Dr Azad Moopen’s spacious office in Dubai’s Business Bay district is laden with achievements, accolades and awards collected since he arrived in the UAE from his native Kerala more than 25 years ago.
Since founding DM Healthcare in 1987, chairman Moopen has overseen the company’s expansion from a few small clinics to an empire of hospitals, medical centres and pharmacies across not only most of the GCC countries, but India too.
The Dubai-based firm is now one of the region’s largest private healthcare providers.
Under the corporate brand Aster, the group now employs more than 5,000 people and anticipated revenues of $500m for the 2012 financial year, about 30 percent to 40 percent growth compared to 2011. Moopen, who recently turned 60 years old, says that DM Healthcare is looking to expand aggressively not only in the immediate region, but possibly worldwide in the coming years.
As part of DM Healthcare’s ‘Vision 2025’ grand plan, Moopen says the company will invest $600m in building and acquiring hospitals and clinics across the Gulf and the subcontinent.
The investments will be made up of $300m on green and brownfield projects in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and a further $300m on purchasing majority stakes in hospitals in India, Moopen explains.
The projects include a 100-bed multi-specialty hospital in both Dubai and Sharjah for the UAE, which are due for completion in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Once complete, they will take DM Healthcare’s tally of hospitals in the country up to four.
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Other investments include two greenfield sites and three acquisitions in Saudi Arabia over the next five years and a 75-bed facility in Qatar due to open in 2014. DM Healthcare will also add 100 beds to its existing 240-bed general hospital in Riyadh.
DM Healthcare is also planning a number of new locations in India over the next five years, Moopen says, following the construction of a 3,100-bed medical city in Kerala, a major state in the south of the country.
“We are looking at India as a major opportunity as we go forward in the next fifteen — 20 years,” he continues. “Of course the Middle East is good and we already have a presence here, but as a larger market we would like to have a closer involvement in India.”
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