Making global-standards-quality driven healthcare accessible to all
How Dr Bollineni Bhaskar Rao initiated the beginnings of quality-driven affordable healthcare facilities in Southern India.
Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity. ”― Hippocrates, Greek Physician
This story isn’t about a businessperson or a successful brand; it’s the narration of human understanding, courage and the passion to improve the present, for a better future.
This is the story of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS Hospitals) and the visionary man in the white coat, gracing it with dignity and pride.
The statement – take care of the patient and everything else will follow, describes KIMS Hospitals’ impeccable journey.
One of the largest corporate healthcare groups in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, (as per no of patients treated and treatment offered, according to CRISIL Report), KIMS Hospital has matured from a single hospital to a chain of 9 multi-specialty hospitals in two decades.
Crowned with the regional leadership in Tier 1, 2 and Tier 3 areas, KIMS Hospitals is well acknowledged in delivering a comprehensive range of healthcare services across 25+ specialties and super-specialties including cardiac sciences, oncology, neurosciences, gastric sciences, orthopaedics, organ transplantation, renal sciences, and mother & child care using new-age medical technology, a world-class team of high-quality doctors and medical professionals and a robust infrastructure.
Talking by numbers, the group has elevated the bed capacity at its hospitals by approx.15 times since its inception- from a 200-bed hospital at Nellore to a total of 3,064 beds (as of December 31, 2020) and is looking ahead to add many more in the coming years.
Registering a revenue CAGR of 26%, EBIDTA CAGR of 61%, and a PAT CAGR of 57% during the FY17-FY20, the group filed for the IPO in June 2021 and got listed at BSE and NSE with a 22 per cent premium over the issue price.
Strategically focused on the healthcare industry of Southern India, KIMS Hospitals addresses the healthcare needs of AP and Telangana across urban Tier 1 cities with its presence in Secunderabad and Hyderabad and more rural Tier 2-3 areas including Vizag, Nellore, Rajahmundry, Srikakulam, Ongole, Anantapur, and Kurnool.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg; KIMS Hospitals attends the patient in-flow from the neighboring states of Karnataka, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and parts of central India as well.
So what has nurtured the brand’s success over the years?
Indian healthcare, after 75 years of independence remains underserved and has barely touched the pain points. The common notion that public health in India has been a completely neglected area, remains unchanged even today.
Human Development Report 2020 has dug out the country’s crippled medical infrastructure and has ranked India 155th out of 167 countries in the world that have the worst records.
As per the reports, India has only five beds and 8.6 doctors for every 10000 population.
The data gets scarier on the ground level. Only eleven states in India qualify for the World Health Organization (WHO) standard doctor to population ratio of 1:1000.
What’s distressing is that India’s 75% of healthcare infrastructure sits in the urban regions catering to only 27% of the total Indian population, leaving the remaining 73% of the country’s population with degraded primary healthcare services, understaffed facilities and low availability of medicines and infrastructure.
Intrigued by the long queues at the local village doctor’s clinic and his treatment success, Bhaskar Rao’s heart was raising a dream.
The moderate and rural background shaped up the young man’s dream who knew the worth of a single penny.
Returning to the homeland after completing a fellowship in Sydney and Melbourne, Dr Bhaskar Rao got a clear picture of disparity in the Indian healthcare sector as compared to other countries.
Champing at the bit to put all his learnings in delivering quality medical services at an affordable cost, Dr Bhaskar knew that he had to wait for his turn to shape his dream into reality.
Following this, he joined Medwin in India and polished his skills.
However, the five-year stint at Medwin could not comfort Dr Bhaskar’s heart that felt a disconnection with a large section of the society- the people who could not afford quality-driven healthcare services.
In 1996, Dr Bhaskar Rao took a courageous step that would lay the foundation of his dream and India’s one of the biggest healthcare transformations in the country.
He tied up with Mahavir Charitable Hospital, Hyderabad, to provide affordable cardiac care.
Took a loan of five crore rupees and converted his dream into reality.
He did bypass surgeries in India at an unimaginable low cost of just Rs. 45,000 only, which otherwise would cost in between INR 95,000 to INR 3,50,000 or higher.
In a decade, Dr Bhaskar and his team successfully performed over 5,000 surgeries for the underprivileged.
Seeing his dream of Delivering patient satisfaction at an affordable cost, was one of the most emotionally satisfying moments for India’s one of the best Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons.
A rough patch that created India’s legendry Cardiologist
Dr Bhaskar’s sister developed an undiagnosed heart condition, which resulted in a paralytic attack and eventually led to permanent disability.
When the family took her for treatment to CMC Vellore, there they discovered her medical condition.
Had they arrived at the hospital earlier, she could have escaped the attack.
And at that very moment, Dr Bhaskar decided to become a cardiac specialist.
In 2000, Dr Bhaskar started his hospital and landed in the entrepreneurial world.
