Ji­amei plans ma­jor growth in smaller cities, rural ar­eas

Coun­try’s big­gest pri­vate chain of den­tal clin­ics bullish on oral care mar­ket

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By ZHU WENQIAN zhuwen­qian@chinadaily.com.cn

Ji­amei Den­tal Group, the big­gest pri­vately owned chain of den­tal clin­ics in China, said it plans to ex­pand in smaller cities and rural ar­eas, and in­crease its ef­forts in grow­ing on­line med­i­cal ser­vices, be­cause it is bullish on the sig­nif­i­cant growth po­ten­tial of the Chi­nese oral care mar­ket.

The com­pany, which has been op­er­at­ing for 23 years, has nearly 100 den­tal clin­ics na­tion­wide. It in­tends to launch more in the next few years, fol­low­ing the gov­ern­ment’s lat­est health­care re­form, which has fur­ther re­laxed re­stric­tions on pri­vate cap­i­tal en­ter­ing the med­i­cal sec­tor.

“We plan to ex­pand fast in smaller cities and rural ar­eas and in­te­grate some smaller clin­ics, as we hope to cover the large mar­ket gaps in those ar­eas,” said Liu Jia, founder and CEO of Ji­amei.

“We will send our den­tists out and pro­vide train­ing to lo­cal doc­tors, and pro­vide cor­po­rate clients and more long-dis­tance ser­vices,” Liu said.

He added that the new pol­icy was bring­ing a lot of ben­e­fits and freedom to pri­vate med­i­cal agen­cies.

“Med­i­cal ser­vices in China are ex­pected to be­come more mar­ket-ori­ented and the mar­ket is go­ing to have a de­ci­sive ef­fect on the de­vel­op­ment, lay­out and op­er­a­tion of the sec­tor,” Liu said.

Ji­amei, whose cur­rent profit mar­gin is around 13 per­cent, said it be­lieves it is poised to boost net profit mar­gins to around 20 per­cent, as the gov­ern­ment gives sub­si­dies to pri­vate clin­ics. The group has launch med­i­cal seen de­cent sales per­for­mances in re­cent years, and has at­tracted a large num­ber of cus­tomers through word of mouth, Liu said.

Inthe next 15 years, the mar­ket scale of China’s oral care mar­ket, in­clud­ing oral dis­ease pre­ven­tion, nurs­ing and treat­ment, is ex­pected to reach 500 bil­lion yuan ($74 bil­lion), ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by Chi­nese tooth­paste brand Saky.

The ris­ing mid­dle class in China and their in­creas­ing aware­ness of oral care, in ad­di­tion to their pref­er­ences for higher-qual­ity prod­ucts, are set to drive the sales growth of var­i­ous oral care prod­ucts.

HU XUEBAI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Den­tists from Ji­amei Den­tal Group of­fer free oral check­ups for chil­dren in Bei­jing.

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