Sharing an Eastward Vision - Express Healthcare

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Sharing an Eastward Vision
Medica Synergie's retail pharmacy, project consultancy and hospitals divisions are making inroads into the under-served and untapped healthcare landscape of Eastern India, Rita Dutta finds out Tales of entrepreneurship always make for fascinating case studies. It becomes all the more enthralling when people from varied geographic locations and experience come together on one platform, share a common vision, chart out an unconventional business plan, nurture their dream for years and then put in their life's savings to fuel their dream. We are taking about Medica Synergie, the Kolkata-based healthcare company, which created a buzz when the group's 500-bed Medica Super Specialty Hospital was inaugurated in Kolkata in April this year. However, unknown to many, Medica has been making inroads into Eastern India's healthcare landscape over the last three years in the verticals of pharmacy retail, project consultancy and hospitals. Birth of Medica Dissatisfaction often leads to creation. In 1998, that's what happened with a bunch of colleagues at Dr Devi Shetty's Asia Heart Foundation (AHF). When differences simmered between long-time business partners Dr Shetty and Dr Alok Roy, Vice Chairman, AHF, the latter decided to venture out on his own with some of his colleagues and industry professionals. People who shared Dr Roy's dream and passion were Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Udayan Lahiri, Sudhanshu Roy, Ayanabh Debgupta, Aruna Nair and Shrabani Basu from AHF, Sanjay Dasgupta (an IAS) and Acchama Joseph (from IT sector). Though the idea of a new company was conceived in 1998, the company was registered by the end of 2003, when Dr Roy finally left AHF. "As we did not have enough funds in 2003, we decided against working full-time for Medica, immediately. We thought of coming back after saving a substantial amount," recollects Dr Roy. Thus, Dr Roy went and joined Apollo and then Fortis (Delhi), Dr Kuruvilla worked at Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad and Debgupta in Muthoot's healthcare venture (Delhi). Lahiri continued with AHF for some time. Then in 2006, during a family vacation in Bhimtal (in Uttarakhand), this group of five (Dr
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In the last few years. Debgupta and Lahiri) realised that the time was right to give wings to their long-nurtured dream. For the first three months. they approached the Government of West Bengal for land for building Medica Super Specialty Hospital and received permission. This was the first project of the projects division." says Dr Roy. They decided to operate from Kolkata. and the head of the Hospital Division. This was the genesis of the hospital division of the group. except for Dr Kuruvilla. While Sanjay Dasgupta and Acchama Joseph did not join the group for various reasons. the first task was to garner the working capital. they worked from Lahiri's home. where most of them had roots. The Hospital Division The Hospital Planning and Management division provides turnkey design and project management consultancy services to healthcare providers. Medica." http://www. patient-friendly designs wherein designs are developed for patients and not for equipment. and designs complying with national and international accreditation. health insurance scheme for landless labourers was an easy one. with the bulk coming in from Dr Roy. "As the work for the hospital was supposed to take time." reminisces Debgupta. The founders chipped in with Rs 15 crore to start the company." says Dr Kuruvilla. the company has already turned EBITDA positive. Now. In 2006. It was in this sabbatical that the group rolled out its business model.Sharing an Eastward Vision . they moved office five times to accommodate their expanding work.Express Healthcare Roy. Dr Kuruvilla. optimum space utilisation considering future expansion plans. we took over a brown field project in 2008 and made it into Medica ENT Hospital. Medica borrowed Rs 45 crore from SBI and Rs 65 crore (so far) from ICICI Ventures for various projects. Sudhanshu Roy. construction of cost-effective infrastructure executed in compliance with pre-planned time lines. Eventually. "After devising the Karnataka Yashasvini Health Insurance scheme for rural farmers in AHF. It zeroed in on the Eastern part of India because of the region's wide lacunae of healthcare services.expresshealthcare.in/cgi-bin/ecprint/MasterPFP." says Dr Roy. Says Dr Alexander Kuruvilla. Lahiri and Nair left AHF to join Medica. the first project that the group bagged was that of preparing a health insurance scheme for landless labourers of West Bengal. environment-friendly energy efficient buildings. The Early Days Once the business plan was finalised. which was converted into an office for us. His wife cooked for us. hospitals and project consultancy. CEO and President. "It was his child's room. after four years. who was from Bengaluru. "The core principles are to provide a cutting edge to the hospital management practice group in the following areas: functionalities of healthcare facilities wherein form always follows function in any design. "The new projects are funded by a mix of debt and equity. and is rolling out aggressive growth plans across verticals.that of foraying into retail pharmacy. Soon.cgi?doc= (2 of 5)22/11/2010 4:37:17 PM . The underlying mission and vision was to provide healthcare services that were affordable and accessible to all.

