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Friday, February 18, 2005

India - Outsourcing Destination : Software To Healthcare & Surgery

(Via Bloomberg) Health care for foreign patients will deliver 2.3 billion USD a year to India’s hospitals by 2012, according to a report by New York–based consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and the New Delhi–based Confederation of Indian Industry, the nation’s biggest business group. The market in 2003 was $333 million according to the Gurgaon-based India Brand Equity Foundation, a partnership between the CII and India’s Ministry of Commerce.

India competes for foreign patients with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and offers less in some areas, says Guy Ellena, director of the health and education department at Washington-based International Finance Corp., the private lending unit of the World Bank. He says Thailand’s airports and roads are in better shape than India’s because Thailand is a major vacation destination. In 2003, 10 million tourists
traveled there, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Web site. That was more than triple the number for India that year.

Just as Indian software companies started with small programming jobs and expanded to become a $16 billion global industry, India’s international health care initiative is in its early stages. For patients and profits to increase, India must remedy negative first impressions and persuade doubters that millions of the country’s poor and ailing won’t be left behind. As Indian hospitals are gearing up to provide global comfort standards - India Inc should try to be world leaders in these promising areas - which means - global scale investments in hard and soft assets, cultural shift in mindset (already there is proof that this is happening), improve all linkages in the sector from research to commercialisation, open up the sector for foreign investment , strengthen the academic instituitions much better and improve the infrastructure from airports to roads to utilities and transport.

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