From its base in India, Narayana Hrudayalaya has used a combination of business model and process innovation to lower the cost of cardiac surgery and in doing so has revolutionized the access, volume, and reach of its facilities to become one of the fastest-growing healthcare businesses in the world.
Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty was Mother Teresa’s cardiac surgeon and is the founder and chairman of the Narayana Hrudayalaya Group. His vision is ‘to enable every man, woman and child to have access to high tech healthcare within the next 10 to 15 years, including in the poorest regions of the world.’ With over 5,000 beds in India and an aim of growing to over 30,000 in the next five years, Narayana Hrudayalaya is well on the way to being one of the leading healthcare businesses in the country. Add on opening facilities close to the lucrative US market in 2012 and expansion into many other Asian and African countries and future ambitions are significant.
As of 2011, Narayana Hrudayalaya is only 10 years old but has quickly grown to become Asia’s largest cardiac care center and the world’s largest cancer hospital. Although other Indian companies are successfully driving down the cost of healthcare by focusing on reinventing processes for the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ market, none have achieved the level of success as Narayana Hrudayalaya. Partly this is down to the area of primary emphasis and partly due to the culture of incessant optimization.
By choosing cardiac surgery as its core area of focus, with the volumes of patients it has passing through its facilities, Narayana Hrudayalaya has been able to build up world-leading expertise and do so at a profit. Even though it charges 40% of the average cost of coronary artery bypass surgery at other Indian private hospitals, Narayana Hrudayalaya’s volume ensures that the business’s margins are very good. High utilization of the best equipment and specialized surgeons ensure that the company is seen globally as well as nationally as the pre-eminent facility for cardiac surgery. Although cost is important and the business model allows this to be attractive at all levels, the high-quality recognition is paramount.
By focusing on process optimisation and integration Narayana delivers world class health care at low cost and through business model innovation are making strides to deliver health care access to all.