Adani targets health biz

After chalking out a foray into the cement sector through the acquisition of Holcim’s India assets, Gautam Adani, head of the eponymous Adani Group, is gearing up for a larger play in healthcare. Flagship entity Adani Enterprises has set up a100% subsidiary, Adani Health Ventures, to run medical and diagnostic laboratories, research centres and other healthcare related activities in the country.

The move pits Adani Group, India’s third-largest conglomerate in terms of market cap, against the Tata Group and Reliance Industries that have made significant investments in the healthcare space.

In 2020, Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate in terms of mcap, had set up Tata Medical & Diagnostics. It had launched Covid test kits, introduced Tata Health (offers consultation service through a network of physicians) and had acquired online pharmacy 1MG. In the same year, Reliance Industries had acquired pharma distributor and online drug retailer Netmeds. To be sure, all the three conglomerates have a presence in healthcare through their foundations that run hospitals. In a regulatory filing, Adani Enterprises, which incubates new businesses for the group, said the May 17 incorporated healthcare entity will commence its business operations in due course. It has already taken baby steps in this area by acquiring a minority stake in an Israeli startup, Forsight Robotics, for $20 million, in April this year. Forsight is a platform designed for eyesurgeries.

Adani observers expect the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate to acquire diagnostic laboratories and pharmacy retail chains — a strategy it has followed to enter new areas — to propel its healthcare play. The group has made more than 30 acquisitions, valued at over $17 billion, in the past year.

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