It has bagged master planning of three medical colleges and hospitals in Orissa funded by DFID. 58 outlets have been rolled out in West Bengal. Pharmacy Retail Division The Rs 36. seemed a lucrative sector to explore with the concept of neighbourhood pharmacy. This ensures timely delivery of medicine to the consumers every month without any reminder. Orissa and three in Uttarakhand under the World Bank project.cgi?doc= (3 of 5)22/11/2010 4:37:17 PM . design review and equipment planning for the medical college and hospital of Vedanta University. ensuring adherence of crashed timelines for availability just in time. Jharkhand and Orissa. a subsidiary. West Bengal and preparation for institutional strengthening plan for district hospitals in Assam. under its brand name Medica Health Shoppe. marketing inputs and best practices with a new look as per its existing chain's interior and branding to operate them in an organised manner and optimise the business potential with excellent customer care.000-crore pharmacy retail market. efficient supply chain. It has done the turnkey design and build project of Sankara Nethralaya at Kolkata. undertakes O&M of retail pharmacy outlets in hospitals and nursing homes. "In the next three years. neutraceutical and FMCG products. and is also managing the hospital now. turnkey consultancy for design development and project management services for Metro Blood Bank. diabetes." Projects & Consultancy Division http://www.Express Healthcare Besides Medica Super Specialty Hospital and Medica ENT Hospital in Kolkata and Medica North Bengal Clinic (management consultancy) in Siliguri. also The flagship hospital of the group— Medica maintaining records and free consulting/ Super Speciality Hospital counselling. health. cancer etc.in/cgi-bin/ecprint/MasterPFP. We will roll out another 150 outlets in the second phase. Medica Pharmacy. growing at an annual rate of 18 per cent. arthritis. The stores offer drugs. It provides free BP and weight check-up to its patrons at its outlets. It offers auto refill plan catering to patients with chronic diseases like abnormal blood pressure. this division is coming up with its own secondary care hospitals (greenfield projects) in Murshidabad and Asansol in West Bengal. beauty. MD. we will roll out 100 pharmacies. Medica Pharmacy.expresshealthcare. Kolkata. Shillong in Meghalaya and Tinsukhia in Assam. So far. A behaviour change communication roadshow organised in Meghalaya by Medica Medica Pharmacy. and also to pregnant women who consume medicine for a prolonged period of time.Sharing an Eastward Vision . It offers technological advantage. preparation of infrastructure expansion plan for Bishnupur sub divisional hospital. master planning of seven hospitals in Assam. Says Anupam Shukla. offers competitive prices leveraging its strength of bulk purchase and efficient supply chain management.

