Wolters Kluwer, a $5 billion Dutch digital information, software and services provider, is seeing huge growth opportunities in Narendra Modi government's umbrella healthcare programme and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation.
The company which offers information-enabled tools and software solutions to manage business efficiently in sectors including healthcare, tax, legal, and finance, in over 150 countries, hopes that the technology driven disruptions like the GST and the digital push of the government will create bigger market for its products.
"We have been in India for the last 12 years, but this is by far the best time to be in the country" Shireesh Sahai, CEO, Wolters Kluwer India says. According to him, the government policies and programmes will have direct impact in all four verticals it is present - healthcare, taxation and accounting, governance, risk and compliance, legal and regulatory.
"There is action in all four verticals in India. In healthcare, the government's push for universal access will result in more doctors and more healthcare facilities, especially in rural areas. Our tools like 'Uptodate' will become very handy for them", he says. What Sahai is referring to is a mobile application that can act as a quick reference guide for clinicians at the point of care. He claims the tool to be highly beneficial for clinical practitioners in India as they - owing to the large patient burden - often do not get time to apprise themselves with the research developments in their fields. For an annual payment of around $500, the mobile app scans the clinical evidence available in all reputed medical research publications to provide an answer to any question a doctor may pose within 90 seconds, and with 95 percent confidence level, says Sahai. "We have more than one million doctors around the world who are using it. In India alone, over 20,000 specialists focusing on areas like oncology, cardiology, nephrology etc. have already subscribed to it. Around 100 hospitals, including leading ones like Manipal, Columbia Asia, CMC Vellore and six of the seven AIIMS that are operational, are using our tools", he claims. The government's push for more medical centres and quality doctors will increase the demand, he hopes.
Kluwer's GST tool is again an online platform where there are 12,000 sales tax cases that chartered accountants (CAs) can look at and students can refer to. The company has collaboration with global consultancy Deloitte to generate India specific content for this platform. Sahai says that over 400 CA firms have subscribed to this tool. "We have also launched practice management software for law firms. Globally more than 14,000 law professionals are using it at the moment. The response from India is very encouraging", he says. The changes in the regulatory reporting norms for banks introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are another potential business opportunity for the company. "Indian arms of foreign multinational banks are using it. Our software helps banks do regulatory reporting", he adds.
Incidentally, Kluwer employs over 1000 people in India, majority of who work in its two development centres in Pune and Chennai. Sahai said that India will continue to be a major product development hub for its global operations.