April 13, 2024

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Indian health tech seen growing to $20B by 2028: report

3 min read

The health technology segment in India, which comprises about 10,000 startups, is projected to triple in value by 2028 as investors shift their focus towards businesses that can withstand economic disruptions.

A new report by global management consultant Bain & Company, in collaboration with Indian healthcare-focused venture fund HealthQuad, delved into the local healthcare innovation market, which key segments include pharma services (CDMO, CRO, pharma IT), health tech, biotechnology, and medtech. 

Last year, health tech accounted for a quarter, or about $7 billion, of India’s $30 billion healthcare innovation market. By 2028, projections point to the market doubling in value to $60 billion with health tech potentially cornering up to 35%, or $21 billion.

Over the past years, health tech’s growth has been driven by three major trends:

  • Horizontal and vertical integrations, such as adopting a hybrid digital-physical business model, to broaden offerings and improve margins  

  • Expansion to markets abroad to augment addressable consumer base

  • Entry of disruptors through acquisitions, resulting in greater concentration in the health tech space, broader reach for major players, and new templates of success.

The report highlighted the consistent investment attraction that health tech has had over the past years since 2019, snatching over 55% of the total deal volume. Notable investments include PharmEasy, which bagged over $2 billion after 10 funding rounds and HealthifyMe, which raised a total of $110 million to date. 

It is said that investors are now ooking to bet on business models that “offer lower risk and higher positive-unit economics (making more money than the cost to serve).” Of particular interest are enterprise-facing businesses that solve operational efficiencies or supply chain issues (such as Medikabazaar and THB). This is because they have seemingly sustainable long-term growth and can potentially maintain a healthy balance sheet during economic downturns. They also have a large addressable market and strong market acceptance.

In a previous Bain survey, it was revealed that Indians look to increase their use of digital health applications, such as telemedicine, e-pharmacy, and wellness services, by 5% to 10% yearly. They also expect “convenience” and “quality care” in proactive self-health management. “These consumer demands will drive the continued growth of health tech products and services to help consumers better and more conveniently manage their health and wellness,” the latest Bain report suggested.

Along this growth comes certain structural changes, such as consolidation (with smaller underfunded businesses rationalising), the increasing profitability of enterprise-facing companies and those leveraging AI, and the growing relevance of global markets for health tech. 

To get a piece of this lucrative market, it is imperative, as the report recommended, that health tech players get into partnerships with established players or other innovators, which will be the “key to efficiently building a seamless consumer journey.”

THE LARGER TREND

More digital tools and solutions have become available to support India’s digital health transformation. Its success, based on insights from a recent survey with local healthcare leaders, lies in early adoption, proper training, and incentives for the effective use of technologies. 

Partnerships have also been emphasised as key to this transformation. A Philips report in 2021 noted from a survey with healthcare leaders their intent to collaborate with private hospitals and healthcare facilities in making their digital transition.

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