Mumbai: Private-equity firm ChrysCapital, which invested $100 million in eyecare chain Centre For Sight on 14 May, is likely to ramp up investments across healthcare delivery and services as it sees branded healthcare gaining prominence among Indians, a top executive said.

“In healthcare, we’ve been under-indexed, so we’re looking to ramp up investment in this space,” Raghav Ramdev, managing director at ChrysCapital said in an interview, though he did not specify how much the firm planned to invest.

Centre for Sight is ChrysCapital’s first private healthcare investment from the nine private-equity funds it has raised and invested in India. In 2022 it picked up 1.96% in Hyderabad-based Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences from General Atlantic in the public markets for around 193 crore.

Also read: ChrysCapital invests $100 million in eyecare chain Centre for Sight

The firm has had tremendous success in its pharmaceuticals portfolio, having booked profits on investments in firms such as Torrent Pharma, Curatio Healthcare, GVK Biosciences, Cadila Healthcare and IPCA Laboratories. Its pharma portfolio is overseen by Partner Sanjiv Kaul, a former Ranbaxy Laboratories executive. The firm is also invested in companies such as Mankind Pharma, Eris LifeSciences and Intas Laboratories.

“Historically, we had done more pharma investments – that’s where we have had a lot of success. However, in the past three to four years, coming out of covid, healthcare itself has become a little more organised with insurance penetration going up and people becoming more choosy about their healthcare service provider,” Ramdev said. This has resulted in a re-rating of the sector, he added, explaining the firm’s recent interest.

Also read: Sure, insure people, but public healthcare for all is a must for Viksit Bharat

ChrysCapital expects to evaluate deals across single-speciality and multi-speciality hospital chains in addition to healthcare delivery services such as diagnostics, medical devices, and contract development and manufacturing organisations (CDMOs) in the broader healthcare segment, he said.

In single-speciality, ChrysCapital is looking at segments such as birthing, maternity, oncology, and opthalmology which have significant headroom for growth. “In the past few years, there has been a migration towards branded healthcare across these categories, where organised chains can now compete more effectively,” Ramdev added.

Also read: The true cost of megamergers in healthcare: Higher prices

Across India, hospital chains are expanding into tier-2 and tier-3 cities. “The larger chains are making inroads in those markets. This gives them opportunities for mergers and acquisitions, which is also salient to their growth plans for the next five years,” he said.

Other large investors have also turned their focus to Indian healthcare of late. Blackstone Group made its first investment in the sector with a $1-billion bet on the Care Hospitals healthcare platform. Swedish firm EQT has also ramped up its investments in Indian healthcare through investments in Indira IVF in 2023 and the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) Hospitals in 2022.

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Published: 15 May 2024, 01:50 PM IST