Healthcare Jul, 30 2015

Now, no Master's degree in Public Health required to launch your own clinic

Are you not a doctor by profession? If this is true, then you’re reading it right as without any medical background, you can still open a health clinic or a diagnostic centre by collaborating with any organised healthcare brand. Let’s take a sneak pe

By Amanpreet Kaur, TFW Bureau
Chief Sub Editor
Now, no Master's degree in Public Health required to launch your own clinic

Healthcare industry is one of the biggest revenue and employment generators within the country. Various market research reports authenticate that the Indian healthcare industry is expected to reach USD 280 billion by 2020. Large investments by private sector players are likely to contribute significantly to the development of India’s hospital industry, which comprises around 80% of the total market, according to “Indian Hospital Services Market Outlook Report” by consultancy RNCOS.

India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) confirms that the total size of healthcare industry is expected to touch US$ 160 billion by 2017 and US$ 280 billion by 2020.

Increasing patient requirement to avail high quality care, increasing monthly spend on healthcare services and demand for accurate and timely medical care is likely to augment owing to better availability and accessibility of health related services at one’s doorstep.

Considering the on-going trend of delivering an outstanding customer experience, most of the healthcare brands are counting highly on franchise model to scale their business growth across the country. In the healthcare business, franchising model is plays a significant role in marking a nationwide network as franchisors are willing to clinch business deals with prospective franchisees who do not have any medical background. If you have good financial capability, space and right location then you are probably the right choice for becoming franchisor’s partner.   In the healthcare sector, Apollo Health & Lifestyle Limited (AHLL), Madhavbaug, brand of Vaidya Sane Ayurvedic Pvt. Ltd, Dr Lal PathLabs, Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinics, MedPlus, Metropolis Healthcare, Thyrocare and many other organised healthcare brands with clinics, diagnostic and collection centres are hopping aggressively on franchising model to offer best of medical services to customers across the country.

Selection criterion for franchisees

Earlier franchisors in healthcare industry used to partner with franchisees who were primarily from the medical background. As franchising allows the franchisors to replicate success by collaborating with franchisees in different locations coupled with stringent guidelines for operating a clinic, diagnostic centre or a collection centre, franchisors are now offering the best of opportunity to franchisees who are passionate for healthcare business but do not have a medical degree in hand. Commenting in favour of franchisees who do not belong to medical field, Dr Rohit Sane who spearheads Sanecare Madhavbaug, the world’s first ISO certified Ayurvedic Cardiac Rehabiliation Centre, says: “Madhavbaug being specialised in nature, this concept needs a medical doctor to handle the centre but if an individual has inclination towards healthcare and passion for the concept without a medical degree, he can still opt for the franchise. He can employ other doctors to treat but can run the centre himself. Apart from the statutory needs like a medical doctor to handle the centre, minimum space, and basic investment, a positive attitude combined with a winning outlook towards work is also needed by the franchisees.  Basic things like genuine care for consumers, and giving personalised attention also adds up to the qualities.”

With franchising, franchisees can now invest in a healthcare franchise to achieve best returns on investment by hiring well-qualified staff and operate the clinic as per the standard guidelines of a franchisor.  

Enlightening about the criteria they follow for selecting franchisees, Neeraj Garg, Chief Executive Officer, AHLL informs: “Consistently superior quality of services is the cornerstone to ensure success of the clinic. AHLL therefore selects each franchisee with utmost care. A proper due diligence is carried out before finalising a franchisee.” Those who are considering to take up franchise of AHLL, an ideal franchisee needs to possess following characteristics –prior track record of running a successful business venture; should be able to devote full time or a significant amount of his time to the clinic; should be genuinely interested in the healthcare sector and strictly abide by the guidelines given by AHLL.

On adding another interesting fact, Rohit Sane says: “Currently, we have almost 60% of our franchisees who have no medical background. The profitability varies as per the efforts taken by the respective franchisees in his area.  But we can say that Individual with decent background and entrepreneurial skill has good scope in running our business successfully.”

Exploring uncharted locations

As the old adage goes, “prevention is always better than cure.” One can compromise on anything but when it comes to healthcare; everyone is ready to splurge on best of life saving healthcare services. For franchisees and franchisors, healthcare sector is a recession free business opportunity as no one likes to risk life in any way.

Looking at the changing perception of people towards health, this sector shows a great potential to grow exponentially as tier II, III and IV cities present an astounding opportunity for brands to tap new locations by adding franchisees to their network. Adding about their expansion plans, Neeraj Garg informs: “Currently our focus is on primary healthcare, as it is an area with tremendous unexplored and unutilised potential. AHLL has prioritised certain cities based on market surveys conducted for the establishment of new clinics. Some of these cities are being considered for implementation in the first phase itself. Other cities shall be covered in the second and third phase. We foresee completion of all three phases in the next two years itself.”  On the same lines: “Rohit Sane says: “We are seeking franchise partners because everyone now understands the potential that the healthcare market holds. With a population of 1.2 billion, any subsequent number or calculations are bound to be staggering. Right now, we are focussing on Maharashtra and its neighbouring states for expansion.”  

For any entrepreneur, looking at joining the healthcare industry, only entrepreneurial skills are required, everything else is secondary.

Related: Guarding health profits

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