As 2021 progresses, with continuous uncertainties and ups and downs related to health systems and sanitary measures, with a virus destabilizing even the major world economies, the health sector will obviously remain in the spotlight for an indeterminate period.
It is clear that this sector will be shining and, even more so, the companies that manage to bring innovations to it. But, if we had to choose a place in the world where all that light could be converted, where would it be?
In fact, at this moment, one country, in particular, stands out with a brighter glow than the others.
India is one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies with a young, growing and skilled workforce that is likely to become the largest in the world by 2025.
While half of the population is under the age of 25 and over 65% are under 35, life expectancy will exceed 70 years by 2022, so more health services are needed
Although much of the population still face basic problems, such as water scarcity, India has emerged as a centre for digital skills, with the second-largest number of Internet subscribers in the world and an advantage in the health segment, thanks to the country’s progress in the areas of pharmacy and telemedicine. In addition, India is also among the main biotechnology destinations in the world and is a leader in the global supply of DPT, BCG and measles vaccines.
Being already the second-largest hub for technology startups in the world, the Indian start-up ecosystem is taking its own form and has been very receptive and positive due to factors such as the cost of doing business, proximity to customers and suppliers and the size of the domestic market, in addition to the country having English as one of its official languages.
Driven by the increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases, increasing demand for accessible health systems, technological advances, the emergence of telemedicine, rapid penetration of health insurance and government initiatives such as e-health together with tax benefits and incentives, the healthcare industry in India is growing at a tremendous rate and more than $ 200 billion is expected to be spent on medical infrastructure by 2024.
Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors in terms of income and employment, expected to reach 306 bn Eur by 2024, expanding at a Compound Annual Growth rate (CAGR) of ~27.41% during the 2019-2024 period.
The booming pharmaceutical sector is innovating and distributing life-saving medicines at the most affordable cost around the world. The general HealthTech industry is growing at a tremendous pace owing to its strengthening coverage, services and increasing expenditure by public as well as private players.
Greater penetration of health insurance aided the rise in healthcare spending, a trend likely to intensify in the coming decade. Digital health knowledge resources, electronic medical records, mobile healthcare, electronic health record, hospital information system, technology-enabled care, telemedicine, hospital management information systems are some of the technologies gaining wide acceptance in the sector that is forecasted to create 40 million jobs by 2030.
The Eu- India Innocenter prepares European startups at different stages of maturity to expand their business to India. We provide training, planning and networking through different free programmes guiding entrepreneurs through all phases of their expansion process.
Healthcare is one of the sectors to which we designate a special focus, as India has special needs and also presents countless opportunities.
Strong mobile technology infrastructure drives mobile health initiatives in the country. A transforming medical technology landscape, improving healthcare delivery and financing mechanisms, and changing patient profiles are driving growth in the medical technology industry.
However, the industry has been stifled by some key impediments to growth. The foremost among these is the lack of – affordability, accessibility, awareness and availability. A key question, therefore, is how to increase the penetration of medical technology to improve health outcomes in India. The answer lies in innovation.
Medical technology innovation can be the tool to make modern care accessible, available and affordable to all by lowering the cost of the product or delivery. Innovation need not only be restricted to products. Business model innovation across the value chain (manufacturing, distribution, marketing etc.) and frugality can often generate significant benefits to all stakeholders, including patients/end users.
India is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world, with approximately 3% share in the global Biotechnology industry, poised for growth as a key contributor of India’s 4.1 Tn Eur economy target by 2024.
By 2024, the Indian Biotechnology industry is expected to reach 123 Bn Eur from 51.5 Bn Eur in 2020.
By 2024, the contribution of the Indian biotechnology industry to the global biotechnology market is expected to grow to 19% from 3% in 2018.
By 2024, India is expected to have over 10,000 biotech startups from the 3,475 startups in 2021.
Biotechnology research often requires access to laboratories with high-end scientific infrastructure, the supply of expensive chemicals and reagents with minimum shipping time between the supplier and the user, and a disciplined work culture and documentation practice due to regulatory and intellectual property filing requirements. In terms of innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology creation, the biotechnology sector requires years of experience in the domain, access to labs with sophisticated instruments, sustained and long-term funding to innovate.
India needs to go beyond the traditional indicators such as the numbers of institutions formed, students and scientists, trained, and the number of patents filed to judge the sector’s performance, and its impact on the economy and society as a whole. The biotech sector needs to be augmented through artificial intelligence-based tools, applications of big data in biology and India’s strength in Information Technology.
People practising yoga, meditation, running spas and health centres are all contributing to making the wellness industry one of the fastest-growing industries in India.
India, a country known to be associated with traditional practices of Ayurveda, yoga and other health practices is now expanding its footprint by encouraging comprehensive wellness and holistic health of an individual.
Wellness is a nascent development in the industry, blending various branches to form a cumulative sector that represents health and a fitter lifestyle.
The wellness industry has a market size of 3.1 trillion Eur representing more than 5% of global economic output.
The Covid Pandemic has certainly shaken the health industry and, despite having left deep scars, if we combine the right ingredients (India + health + technology + innovation) we will have a recipe of great success.
If you are a European startup with innovative healthcare solutions, India can be the perfect country to expand your business.
The EU India Innocenter offers free programmes and supports european companies on their way to the Indian market.
Check out our various programmes and count on us on every step of this journey – from discovering business opportunities to building a strategic local network in India.
Text by: Roberta Mellis – Sources: The Balance.com/india, Investindia.gov.in/why-india – Pictures by: Pixabay