Growth Ar­chi­tect

SHOBANA KAMI­NENI HAS BEEN THE KEY FORCE BE­HIND GROWTH IN THE PHAR­MACY AND IN­SURANCE BUSI­NESS FOR APOLLO.

Business Today - - THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS - By E. KUMAR SHARMA

FEW PEO­PLE out­side the cor­po­rate hos­pi­tal cir­cles know that when Dr Prathap C. Reddy set up Apollo’s first hos­pi­tal in Chennai in 1983, it was his daugh­ter Shobana who sat with In­dian ar­chi­tects and trans­lated the brief from doc­tors into the de­sign of the build­ing. It was this blended with the in­ter­na­tional in­puts that Apollo sought that fi­nally gave shape to the hos­pi­tal. This for the sim­ple rea­son that one of the key chal­lenges Dr Reddy faced back then was get­ting good ar­chi­tects spe­cial­is­ing in hos­pi­tals, says San­gita Reddy, Shobana’s sis­ter and joint man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Apollo Hos­pi­tals. From then to now, she finds Shobana play­ing a stel­lar role in the group’s growth, es­pe­cially in build­ing its phar­macy re­tail net­work and making it the largest phar­macy re­tail chain in the coun­try. Apollo has 3,100 stores to­day and has been adding be­tween 250 and 300 each year for the last five years. She is also the founder of Apollo Mu­nich Health In­surance and a whole-time di­rec­tor on the board. Point­ing to growth posted by both these busi­nesses led by Shobana, her other sis­ter, Suneeta Reddy, the bean counter in the Apollo Hos­pi­tals group and the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Apollo Hos­pi­tals, says: “The phar­macy busi­ness has grown by over 20 per cent when ad­justed for GST and EBITDA mar­gins have im­proved.” The num­bers shared by the com­pany for this busi­ness talk of rev­enue growth of 23-24 per cent per an­num for FY 2017/18, when ad­justed for GST. The EBITDA mar­gin came in at 4.4 per cent. The phar­macy busi­ness has been making prof­its for the last six years with ROCE of 15 per cent. That is not all. Shobana has also played an ac­tive role in sup­port­ing the pol­icy agenda of the in­dus­try. Her ap­point­ment as Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try pres­i­dent in 2017/18 was his­tor­i­cal as she was the first-ever wo­man to hold the po­si­tion since the in­dus­try body’s in­cep­tion in 1895.

WHY SHE MAT­TERS She has made Apollo’s phar­macy busi­ness the big­gest phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal re­tail chain in In­dia; the in­surance busi­ness is also go­ing great guns

SHOBANA KAMI­NENI Ex­ec­u­tive ViceChair­per­son, Apol­loHospi­tals En­ter­prise

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