First Excel, Then Expand—An Indian Hospital’s Recipe for Growth

November 15, 2016

IFC’s investment will support the construction of four hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, India. © Regency

When Dr. Atul Kapoor founded Regency Hospital twenty years ago, he had a vision: “Bringing health care of international standards to the common man.” This was an ambitious goal, given that Regency is in Kanpur, India, where medical facilities, says Kapoor, were “paltry and appalling.” His plan to develop Regency comprised two phases: first, establish it as a center of excellence; second, grow hospital bed capacity. Two decades later, Kapoor is well on his way to realizing his vision.

In September, Regency announced the construction of four new hospitals, adding to the existing three hospitals and fifteen dialysis centers. The project will see the creation of 550 operational beds, to be completed by 2020, and will provide 1,000 direct and indirect jobs. IFC is supporting the expansion with a $9 million equity investment.

Kanpur is in Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s poorest states with a population of 215 million, which makes it the most populous country subdivision in the world. Uttar Pradesh has six hospital beds per 10,000 people, less than half the India-wide average of 12.5, and one fifth the world average of 30.

Under the expansion plan, Regency is building a Cancer Hospital in partnership with HealthCare Global, India’s largest cancer treatment provider and an IFC client. This will be Uttar Pradesh’s first oncology specialty hospital.

Despite India’s remarkable economic growth in recent years, access to quality health care remains an acute problem in the country. India bears 20 percent of the world’s disease burden and health-care needs are changing, with non-communicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease supplanting communicable ones as the leading causes of death.

According to a World Health Organization report, there were 69 million diabetics in India in 2015. Regency has gotten ahead of the curve in meeting the diabetes challenge with a specialized diabetic clinic. It also addresses various kidney-related diseases with its nephrology department, being the oldest and first of its kind in Northern India.

By widening the spectrum of specialist and tertiary health-care services that it provides, Regency aims to become the leader in the region—a goal that dovetails well with IFC’s mission to support viable investments in accessible, affordable health care in emerging markets.

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Published in November 2016