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Saturday, Feb 04, 2006


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Apollo Hospitals plans to foray into Mumbai

P.T. Jyothi Datta

Mumbai , Feb.3

IT is conspicuous by its absence in Mumbai. But the Apollo Hospitals Group is finally set to break its Mumbai impasse with plans to set up two super-speciality hospitals in the city.

Apollo Hospitals' plan to aggressively explore opportunities for two tertiary-care hospitals in the city, at an estimated Rs 400 crore, was affirmed by Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Apollo Hospitals' Founder-Chairman, during his recent visit to the city.

Mr Ratan Jalan, Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Health and Lifestyle Ltd (AHLL), told Business Line that the Group was actively scouting for real-estate options and committed to get at least one tertiary-care hospital operational by next year. The plans are for a 200 or 300-bed multi-speciality hospital that can be set up within 18 months, he said.

Despite having hospitals across the country and overseas, Mumbai's real estate is a difficult problem , he admitted. Funds for the expansion will not be an issue, he pointed out, given the interest evinced by finance companies for the healthcare sector. Besides, Apollo too had recently raised about Rs 305 crore through its GDR issue.

Mumbai is set to increasingly feature on Apollo's map, he said with the recent operationalising of Apollo Clinic, a family healthcare centre promoted by AHLL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Group.

AHLL runs a retail network of family clinics and at last count there were 44 clinics across the country. Mumbai got its first clinic at Andheri in the suburbs of the city and by March, more outlets are expected at Thane, Vashi and Kandivli.

While the tertiary hospitals are expected to be green-field projects, the clinics are rolled-out using the franchisee route. The project cost of a clinic is estimated at Rs 2 crore, without the real estate cost, he said. Plans are also on the anvil for Apollo's "Cradle", which are infant-oriented centres and pharmacy outlets, he added.

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