Faced with strong regulatory headwinds, the Indian healthcare sector, always considered attractive for its high growth potential, is undergoing a radical shift from the old to the new. This report highlights the investor sentiment in healthcare in India to gauge if the business models are working and are stacked in the right direction, in line with the transformations the healthcare segment in India is going through.
Universal healthcare has been a prime agenda for the Indian government due to an evident gap in the health coverage for rural population. In 2018, by introducing Ayushman Bharat - PMJAY, which ensures universal coverage for 500M Indians, the Indian government has been anticipating support from the private sector in uplifting the country's healthcare status.
Government has also made other regulatory changes to rationalize various procedure pricing and medical devices for private players, aiming to increase participation from that side. However, the price margins still need to stabilize for a smooth operation and adoption of PMJAY by private players.
Under the aegis of the recent shifts, Praxis Global Alliance spoke to several healthcare players, investors and the healthcare planning bodies in India, who expressed a desire to understand how the sector is embracing the shift and how private investment is expected to shape up in the coming years.
"In India, Healthcare has been one of the most intricate sectors given the demographics it serves. With a variance in everything from social to the economic status of the population, supporting 1.3B people with diverse needs is a mammoth task ripe with challenges. Ayushman Bharat is a welcome bold move reaching out to the masses to provide health insurance to cover 500M beneficiaries below the poverty line," said Anjan Bose, Advisor and Domain Leader, Healthcare Practice, Praxis Global Alliance and former founding Secretary General of NATHEALTH - Healthcare Federation of India.
"Though, there is a long way to go to excite the private sector players and play along in the scheme of things. India's healthcare is an attractive market for private investment and a huge opportunity still lies in offering quality, accessible and affordable healthcare to the large sum of the Indian urban and rural population," he added.
The report sheds light on the increasing deal activity and competition in the sector, with large investors especially competing for a small set of investments. We also see the paradigm shifts in the sector, with a value creation shift from tapping demand through expansion 5 years ago to servicing demand profitably today, expected to move towards consolidation in the next 5 years.
While the days of growth-led value creation are behind us, we believe different healthcare verticals are on different stages of this shift.
"Top 10 deals in the last 2 years in the Healthcare sector in India represent 65 per cent of the total disclosed deal values where Pharma and Life Sciences continue to remain attractive. There has also been a shift in value creation in the healthcare segment in India, from dependence on top-line growth to cost and capital efficiency; as consolidation picks up in the segment, it will act as a key driver too," said Aryaman Tandon, Director, Praxis Global Alliance.
Praxis Global Alliance reached out to over 100 large existing and past investors in the healthcare space in India for their study for this report, and examined inputs on important industry trends and opportunities across the various segments including Pharma, Hospitals, MedTech, Diagnostics, Wellness, Clinics, CRO, Biotech, among others. Some of the key insights and recommendations for the sector featured in the report include
* Funding in late-stage healthcare reaches all-time highs with average deal size growth outpacing deal numbers
* Regulations have dampened sentiment, but optimism still riding on a high
* Indications of increasing sector maturity, as value creation drivers shift from growth and expansion to cost and capital efficiency, and increasingly towards consolidation
* Pharma and Life Sciences continues to court interest, while diagnostics faces the brunt of unattractive valuations
* Specialty hospital and specialty clinic models found most attractive emerging models by growth and late-stage funds
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