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Nov, 07 2014

Healthy, wealthy & wise returns!

With a mission of rendering “expertise, closer to you”, Apollo Clinic is known for high quality clinical processes, sensitive patient care and serving over two lakh patients through preventive health care checks.

Neeraj Garg, Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd, in a dialogue with Rashi Mathur unfolds the growth journey of Apollo Group and how they wish to expand via franchising.

Elaborate about AHLL and Apollo Clinic.

Apollo Health and Lifestyle Limited (AHLL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Apollo Hospitals Group, is headquartered in Hyderabad. It was founded in 2002 with the aim "to bring healthcare of international standards within the reach of every individual." To achieve this, AHLL, is establishing a standardised network of Apollo Clinics across the country with nearly 100 clinics operational across India and the Middle-East.

The Apollo Clinic addresses the day-to-day healthcare needs of people offering consultation with specialists, primary care physicians, comprehensive diagnostic services (imaging and pathology), a full-fledged outpatient pharmacy and dental. In some of our larger clinics, we also offer endoscopy and emergency services.

When did you start franchising & why?

We started franchising in the year 2002. The reason to choose the franchise model was to increase penetration and enable a rapid geographical scale-up of these clinics in the primary healthcare segment. It enables us to partner with entrepreneurs to provide the best to patients and doctors whilst enabling them to create thriving businesses.

What are your expansion plans?

There are multiple goals we have set for ourselves for the next five years. We wish to expand our range of services to fulfill the evolving needs of the patient, for example, Apollo Sugar clinics is an initiative to provide assured care of diabeties, a disease that has endemic reach in India and the Middle-East. We aim to become a strong partner for the Apollo Hospitals and jointly touch a ‘billion lives.’ We are looking forward to set up 175 clinics in the next three years across India, Africa and the Middle East. Presently we have around 100 outlets spread all over India. Among them 50 are franchisee-run. Apollo Clinic is the only franchisee run brand of AHLL.

Why have you not adopted franchise model for other brands?

We run a range of formats, and for each format, we have developed operating models that are best suited to the business and the needs of our patients. We have leveraged franchise route to expand the Apollo Clinic network and tried it for the Apollo Cradle format. Apollo Cradle is a woman and child hospital that serves the premium birthing experience need of expecting mothers. We also provide gynaecology services and operate world-class neonatal ICUs (NICUs). This is a format that represents the best in patient experience and clinical care, and hence our belief is that it is not an easy format to expand using the franchise model. We are exploring various partnership models though, and hence I would not say that we will never do this. We shall soon be launching Apollo Diagnostics and for this we shall be largely expanding our collection network through the franchise route.

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