Mr. Vinesh Gadhia is a veteran in the Indian IVF industry and has been a part of it for over 28 long years. In the initial 18 years of his career, he was associated with IVF industry’s Pharma sector but now in preceding years he trained his focus on service sector of the industry. He has been one of the founding members of Nova IVF Fertility where he led the transition from development stage towards commercial launch. Mr. Gadhia joined ART Fertility Clinics in the mid of 2020 amidst the global pandemic and was bestowed with the responsibility to launch & lead ART Fertility Clinics in India and Thailand.

Introduction of ART Fertility Clinics

ART Fertility Clinics was started as an extension IVI RMA Global in 2015 under the brand name IVI Middle East. In Jan 2020, IVI RMA divested its ownership to Gulf Capital and the entity was rechristened as ART Fertility Clinics. Since its inception, ART Fertility Clinics has been led by Mr. Suresh Soni, Global Chief Executive Officer and Prof. Dr. Human Fatemi, Group Medical Director (MD, Ph.D. at the University of Brussels, Belgium).
In the past six years, ART Fertility Clinics has established Clinics in Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Dubai and become the leading institute for Human Reproductive Medicine in the Middle East.

Growth & Expansion

In India, ART Fertility Clinics has planned 18 state-of-art centers, with 8 units to be commissioned in 2021 and the rest 10 in 2022. The capital investment for ART Fertility Clinic’s India set up has been INR 250 crores.
While greater number of clinics are found in tier 1 cities, higher growth potential is witnessed in tier 2 and tier 3 cities because India with its burgeoning population translates into massive potential for IVF business growth. The current scenario fueled by awareness programs and increasing acceptance is also aiding huge capex by other industry players. ART Fertility Clinics’ focus is to establish 8 world class centers in tier 1 markets and 10 such centers in tier 2 markets to serve its clientele.

Macro dynamics of the Indian IVF scenario by factoring in 3 critical points:

India as a country has the unique distinction of having largest population pie of young people.
Country with the highest urge of parenthood and the changing lifestyle of the young population.
Indian women peak their fertility at the age of 25 whereas a Caucasian or an European woman peak their fertility at 31. There is a genetic gap of 6 years which can be attributed to the Indian tradition of marrying off early, however, imitating western lifestyle, delaying marriage, postponing having kids etc. are the major factors contributing to infertility.

Impact of Covid-19 on IVF Industry

Mr Gadhia goes on to state his observation that during the first wave of pandemic the IVF industry lost 90% cycle in 1st quarter of the FY 2020, in the 2nd quarter industry operated at 25% of pre covid levels, subsequently in the 3rd quarter it jumped back to 60%. By 4th quarter, industry had rebounded to such an extent where many organized players saw numbers which were even higher than pre covid era.
Covid did curtail the demand for some time but because of urge for parenthood in India, people are realizing the downside of late marriages that is eroding away precious biological age which is significant with regards to fertility potential fueling back the demand for IVF.
His extensive experience in the industry gives him the confidence to invest and follow their plan religiously. He recognizes that pandemic is temporary, and industry has to be prepared for the approaching post covid growth driven by macro dynamics of the Indian IVF industry.

Market size of the IVF industry in India

India does somewhere around 2,50,000 cycles annually in 1750+ IVF centers. Each cycle averages at around $2500 which makes the current industry size to be about $625 million.

Growth Metrics

Talking about the growth, he suggested that, the industry may grow from anywhere around 15% to 17% CAGR for the next five years. The drivers of this growth are, according to the census of 2011, the population of women entering reproductive age group will beat the population of women exiting reproductive age by a staggering 27%. Secondly, increasing education levels, rising awareness, and acceptability of infertility as a medial disease is driving the growth. The economic class shift is another important driver of this growth which basically means that the affordability of people in general is increasing. All these factors combined drive the growth potential for the industry in India.

Economies of scale – affordability levels and awareness levels of the fertile population in India

The affordability issue in Indian IVF Industry is perceived and not real. The scale of social-economic class moving down the SEC, the societal pressure as well as the urge of parenthood increases manifold for Indian couples. Considering these reasons, the couples are ready to spend any amount of money, sometimes, they sell their assets to fund their own IVF cycle.

Conception in middle class and lower middle class

Mr. Gadhia mentioned that the societal pressure is so huge in these classes that couples run from post to pillars which includes all sort of non-medical/non-scientific methods of procreation like praying or consulting an astrologer etc. which eventually sets them back more than what an average IVF cycle would, which reinstates his point that affordability issue is a perceived notion.

Heterogeneity of the clinics

Are all the 1750+ fertility clinics in India standardised?
Mr. Gadhia, who has seen the industry grow from infancy to a market with potential size of $625 million, categorises these clinics based on ownership – owned by a doctor, owned by organized chain, owned by professional fertility clinics which are run by a professional management team. Around 3% of total IVF centers in India are owned by organized chains which constitutes to 16% of IVF clinics pan India and 30% to 32% of annual cycles.
Though there are few world-class doctors owned clinics but largely the clinics with the backing of private equity investors have better deployment of funds for the equipment, better human resources etc. which naturally gives it a competitive edge over the others.

Impact of lifestyle trends on the IVF industry

Talking about the clinical and non-clinical lifestyle trends which impacts the fertility potential and in turn impacts the industry at large, He says that the non-clinical trends that impact the potential fertility are majorly four:
Delayed marriages.
Higher consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Sedentary lifestyle.

Coming to the clinical side of the trends, diseases like PCOS or Endometriosis have large impacts on the potential of fertility and the IVF industry.

Differentiator for ART Fertility centers

ART fertility Clinics has the first of its world class clinics in India at their Gurugram center. This state-of-art center is second to none in the country and can also be compared to clinics in major cities of the world. ART that is Advanced Reproductive Technology forms the core thesis of providing our patients the latest proven medical technologies in the field of human reproduction. We have a very wide science and innovation program where in our clinicians our undertaking research in a diverse field of topics related to human reproduction. We currently have forty-one (41) areas of active investigative research. At ART Fertility Clinics, we have designed the most efficient facility layouts to ensure patient safety and the best medical outcomes. We have invested in the latest and most technologically advanced infrastructure including AI-enabled incubators, Microscopes, Next Generation Sequencer, 4-Dimensional Ultrasound Machines and the OR equipment and Tools

Talking about the ART Fertility Clinics, he says we have the best infrastructure and facilities in the country, but we are not premium charged clinics. Their aim is to provide world class services at affordable price.

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