. It was a hospital which is there for last 5 decades and it has seen its highs and lows. So its been a complete different set of challenges but the end goal being the same which is being the premiere quaternary care hospital for high end specialties in Mumbai.
How do you select a Hospital?
The two commonalities that we have in both the ventures are of significant size with all core specialties present with all form of technology and equipment present. So I think size is one common distinction.
Second is a metro centric approach meaning rather than taking healthcare to everybody across the country, we believe the cost of transportation and communication is fairly reasonable. It is about creating facilities, institutes of certain size and scale, where people will travel to in order to get best of healthcare.
So its a like Neo clinic or MD Anderson in the US, where people travel to rather than having smaller facilities in smaller towns.
What are the challenges and learning points in the restructuring of these two hospitals?
Well, the learnings are that each place has its own nuances, cultural differences and you have to be able to embrace them and operate at that pace rather than trying to dictate the pace which is very different from what you think may be right.
Tell us about your future expansion plans in healthcare.
The future expansion plans for the two hospitals is making them at least among the largest quaternary care institutes in their regions. Delhi would have 1000 bed plus and so would Nanavati be in the next 3 to 4 years. Other than this, we will look at other metro centric opportunities of a similar size and scale.
Our idea is not necessarily to go to tier 2 or tier 3 cities rather it is essentially of creating large institutes in tier 1 cities in the metros.
If we look at the density of the population and the portability of the population I think the maximum number of shortfalls between beds required, beds available and beds desired in across the country are in Mumbai and Delhi, largely due to densely affordable population in these places. So that is the gap that we are trying to address.