The conference showcased interesting, successful business models through two series of fireside chats that featured the CEOs of a hospital group, an integrated healthcare provider, a diagnostics services company, a pharmaceuticals manufacturer, a vaccines producer, and a retail pharmacy chain. The companies were mostly IFC clients who have previously been profiled in our case study and web story series.
Georgia Healthcare Group
Nikoloz Gamkrelidze, CEO, Georgia Healthcare Group & Ann Casanova, Health & Education Consultant, IFC
In Georgia, 85 percent of healthcare is delivered by the private sector even though much of that care is funded by the public sector through the government’s Universal Healthcare (UHC) program. Georgia Healthcare Group (GHG) is now fully integrated into the country’s UHC program. Just a decade after opening its first hospital, GHG has grown to become the largest healthcare provider in Georgia and has developed a fully integrated network of hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and health insurance.
Saudi German Hospitals
Sobhi Batterjee, President, SGH-Humania & Salah-Eddine Kandri, Global Education Head, IFC
Saudi German Hospitals (SGH) is the largest private sector healthcare provider in the Middle East and North Africa, with 10 hospitals in 4 countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen) and 7,400 employees. The SGH facility in war-torn Yemen, located in that country’s largest city Sana’a, continues to persevere in providing life-saving treatments in what is an exceptionally challenging environment and is the only hospital in Yemen built with foreign investment still open.
Raju Venkatraman, MD & CEO, Medall Healthcare
“These projects significantly contributed to the betterment of healthcare services in these states and IFC played a critical role in ensuring their smooth implementation.”—Raju Venkatraman
Established in 2009 by serial entrepreneur Raju Venkatraman MD, Medall Healthcare is a leading diagnostics service provider in India. IFC was transaction advisor for the Indian State governments of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Telangana for public-private partnerships to provide radiology and laboratory services and Medall won these contracts. CEO Venkatraman said: “These projects significantly contributed to the betterment of healthcare services in these states and IFC played a critical role in ensuring their smooth implementation.” The project helped to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for low-income population segments, introduced advanced medical diagnostic technologies to the states, created 550 jobs, and helped—via their digitized databases—to identify the most commonly-occurring diseases.
Ruben Minski, CEO & President, Procaps Group & Cecilia Rabassa, Head Portfolio MAS LAC, IFC
“I am very proud that with no background in pharma in our family we were able to become a global pharma player, and coming from Colombia, a country in the midst of an armed conflict.”—Ruben Minski
Procaps began as a family business in Colombia with origins in tannery (leather production). From these origins, the company has transformed the oral drug market by incorporating prescription drugs into soft gelatin capsules. Easier to swallow and harder to counterfeit than other pill forms, Procaps sofgels’ popularity continues to grow—as does the company, with 5,000 employees in 15 countries and its products reaching people in 50 countries. Procaps President & CEO Ruben Minski said: “I am very proud that with no background in pharma in our family we were able to become a global pharma player, and coming from Colombia, a country in the midst of an armed conflict.” Asked about future growth plans, he noted that IFC was preparing them for this by helping to improve internal governance, adding “As you get closer to an IPO or [issuing] international bonds, this becomes a very important issue.”
Narender Mantena, CEO, Biological E Limited & Pushpinder Bindra, Life Science Specialist, IFC
Biological E (BioE)’s mission is to make quality vaccines more widely available and affordable. Since 2012, it has supplied more than two billion vaccine doses to over 80 countries and has become the second largest vaccines manufacturer in India. IFC invested in the company to help it ramp up production, diversify its product range, and develop new vaccines. These include Pentavalent, a five-in-one vaccine that protects against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), which causes meningitis and pneumonia. Asked how the company managed to grow so fast in recent years, Narender Mantena, the CEO of BioE, noted that the company started in 1953. “It’s a long overnight success. It was family company and it still is,” he said. Their decision in 2001 to focus on the Pentavalent vaccine helped the company to really take off. Partnering with the Gates Foundation, they managed to reduce the price of that vaccine from close to $10 per regimen to $3.60.
Amaan Khalfan, Chief Executive Officer, Goodlife Pharmacy & Srividya Jagannathan, Global Lead for Life Sciences, IFC
“Then we realized there’s about 60-70 percent of the East African population that lives off $2-10 per day so we started moving downstream.”—Amaan Khalfan
In just four years, Goodlife Pharmacy Africa has grown to be the largest pharmacy chain in East Africa, with more than 50 stores operating in Kenya and Uganda. Goodlife’s brand is built on providing safe, high-quality medicines to the low-to-middle income population segments. It has also launched insurance partnerships with more than five major private sector insurance companies to cover prescription medicine. Their success is a welcome development in what has been a highly-fragmented sector. Amaan Khalfan, CEO of Goodlife, said they entered at the higher-end of the market, which was easier to penetrate and generate return. “Then we realized there’s about 60-70 percent of the East African population that lives off $2-10 per day so we started moving downstream” —into high-density locations like residential areas and gas stations. The strategy involved educating these locals on drugs, dosages, diseases, leading many to eventually become their customers.