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Dr.Agarwals Eye Hospitals to invest upto $150 million in next 2-3 years on expansion

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Eye care chain Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospitals said it will be investing upto $150 million in next 2-3 years to almost double its network to 300 eye hospitals in India and Africa.

“We are planning to open at least one eye-hospital every week, for next 2-3 years,” said Dr. Amar Agarwal, chairman, Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospitals in an interview to ET.

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The expansion will be through a combination of both through acquiring a string of ophthalmologist-driven standalone hospitals and small local chains; and setting up new hospitals.

“We have internal teams who are constantly evaluating potential acquisitions,” Adil Agarwal, CEO of Dr. Agarwals said.

Adil Agarwal said the expansion will be funded by proceeds of fundraise in August, internal accruals and debt.

“If more funds are needed, we may look for a fresh round after 18 months,”Adil Agarwal said.In August, Dr. Agarwals raised $80 million (Rs 650) crore from existing investors Singapore’s Temasek and US based TPG.Dr. Agarwal’s now has a total network presence of 151 centres of which 140 are hospitals and 11 eye clinics spread across India and Africa.

Agarwal said expansion will be largely focused on Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and central India besides penetrating deeper into its existing markets.

The eye care chain will also be establishing over 100 primary eye clinics in tier 2 and tier 3 towns in the next couple of years.

On Tuesday Dr. Agarwals opened its 10th eye hospital in Mumbai at Chembur.

Dr. Agarwals has 20 eye care hospitals across Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, and Satara.

“We believe Maharashtra can readily accommodate at least 50 more eye hospitals,” Amar Agarwal said.

“In the next 12 to 18 months, we will invest Rs 225 crore to add 10 more centres in the cities of Mumbai and Pune,” he added.

Adil Agarwal said the aggressive expansion will not affect its financials, as the company is confident about clocking Rs 1400 crore in revenues at an EBITDA of 20% in FY24.

Dr. Agarwals started as a single facility in Chennai in the year 1957 by leading ophthalmologist Amar Agarwal. The chain has been on a growth spree across the country, with more than 75 units added to its network in the past five years alone. Dr Agarwal is present in 10 countries and over 14 states in India.

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