Healthcare firm building hospitals in UAE, Qatar; in talks over India, eyes US market
DM Healthcare, one the biggest private healthcare providers in the Gulf, will invest US$600m in building and acquiring hospitals and clinics in the GCC and India, the UAE-based firm’s chairman told Arabian Business.
The investments will be made up of US$300m on green and brownfield projects in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and a further US$300m on purchasing majority stakes in hospitals in the Subcontinent, Dr Azad Moopen said.
The projects include a 100-bed multispecialty hospital in both Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE, which are due for completion in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Other investments include two greenfield sites and three acquisitions in Saudi Arabia over the next five years and a 75-bed facility in Qatar due to open in 2014. DM Healthcare will also add 100 beds to its existing 240-bed general hospital in Riyadh.
DM Healthcare is also planning a number of new locations in India over the next five years, Moopen said, following the construction of a 3,100-bed medical city in Kerala.
“We are looking at India as a major opportunity as we go forward in the next 15-20 years,” he said. "Of course the Middle East is good and we already have a presence here, but as a larger market we would like to have a closer involvement in India.”
Moopen said that DM Healthcare was in talks to purchase stakes in existing healthcare facilities in “tier two” Indian cities in the states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. These cities include Pune, Kolhapur, Nashik and Baroda.
“Our strategy is to go into these cities rather than into the metros (metropolitan areas), which already have the presence of large [healthcare] chains,” he added.
“Our plan is to have associations with existing doctor groups, who already own hospitals and who want to expand,” Moopen added. “For example somebody who has a 50-bed hospital or a 100-bed hospital, if they want to add on another 200 beds, and if they are ready to give a majority stake to us, then we invest the money as well as the expertise, but they will be running it from the grass roots level.”
Moopen told Arabian Business that the company would hire 10,000 new employees over the next five years to accommodate its expansion, taking DM Healthcare’s total headcount to more than 15,000.
He said that DM Healthcare was also examining potential opportunities in the US, Europe, Egypt and Nigeria, which would mainly target medical tourism, but would likely not happen until after 2017. “Instead of [patients] travelling to the Asian countries, why don’t we take this to them? It will be a better method than bring all these patients here,” Moopen said. “If you take one doctor [to the US], maybe he can see 100 patients there?”
Founded in 1987 in Dubai, DM Healthcare runs hospitals, clinics and pharmacies across most of the GCC countries.
According to Moopen, the company’s revenue was about US$500m in 2011 and is anticipating 30 percent to 40 percent growth this year.