Onkar S. Kanwar's Apollo Tyres group has entered the healthcare sector with a super-specialty hospital in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of the national capital, with a seed investment of Rs.2.1 billion ($45 million).
Christened Artemis Health Sciences (AHS), the 260-bed hospital over 8.3 acres of land will open next month. "In the second phase, another 240 beds will be added," said Somnath Chakarborty, chief operating officer of AHS.
"This is the first of similar ventures we have planned over the next seven-eight years. We will focus on cardiology, oncology and orthopedics in these hospitals," Chakarborty told IANS.
Senior officials of the group said the second phase will entail an investment of Rs.1 billion and that all the facilities will be fully controlled by PTL Enterprises - a subsidiary of Apollo Tyres.
Chakarborty said the group was planning to open at least 10 more such hospitals in smaller cities since it was difficult to get requisite land in metropolitan areas.
"So far, we have decided on four cities - Baroda in Gujarat, Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Kochi in Kerala and Jaipur in Rajasthan. In all these cities, at least 200-bed tertiary hospitals will come up under the AHS banner."
Besides hospitals, AHS is also planning to enter the healthcare education business and proposes to acquire 70 acres of land for graduate and doctoral courses as well as for nursing and a management program for medical administration.
"We are working out the finer details of this project. The institute is likely to come up in Baroda (Gujarat) or Indore (Madhya Pradesh). We are in talks with the Medical Council of India and concerned authorities," said Chakarborty.
The group also has a pact with Philips of Holland to make medical equipment. "We see a huge potential in this area since more than 80 percent of such equipment in India is imported," he added.