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Published on: July 24, 2023, 8:23 p.m.
Jupiter makes a turnaround
  • Thakker with Ankit: we follow the patient-first ideology

By Lancelot Joseph. Executive Editor, Business India

Covid has changed the way we lead our lives. The healthcare industry has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts with increased awareness for preventive steps and to be prepared for the worst. While the focus is on wellness, the industry also makes good business sense.

With long-term structural factors supporting growth, renewed impetus from Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), and government focus shifting onto the healthcare sector, the healthcare delivery market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10-12 per cent from Fiscal 2022 to reach Rs8.6 lakh crore in Fiscal 2027.

The healthcare market for western India in particular, is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 14-16 per cent from Rs1.05-R1.15 lakh crore in Fiscal 2022 to Rs2.15-R2.25 lakh crore in Fiscal 2027. This is where multi-specialty tertiary and quaternary healthcare providers such as Jupiter Life Line Hospitals come into the picture.

“Hospital is meant for communities, and it is all about meeting their needs in the shortest possible time,” says Dr Ajay Thakker, Chairman, and Managing Director of Jupiter Life Line Hospitals, which has focused its work in tier-2 cities such as Thane, Pune, and Indore. The basic idea is to ensure that one does not have to travel more than half a km for a well-equipped hospital, he points out.

“We follow a patient-first ideology by creating the best infrastructure, technology, and support to put the patient first and foremost and be futuristic and innovative in the delivery of healthcare. We have equipped our hospitals with over 30 specialties, including key specialties of organ transplant, oncology, orthopaedics, cardiology, paediatrics, neurology, and neurosurgery as well as certain specialised quaternary services and precision-based treatments such as brachytherapy, radiotherapy, robotic knee replacement, and robotic neuro rehabilitation,” says Dr Thakker, who has over 30 years of experience in the field of medicine and healthcare.

Jupiter’s Thane and Indore hospitals are amongst the few facilities in the western region to provide neuro rehabilitation services through a dedicated robotic and computer-assisted neuro rehabilitation centre. They also operate one of the few multi-organ transplant centres in Thane.

Dr. Thakker launched a scan and imaging centre in Thane about three decades ago, and that’s how he realised the importance of a good hospital as the patients were forced to go to Mumbai, braving traffic jams. The Thane hospital was started in 2007. Jupiter scaled its operations by setting up a hospital in Pune in 2017 and acquiring one in Indore in 2020.

“These places are densely populated micro markets which have a low presence of chained hospitals, which provides us an opportunity to offer our services to a larger population and helps our patients with greater access and connectivity to healthcare services,” says Dr Ankit Thakker, an Executive Director, and Chief Executive Officer at Jupiter Life Line Hospitals.

 Track record

“Our clear focus is on an all-hub-no-spoke model with each hospital being a full-service hospital, operating independently and serving the healthcare needs of patients, right from diagnostics to surgery and rehabilitation,” explains Ankit, son of Dr Ajay Thakker.

“We have established a track record of clinical and operational expertise, which has led us to build our reputation and brand largely through word-of-mouth publicity, and this is reflected in consistently growing patient volumes over the years,” he says.

  • Jupiter Hospital Pune

The patient volume was 5,42,174 in Fiscal 2020, 4,47,573 in 2021, 6,45,446 in 2022 and 5,68,832 in the 9 months ended 31 December, 2022. The payor mix indicates that Jupiter Hospitals have very low dependence on revenue from government schemes. Payments made through self-payers accounted for 50.87 per cent, insurance companies’ third-party administrators and corporations 48.15 per cent, and government schemes just 0.98 per cent.

The penetration of health insurance coverage in India stood at 38 per cent in Fiscal 2022, while the average for west India states comprising Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh was approximately 78 per cent in Fiscal 2022.

Jupiter’s total bed capacity in all of its three hospitals is 1,194. “As they are located on land owned by us on a freehold basis, we can maintain operational control and consistency in quality care that translates into long-term operational and financial efficiencies,” says Anand Apte, Hospitals’ Group Chief Business & Strategy Officer.

