There are currently million 30 million infertile couples in India and the number itself throws up significant opportunity for foreign fertility players to tap the domestic market.
Swedish firm Medicover, which has a significant presence in the European market, is for the first time foraying out of the region to set up its establishment in India and take on some PE-backed IVF firms and a host of other fertility clinics operating in a fragmented market. It is the first single European family-owned organisation bringing in 100 percent investment in healthcare delivery.
It plans to launch around 50 green-field Medicover Fertility clinics over the next few years across the country and expects to generate revenues over $100 million in five years. A total of $50 million will be invested to build the Medicover Fertility network of clinics.
“In the first phase, we will be looking at tapping the market in Delhi, NCR, Punjab, UP, Maharashtra and Rajasthan,” said Fredrik Stenmo, Director at Medicover Holding. “It is absolutely fantastic to be in India as there is incredible potential in the domestic market which offers a great diversity,” he added. The investments required for setting up clinics in the country will come fully from Medicover, which is run by a Swedish family. And size of every clinic opened will naturally depending on the location of it.
The IVF market in India has grown at a fast pace, with IVF cycles growing at 18% CAGR. The penetration of the IVF market is significantly low in India with only 2,800 cycles/million infertile women in the reproductive age group (20 – 44 years) as compared to China which has 6,500, USA 46,042 and Germany 50,884. The key challenges are lack of awareness, affordability and accessibility. India is also a preferred destination for fertility tourism.
Medicover plans to bring in the latest technological advancements to the country in order to ensure pregnancy outcomes. Since no two patients are the same, the fertility treatments that the healthcare firm will provide will be highly personalised. It will bring in genetic testing, embryo growth monitoring, and medical protocols that are adapted to different cases of infertility.
Those in the Market
This is a large fragmented market with lack of regulations comprising both Indian and foreign players. Significant ones include Bourn Hall India, which is a part of the UK-based healthcare services firm Bourn Hall International, and Nova IVI Fertility, which is a joint venture between the privately held Nova Medical Centers and Spanish IVF technology firm IVI. While India’s bigger hospital chains, such as Apollo Hospitals and Max Healthcare also offer IVF services, there are standalone players too catering to the segment. These include names such as Cloudnine Hospitals and Rainbow Hospitals.
Medicover is a healthcare company that helps millions of patients in Central and Eastern Europe, Germany and UK, to improve and sustain their health.
Not a first timer in India
For Medicover, this is not the first experience in India as its European owners have already invested in several businesses in India over the last few years. Remember Oriflame cosmetics brand? Well, the Medicover group of healthcare businesses was launched by the same family that launched the Oriflame cosmetics brand, which today has a strong presence in India. Oriflame earned Rs 600 crore in revenues in India in 2014-15 and expected revenue for FY 2015-16 is Rs 1, 000 crores (USD 150 million). Oriflame has been present in India for more than 20 years with two manufacturing units and branches in 18 Indian cities. Oriflame currently markets 400 products in India and 95 per cent of its distributors are women.
Some of the previous investments in India include Lotus Surgical, Thyrocare Technologies, Guardian Pharmacy among others.
Noting the continuing expansion of India’s middle class and an increasing consumer demand for healthcare services of a higher quality, Medicover believes it is the right time to bring the brand into the Indian healthcare market.