"However. procurement and logistics management.in/cgi-bin/ecprint/MasterPFP. Preparation of State Implementation Plan and District Implementation Plan for ICDS IV. HIV/AIDS. assistance in project implementation. there is often a mismatch between the programme's intentions and http://www. system strengthening. adolescent health. Mizoram and Manipur under NRHM for procurement of drugs and equipment during the fiscal years of 2005 to 2009. guidelines and processes. strategic project planning. Says Ayanabh Debgupta." Some of the key projects developed by them include 'Preparation of State Implementation Plan and District Implementation Plan for ICDS IV' (2007-2013). monitoring and evaluation. conducting 'Strengthen State Health Resource Centre' for providing independent Technical Assistance to the Directorate of Health Services and UKHFWS and Evaluation of Sabuj Sangha's Rural Health Training Centre (RHTC). monitoring of the project. Mizoram and Nagaland: The overall objective of this audit was to appraise RRC about the contracting. Perceptions' in South Africa. Projects Division. designing of a Biomedical Waste Strategy in consultation with state officials.Express Healthcare This division has been doing work on reproductive and sexual health. to human resource rationalisation.expresshealthcare. training of trainers. research health communication. gender and sexuality. procedures. So. equipment and supplies for 74 PHCs across four districts. Biomedical Waste Management Strategy in 74 PHCs of Tripura. a component of health under 'Model Villages in the Sunderbans Delta' Programme in 2009. capacity building. the examination of procurement and contracting files and a review of the contracting and financial databases and assessment of selected procurements in detail. health financing and livelihood. PPP. telemedicine and tele-health. recruitment and training of Safai Karmacharis. Design. 'Study of Knowledge.Sharing an Eastward Vision . and social marketing. while the programme is intended to target the needs of the poorest and most undernourished. designing of management information systems. biomedical waste management. development of monitoring tools and monitoring mechanism and assessment of the change after 15 months. Vaishali and Nalanda District of Bihar. Let's elaborate on some of the projects in Eastern India: Procurement Audit and Procurement Systems Reform for State Health Societies of Manipur. Medica had to offer assessment of the prevailing scenario. ICD. "The services offered by the division range from policy formulation. The audit consisted of a review of related policies. procurement activities and processes being followed by the State Health Societies of Nagaland. Attitudes. Bihar.cgi?doc= (4 of 5)22/11/2010 4:37:17 PM . medical and paramedical staff of PHCs. Implementation and Monitoring of Biomedical Waste Management Strategy in Tripura: The state health society has entrusted the responsibility of designing a suitable strategy to implement the biomedical waste management practices in 74 PHCs across the state of Tripura. CEO. preparation of Decentralised District Health Action Plan under National Rural Health Mission in Sikkim. conducting interviews with departmental officials. Bihar: ICDS was initiated in India in 1975 as a pilot programme and has expanded to constitute one of the country's major national development programmes. procurement and supply of infrastructure.

With the healthcare industry witnessing exponential growth. Eyeing the southern market.cgi?doc= (5 of 5)22/11/2010 4:37:17 PM . Developing Comprehensive Behaviour Change Strategy for Meghalaya: The Government of Meghalaya has approached Medica with the task of developing a service oriented behaviour change communication strategy for Reproductive Child Health based on assessment of current status of knowledge.dutta@expressindia. attitude and practices among local people in the rural areas. A complete BCC toolkit will be developed in order to cater to the project objective.com http://www.Sharing an Eastward Vision . The programme had limited coverage and was targeted at the most poorly performing/vulnerable states and districts. communication research related to key processes and local customs is being undertaken which in turn would enable the development of integrated and comprehensive behaviour change communication material for the state. Nineteen districts of Bihar were identified for which a five-year implementation plan was to be developed. the ICDS IV programme was floated. the group has recently set up an office in Bengaluru. The Road Ahead While the initial focus has been on Eastern India. Monitoring and evaluation will form an integral part of the assignment for which Medica Synergie experts will develop carefully thought out methods and tools. To address these gaps. rita.expresshealthcare.in/cgi-bin/ecprint/MasterPFP. the group is slowly picking up projects in other parts.Express Healthcare actual implementation and not much has been achieved in 33 years." says Debgupta. Medica Synergie will also be providing initial 'Training of Trainers' at the state level simultaneously. the three legs of Medica can only be expected to power its galloping growth. Therefore. as well.

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