Business Today

New Diagnostic Levels

Ameera Shah has grown her company's revenues multiple times over the last few years
twitter-logo PB Jayakumar   New Delhi     Print Edition: October 6, 2019
New Diagnostic Levels
Ameera Shah, Promoter and Managing Director, Metropolis Healthcare \ Photograph by Rachit Goswami

This is the second year in a row that Ameera Shah, Promoter and Managing Director, Metropolis Healthcare, has made it to Business Today's Most Powerful Women list. In April 2019, Metropolis debuted on the bourses, at a 9 per cent premium. Its market cap is at present in excess of Rs 6,000 crore. Shah is sure of captaining Metropolis, which is counted among India's leading diagnostic chains.

Shah joined her father's Dr Sushil Shah's Laboratory in 2001. It then had about 40 employees, annual revenues of Rs 7 crore and a business that was restricted to Mumbai. In 2018/19, Metropolis recorded revenues of Rs 760 crore, an 18.1 per cent growth over 2017/18; profit after tax of Rs 123 crore, 10.5 per cent higher; while EBITDA grew over 15 per cent. It has 123 laboratories (including 10 abroad) with about 2,600 collection centres.

At present, Shah and her family hold 57.41 per cent in the listed entity. "Other than looking at business growth, I professionalised the company years before the listing, by bringing in a very strong independent director aboard and brought in key professionals like CEO and CFO," she says.

According to various analysts, while the healthcare diagnostic sector is likely to grow 12-15 per cent, Metropolis is likely to grow above that level.

The company's focus has been business to customer (B2C; people directly approaching the labs rather than being referred by doctors), where margins are higher. This contributes as much as 56 per cent of Metropolis' revenues. Significant revenue also comes from specialised diagnostics like genetics and cancer screening.

In mature markets, more than half the market is usually controlled by organised chains. Such a scenario will emerge in India too, where organised chains as of now account for just 15 per cent of the total size. Shah is confident that Metropolis will be at the forefront to usher in that change.

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