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May, 21 2012

All set for healthy returns

After realising that there are plenty of opportunities in India's healthcare sector, Ameera Shah, MD and CEO, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, decided to return from the US to tread on a platform created by her father in the diagnostic services industry. In a c

After realising that there are plenty of opportunities in India's healthcare sector, Ameera Shah, MD and CEO, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, decided to return from the US to tread on a platform created by her father in the diagnostic services industry. In a candid chat with Amanpreet Kaur, she talks about building a strong brand across India and abroad.

So far how has the journey been for Metropolis Healthcare? How did it step up the ladder of success?

It has been a fantastic experience during the last nine to 10 years. Metropolis Healthcare Ltd started its expedition in 1981 with a single standalone laboratory, under the leadership of Dr Sushil Shah (Founder and Chairman of Metropolis Healthcare Ltd). Metropolis has made rapid strides since its inception in 2001. The company has evolved rapidly during the years 2003-2007 and excelled from a single pathology laboratory status to a fully integrated multinational chain of 75 diagnostic centres and 600 collection centres across India and other countries such as Sri Lanka, the UAE and Africa.

Currently, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd offers a wide range of services such as hospital lab management, site management organisation, clinical referral lab, home health services, wellness centre, and preventive health checkup.

How big is the diagnostic industry in India?

Diagnostic laboratory industry, which is estimated to be of about 10,000 crore in India, is largely fragmented and unorganised. According to estimates, there are about 1,00,000 pathology laboratories in India, of which hardly 200 - 250 are accredited. But 10 years from now we see this industry consolidating, and health insurance industry will drive the growth.

Why have you chosen franchise route?

At Metropolis Healthcare, we term our franchisees as associate collection centres. To cater to consumer's growing needs, we believe significantly in maximising our reach through collection centres. While expanding our COCC's (Company-owned collection centres), it is imperative for us to take into account the capital, operating and administration expenditures. This helps us to create a composite panel of COCC's in a given tertiary.

What sort of training and business support do you offer?

In terms of business support, marketing and sales within the region is handled by our direct field force and the business is channelised through the associate collection centres or the COCC's. While our associate centres prefer carrying out their marketing initiatives independently, support in terms of training, marketing brochures and other collaterals is provided by Metropolis Healthcare.

At Metropolis Healthcare the route of expansion is either by setting up green field labs or acquiring brown field ventures. Green field is the term used when a company sets up a new laboratory instead of acquiring an existing one. At Metropolis we only work with associate collection centres as the franchise element.

Moreover, the training imparted at Metropolis is mainly in phlebotomy, besides other technical training, which is a prerequisite for an NABL accreditation the highest form of accreditation given to a laboratory in India. In keeping with NABL accreditation guidelines, Metropolis Healthcare also trains its staff in safety guidelines and all the pre-analytical processes.

FRANCHISE FACTS

Investment: Rs 3.5 lakh

Area: 250-300 sq.ft

ROI: 50 per cent

Break-even: One year

Preferred franchisees: Doctor Clinics/ Radiology centres without pathology lab, with good reputation and non-conflicting business or practice and standalone independent centres.

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