Jupiter takes care to ensure a patient and companion-centric atmosphere and design choices with typically over 1,000 square foot to bed ratio (square footage dedicated to bed areas) in its hospitals. “We also facilitate our patients with a visual connection to the outside environment by bringing daylight and large viewing windows into every patient space possible along with dedicated step-out gardens in order to efficiently use space and ensure natural light,” says Apte.

Thakker explains his hospitals maintain a high proportion of operating theatres, procedure rooms, and ICUs relative to overall bed strength given the heavy procedure-orientation of the clinical work, and modular design across all units to enable scaling up and down as per occupancy and specialty requirements. The Thane hospital has a hotel adjacent to it. It supports Jupiter’s medical tourism initiatives as well as helps in catering to patients’ families and attendants.

“Our founder has been the driving force behind our hospitals, and under his leadership, we have been able to successfully establish a skilled and experienced medical team,” says Apte

Jupiter Hospitals have 1,246 doctors, 1,393 nurses, and 1,498 other professionals (comprising clinical associate, clinical and physician assistant, physiotherapy, paramedical, and support staff). Jupiter Lifeline Hospitals strive to be in the forefront of ESG. Its Pune hospital has been designed in collaboration with the Government of Switzerland under the Building Energy Efficiency Project.

They have purchased four wind turbines for the Thane and Pune hospitals with the aim of reducing carbon footprint and energy costs. The Pune hospital has also received the Neerman Award 2022 in the healthcare category by the National Energy Efficiency Roadmap for Movement Towards Affordable and Natural Habitat Award.

“We have significantly invested in various social activities, such as medicine camps and special education sessions, to contribute towards the welfare of society,” says Dr Thakker.

As part of their corporate social responsibility activities, they have served numerous patients suffering from cancer, birth defects, cardiac problems, and end-stage organ failures. They conduct free eye surgeries for the needy at Jupiter Netralaya. “Through our paediatric cardiac clinic, the hospitals provide paediatric cardiac surgery, paediatric cardiology diagnostic services, and paediatric cardiac procedures for free or at subsidised rates. We have also focused on providing subsidised critical care in super-specialised critical treatments, such as chemotherapy drugs and organ transplants. Additionally, we provide cochlear implant surgery for hearing-impaired children for free or at subsidised rates,” he says.

  • Jupiter Hospital Thane

The company comprises four independent directors and operates distinctly from the executive management and supervises operations through committees designed to manage and oversee key aspects of the business.

Social activities

Moving into the next level of its operations, Jupiter Life Line Hospitals is going public, having filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus with the market regulator SEBI. The issue with a face value of Rs10 per equity share consists of a fresh issue of equity shares worth up to Rs615 crore and an offer-for-sale (OFS) of up to 4.45 million equity shares by the promoter group and other selling shareholders.

As per the DRHP, the proceeds from the issue will be utilised to the extent of Rs463.9 crore for settling its dues, in full or in part, of borrowings secured from banks by the company and material subsidiary and general corporate purposes. ICICI Securities Limited, Edelweiss Financial Services Limited, and JM Financial Limited are the book running lead managers, and KFin Technologies Limited is the registrar to the offer. The equity shares are proposed to be listed on the BSE and NSE.

Jupiter Life Line Hospitals has turned around from making a loss in FY21 to a profit of Rs51.13 crore in FY22, whereas revenue from operations grew 50.80 per cent to Rs733.12 crore in FY21-22 from Rs486.16 crore in FY20-21, primarily driven by an increase in both inpatient and outpatient incomes. For the 9 months ended 31 December, 2022, revenue from operations stood at Rs650.24 crore, and profit after tax stood at Rs57.15 crore, whereas the EBITDA margin stood at 23.84 per cent.

CRISIL points out that the western region has performed strongly in terms of GDP and per capita income growth. The increase in per capita income is expected to support demand for better healthcare services in the western region of India. “Hence, we intend to expand our hospital network to focus on micro-markets in western India that are adjacent to our core markets that are underserved and densely populated,” adds Dr Thakker.

Jupiter Hospitals is currently in the process of developing a 500-bed multispecialty hospital in Dombivli in Thane district. The construction of the hospital began in April 2023 and will be spread across 600,000 sq feet.

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