The first hospital named Bollineni Hospitals (now called KIMS Hospital) was established in his hometown Nellore, followed up by setting a diagnostic centre in Kadapa in 2001 and a few more hospitals in Rajahmundry, Srikakulam and Hyderabad over a decade.
With ICICI ventures coming on board, the group laid the foundation of their ISO 9001-2000 certified flagship NABL, NABH accredited institution at Secunderabad, which is the single largest hospital in the country to have 1,000 beds in one single facility.
Marching ahead, another hospital was opened at Kondapur in 2014, followed by another one at Ongole in 2017.
Later Dr Rao acquired a medical college and hospital in Srikakulam, which runs separately as the GEMS Medical College and Hospital.
To make quality healthcare an accessible service to the remotest part of the country, KIMS Hospitals has significantly expanded its hospital network in past years through a combination of greenfield, brownfield and acquisition-led expansion – acquiring hospitals in Ongole in FY2017, Vizag and Anantapur in FY2019 and Kurnool in FY2020.
The cornerstones of the healthcare leader
Affordability & Quality – Since day one, KIMS Hospitals has been committed to fulfilling the promise of providing high-quality healthcare facilities to all that it made in 2000 during its establishment.
Nurturing Long-term relationships – Over the years, KIMS has successfully retained over 80 per cent of its doctors, a milestone in the healthcare industry – with all due credit to its multi-disciplinary approach, high-volume tertiary care model, and, valuing human relationships and focus on teaching and research. The group holds proficiency in its capacity to hire, educate, and maintain top-notch doctors, consultants, and medical support personnel.
Focused Approach – The group has been strategically focused on the southern Indian healthcare market due to its deep understanding of regional and cultural features alongside the mindset of medical professionals. Over the years the group has observed a significant and growing need for quality and affordable healthcare services and has spread its wings accordingly.
The KIMS Foundation and Research Centre (KFRC) which was founded in 2010 has been recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India to conduct research.
A committee appointed by ICMR supervises the research on stem cells at KFRC.
At present KFRC is engaged in projects related to medical genetics, stem cells growth and differentiation, animal models of human diseases, clinical application of cell-based therapies.
Research conducted at KFRC is supervised by an eminent advisory board.
“We are confident, this is just the beginning and KIMS will achieve many more firsts for the country in the times ahead,” asserts Dr B Bhaskar Rao, Managing Director, KIMS Hospitals.
- 2019 Finalist, EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award
- 2017 Times Healthcare Lifetime Achievers Award
During our conversation with the leader, Dr Bhaskar streamlined our attention towards the bottlenecks of the Indian healthcare sector and the unchanged mindset of the people, consistent for the past 4-5 decades.
He explains, “The concept of getting health insurance is still neglected by people of the country, which should be on the primary list, keeping in mind the situations and pandemics like Covid-19, which we may face soon.
If people remain stagnant in getting free health services and not getting insured, India’s healthcare system will never witness transformation in terms of robust infrastructure, leading technologies and fair doctor-to-patient ratio and an overall improved medical infrastructure.
When we can easily spend 200-300 INR for a cup of coffee or a meal, then why can’t we get our and our loved ones’ lives insured at the same amount? With our prevailing lifestyle choices, eating habits and stress, we are buying diseases, at a cost of our lives. This needs to be changed.
Also, the demand for General Physicians in the country needs to be addressed soon.
This way, we can effectively streamline and cut down the burden of availing medicinal support and care.
Not only this, the initiative will further light up the weighing healthcare system in a time-efficient manner.
An increase in the population of adults aged 60 and above, lengthening lifespan has thrown massive challenges on India’s healthcare.
There is a need for urgent and timely action on the part of the government as well as private companies.
We need to design frameworks and innovations to meet the specific needs of the ageing population while boosting our infrastructure and connectivity with the rural population.
Words of Wisdom
Eat well, exercise more and stay positive – these three simple yet effective changes can do wonders to human health and cut down your frequent visits to doctors.
Last but not the least, every person in the country needs to get insured to avail the right treatment, without missing the boat.
Under the leadership of Dr Bhaskar, KIMS Hospitals is doing its best for the betterment of society.
The group has launched several health awareness programs under its belt – such as Pink Ribbon Race, Cervical Cancer Awareness Program, Vitamins related awareness programs and much more.
Even after having the fortune to witness staggering success in his life, Dr Bhaskar has remained down to the earth.
For him, success is an experience that has to be cherished and maintained. In every sphere, he is a true Messiah- well I could not have a better word to describe this leader.
The simplicity of this visionary medical entrepreneur could be sensed from his words and learnings.
Undoubtedly, Dr Bhaskar Rao has numerous achievements and awards to his credit.
Yet, what he cherishes the most is providing best-in-class affordable healthcare services to everyone who approaches him and his legendry healthcare group – KIMS Hospitals.