Billionaire Dr Azad Moopen-promoted Aster DM Healthcare is planning to invest over Rs 650 crore in the next two years to take its total hospital bed capacity to 6,000 from the current 4,800 beds.
Aster, with 21 hospitals in India and the Middle East, recently added a new hospital at Angol in Andhra Pradesh. A 250-bedded hospital will be operational at Kannur in Kerala next month and another 230-plus-bedded hospital will start in Bangalore by April. Aster is planning a 500-bedded tertiary care hospital in Chennai, which will be commissioned within the next two and a half years. Four more new hospitals will come up in Dubai, Sharjah and Oman, Dr Azad Moopen told Business Today.
"Our idea is to focus only on tertiary care in cities and we are exploring new facilities in Mumbai, Pune and in Thiruvananthapuram, where we have purchased land. Currently our focus is to restrict expansion only to South and West India," said Dr Moopen.
The BSE-listed Aster DM Healthcare had consolidated revenues of Rs 6,721 crore in 2017-18 with an EBITDA of over Rs 700 crore. Dr Moopen said the company was likely to post a growth of 15 per cent in the current financial year. Aster earned about Rs 1,000 crore from its India business last year and is likely to have over Rs 1,300 crore earnings in 2018-19 from the 11 facilities operational in India.
Overall, Rs 5,500 crore has been invested over the years and of this, 40 per cent of the investment has been in India. Aster owns over 100 clinics and a pharmacy chain in the Middle East, both with revenues of Rs 2,000 crore each a year. Half of its consolidated revenues are from operation of hospitals. Aster has started some clinics on a pilot basis in Bangalore, and depending on its success, it will plan to add more clinics on a commercial scale.
Dr Moopen said Aster, which has started a 670-bedded Medicity on a 42 acre campus in Kochi, plans to add more specialties and new services like senior living etc.
The 65-year old Dr Moopen, who gave up a teaching job at Calicut Medical College in his native Kerala and started with a single clinic in Dubai in 1987, had last year pledged 20 per cent of his earnings for charity. He said currently the Aster Group is constructing 250 houses in flood-ravaged regions of Kerala. On average, the group spends over Rs 40 crore a year on charity. The top management operates from Dubai and Indian operations are headed by a CEO for India business, operating from Kochi.