Category winner: Business Transformation
Restructuring a path to market leadership in healthcare
In 2019, when Abhay Soi acquired Max Healthcare, the biggest upfront task for him was to restructure it. The hospital chain was struggling with cost inefficiencies and low margins.
It was exactly the kind of task Abhay, who has earned a reputation for being a turnaround specialist, revels in. He had forayed into health care in 2010 by acquiring Radiant Life Care, a healthcare and hospital management company. After he took control of it, Radiant firstcommissioned the long-distressed BLK Hospital. Then it took over the operations of Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai in 2014, which was then under deep financial stress and revamped it within two years.
He brought KKR onboard as equity partner for Radiant and steered with its two hospitals to acquire Max Healthcare, which had 15 hospitals. Despite low margins, Max Healthcare commanded a premium valuation. Nonetheless, Abhay seized this opportunity and developed an effective turnaround plan.
By June 2020, both entities were merged to form Max Healthcare Institute, which has emerged as the country’s second largest hospital company by revenue and market capitalization. Largely concentrated in North India, MHIL has over 3,400 beds at its 17 facilities. It also has two strategic business units – Max@Home (for health care at home) and Max Lab (diagnostic services).
Abhay’s restructuring abilities have helped Max improve its profitability with EBIDTA margin from 9.7% in fiscal 2019 to 27.2% year-to-date for fiscal 2022. It reported a consolidated network PAT of INR 252 crores in the quarter ending December 31, 2021. In the last six months, MHIL has executed plans for brownfield expansions and announced four acquisitions, which will enable them to effectively double their capacity over the next four years.
His efforts are also showing results in the awards that Max is picking up: ‘Best Multi-speciality Hospital North award (2019- 20)’ and ‘Best Hi-Tech Hospital’ by ET Healthcare (2020), and ‘Excellence in COVID-19 Management’ by FICCI and ‘Best Private hospital Combating COVID-19’ by India Today Group (2020).