Singapore-headquartered Spice Global, a diversified group with interests in mobility solutions, finance and entertainment, has expanded its business portfolio with a foray into the healthcare space. The privately held group of industrialist BK Modi is in the process of setting up its first multi-super speciality hospital, christened Saket City Hospital, in Delhi, with an envisaged investment of Rs 1,400 crore ($250 million).
The first phase of construction has been completed with an initial investment of Rs 400 crore while the second phase, which will add 230 beds, will be completed by June this year. The hospital will have 1,000 bed capacity by the end of the third and final phase, expected to be finished by mid-2016.
Commenting on the initiative, Spice Global chairman, BK Modi, said, “Healthcare will be our key focus in 2013.” The cash-rich group, which garnered big money while selling Spice Communications to Idea Cellular a few years ago, is pumping in money on its own for the healthcare foray.
The group also roped in Pervez Ahmed, former CEO of Max Healthcare, as the lead director and vice-chairman of Modi Healthcare in June last year.
“Land is a major concern while opening a super speciality hospital but we have sorted that out. We have around 150 doctors at present,” said Ahmed.
The upcoming hospital offers super-specialty care in cardiac sciences, neurosciences, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology besides orthopaedics and joint replacement.
The move makes Spice Global a player among a handful of corporate houses who have set up state-of-the-art hospitals. The highly fragmented healthcare market has only a few large national players including Apollo Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare and Max Healthcare besides a slew of emerging players such as DM Healthcare. The industry has attracted interest from a number of private equity firms as well.
Spice Global’s project in Delhi will join a list of large super speciality hospitals including Naresh Trehan’s Medanta and Artemis, which is an initiative by the Kanwars of Apollo Tyres.
The healthcare sector, currently estimated at Rs 3.75 lakh crore, is expected to double in size over the next five years. The country invests only 1 per cent of GDP in primary healthcare centres and has an average of 0.6 doctors per 1,000 people, against the global average of 1.23. Nearly 75 per cent of healthcare investments in recent years have come from the private sector.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)